Recognizing the leadership role of post-tertiary institutions towards research and the knowledge economy, this contribution aims to assess gaps on sustainability curriculum in order to offer a nexus for interdisciplinary learning that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship. In this light, we examine sustainability-related curriculum offered at one major university in Eastern Canada across its three main faculties – Arts, Science, and Business, based on curricular content, objectives, and learning outcomes. We found that the vast majority of courses are electives, as opposed to being core to any major degree programs, and reflects on a genuine student desire for sustainability science. The majority of sustainability courses fall within the scope of the traditional disciplines (e.g. geography and environmental science), implying a gap towards holistic cross-disciplinary sustainability degree programs. Pedagogical methods and core skills used in these courses were relatively consistent across all faculties. However courses examined within the natural sciences were unsurprisingly lab-focused and research-based compared to courses in the arts and business disciplines, which relied more on experiential learning and case studies. Regarding potential concerns to Transdisciplinarity, prerequisite course requirements limit enrollment in higher level courses, which create barriers to cross-disciplinary learning. With such a diverse faculty membership and student interests, there are unique opportunities for enhancing transdisciplinary programs on sustainability initiatives that can enrich and contribute to student career options, research and creativity, funding, and partnership programs.


Research Team