The University of Texas at Austin
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$1500 Sustainability Course Conversion Awards - Five Awards Available

Funded by the Green Fee

About the Awards

In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the Sanger Learning Center (SLC), the Center for the Core Curriculum is pleased to offer five awards for proposed course conversions that incorporate or expand a sustainability component within an existing course through Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying (PLUS).

The PLUS program is designed to enhance undergraduate student learning by providing a framework for peer course support. Since 2003, PLUS has successfully optimized UT undergraduate courses by providing training and other resources to volunteer study group leaders, who facilitate discussions and practice sessions related to course content. In addition, each PLUS-supported course features one Senior Preceptor who, under the guidance and support of the professor and the SLC, oversees student-led study groups and other course-related activities.

To be eligible for a PLUS award, the proposed PLUS conversion must focus on sustainability-related issues. It may also feature campus field trips, lectures and events, data-collection, community service projects, etc. Courses may cover a wide array of sustainability topics but must meet the requirements for one or more flags. Courses that already carry one or more flags are eligible for consideration.


PLEASE NOTE: You will need to save the application form to your computer before filling it out. Otherwise, you may lose your data.

Submission Guidelines

Applications may come from any academic unit on campus. All interested applicants should complete the course conversion award application and submit it electronically to Jess Miner, Curriculum Specialist for Academic Initiatives in the Center for the Core Curriculum. The application deadline is January 27, 2014.


The proposed course conversion must:

  • Incorporate sustainability as a distinct and significant course component/module OR concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue throughout the course.
  • Integrate the sustainability component with one or more flags (Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Ethics and Leadership, Global Cultures, Cultural Diversity in the US, Independent Inquiry).
  • Feature student-led activities.

Applicants must also identify at least two Senior Preceptor candidates whom the instructor knows, trusts and respects. Please note that the SLC, in consultation with the professor, will choose only ONE candidate for the Senior Preceptor position.

Award Structure

For each award, $1000 will be paid to the Senior Preceptor for his/her work over the course of the semester; the remaining $500 will be given to the instructor for course modification and can be used for course-related activities.

Please note that award funding will not be disbursed until the selected course receives approval from the appropriate flag committee(s).

Review Committee

Course conversion proposals will be evaluated by representatives from the Sanger Learning Center and Sustainability Course Development Committee on the basis of merit and feasibility. The committee will prioritize proposals for course that will:

  • feature inquiry-based learning activities;
  • embrace ethical complexities;
  • encourage strategic planning and action;
  • foster the development of interpersonal skills.

*Sustainability is commonly understood to require a balanced pursuit of ecological health, social equity, and economic welfare. The pursuit of sustainability is grounded in an ethical commitment to the well-being of not only current populations, but also future generations. Ethics/sustainability courses should explicitly frame and address content in real-world terms by giving students the opportunity to apply content to questions or problems that are relevant to their adult and professional lives. An ethics/sustainability lens is broadly applicable to courses across the curriculum including topics such as environmental ethics, climate science, resource management, energy efficiency and technology, transportation and planning, as well as courses that speak to the history and philosophy of environmentalism, economic development, social justice, communication and psychology.