Sustainable Design & Technology Program Profile
The UNÕs Bruntland Commission1 defined sustainable technology as technology that provides for our current needs without sacrificing the ability of future populations to sustain themselves, and noted that sustainably engineered solutions require multidisciplinary approaches and consideration of diverse perspectives. For
Is sustainability a fad, or an impractical ideology? No. Sustainability means doing things better Ð not doing without.2 Embracing a sustainable approach to life and business will require major changes in education and practice, but is our best way forward.
ÔCan we move nations and people in the direction of
sustainability? Such a move would be a modification of society comparable in
scale to only two other changes: the Agricultural Revolution of the late
Neolithic, and the Industrial Revolution of the past two centuries. These
revolutions were gradual, spontaneous, and largely unconscious. This one will
have to be a fully conscious operation, guided by the best foresight that
science can provide. If we actually do it, the undertaking will be absolutely
unique in humanityÕs stay on earth.Õ
- William D. Ruckelshaus (R)3
Former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Program Mission Statement: The
Sustainable Design & Technology degree allows students to pursue one of
This program offers a +2 bachelor's degree in Science to students who have graduated from, or are currently enrolled in, a technical associate's degree program at Vermont Tech or other institutions.
Program Summary and Goals
Sustainable Design & Technology is across-disciplinary program grounded in the belief that students who understand the fundamentals of technology, business, and the regulations that govern both can be effective agents for sustainable change. The program seeks to create graduates committed to using technology to grow
graduates will spend two years in a curriculum that emphasizes application of
technology in service of sustainable goals, and an understanding of the
fundamentals of business, regulation, and permitting. Students will enter on
one of three tracks: Green Energy;
The programÕs first year uses a team approach to problems solving, bringing together teams of students from different technical backgrounds to emphasize that success always requires the cooperation and communication with people of diverse viewpoints. The curriculum balances technical skills with a sustainable perspective and ethos, and interpersonal skills. Summer internships pair students with companies and institutions using or considering green technologies. Senior projects will solicit problems from the college and larger community to engage cross-disciplinary teams in hands-on learning and community service. Graduates will use critical thinking skills and cost-benefit analysis to determine whether, when, where and how green or sustainable technologies can be applied.
Prerequisites & Core Requirements
Applicants must have an associate's degree, be enrolled in an associate's degree program, or have completed sufficient credits of related technical education. Prospective students who do not meet these requirements are strongly encouraged to enroll in, or transfer into, one of the Vermont Tech's associate's degree programs to prepare for application to the Sustainable Design & Technology Program.
Program curriculum is organized into four cores areas: Sustainability, Business, Green Technical Track, and General Education (English, math, science, arts & humanities). All students in the SDT program take a common set of courses in the Sustainability, Business, Green and General Education cores. Students also take a number of courses specific for the track they have chosen to pursue: Green Energy;
The minimum number of credits for the SDT bachelor's program is 120, though the total number of credits required for each track varies (see the curriculum map for details). Half of all credits must be obtained at Vermont Tech.
Program graduates are prepared to work in
Graduates are prepared to pursue additional post-baccalaureate education in business, environmental law studies, or technical fields.
Students with technical associate's degrees, and those interested in beginning their education at Vermont Tech, may apply to this program. Related associate's degree programs at Vermont Tech include Architectural and Building Engineering Technology, Construction Practice and Management, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Automotive Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology, Dairy Farm Management Technology, and Landscape Design and Ornamental Horticulture. Students entering Vermont Tech as freshmen may customize their freshman and sophomore curriculum if they do not desire an AAS degree. Transfer students from related programs at two- and four-year colleges and non-traditional students interested in career change are strongly encouraged to apply. Depending on the candidateÕs prior academic study, candidates may be required to make up certain introductory level courses or may test out of certain required courses based on acquired knowledge and background. Application requires review of transcripts, letters of reference and an entrance essay.
Prospective students should contact the admissions office, or SDT program faculty.
The Sustainable Design & Technology Program is offered at Vermont Tech's Randolph Center Campus. Some related technical associates courses and SDT program courses are offered in on-line or hybrid formats.
The Sustainable Design & Technology Program is currently seeking accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Bruntland CommissionÕs Report, Our Common Future, UN,
2David Suzuki, http://www.davidsuzuki.org/WOL/Introduction.asp
3Ruckelshaus, William D. "Toward a Sustainable World." Scientific American Sep. 1989: 166-174.
4D. Rowe, ÒEnvironmental Literacy and Sustainability as Core Requirements: Success Stories and ModelsÓ, Teaching Sustainability at Universities (2002), Walter Leal Filho, ed, Peter Lang NY.
5Personal communication: Jay Paterson, Director of Vermont TechÕs Technology Extension Division
Profile last updated 1 Oct 2006