MSSE Learning Goals | Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

Environment & Sustainability Program

MSSE Learning Goals

This page is the official source for the learning goals for the core courses, student final projects, and program evaluation of the M.S. in Sustainability & Environment (MSSE).

The MSSE Program Learning Objectives (PLOs) are supported with Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). The four PLOs are to: 

  1. Evaluate sustainability and environmental problems and solutions using self-reflection, critical thinking, and systems thinking. (SLOs 1, 2, 4, 11)
  2. Analyze sustainability and environmental problems and solutions using scientific, scalar, cause-and-effect and other approaches. (SLOs 5, 7, 12, 13)
  3. Interpret sustainability and environmental problems and solutions using established disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods. (SLOs 6, 8, 9, 14)
  4. Create professional oral, visual, and written communication about sustainability and environmental problems and solutions. (SLOs 3, 10)

The SLOs are based on the following book:

Pontius, Jennifer, and Alan McIntosh. 2020. Critical Skills for Environmental Professionals: Putting Knowledge into Practice. Cham: Springer.

CSEP is required of all MSSE students, and it is used in all six core classes.

The fourteen SLOs (twelve of which are based on CSEP chapters) are:

  1. Self-Reflection
  2. Problem Framing (CSEP 2)
  3. Navigating the Literature (CSEP 3)
  4. Critical Thinking (CSEP 4)
  5. Scientific Inquiry  (CSEP 5)
  6. Quantitative Literacy (CSEP 6)
  7. Linking Cause and Effect (CSEP 7)
  8. Environmental Problem Solving (CSEP 8)
  9. Frameworks
  10. Environmental Communication (CSEP 10)
  11. Systems Thinking (CSEP 11)
  12. Working Across Scales (CSEP 12)
  13. Sustainability Science (CSEP 13)
  14. Interdisciplinary Tools (CSEP 14)

Descriptions and rubrics for all the SLOs are in this document. (Most are adapted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities VALUE Rubrics).

Note: In adapting CSEP as SLOs, the MSSE program has made some slight revisions to the titles, contents, and/or rubrics. Additionally, the MSSE added SLO 1 and SLO 9, while CSEP 9 is not used. The materials on this page and in the document (linked above) supersede whatever is in CSEP.