Ithaca College’s Committed to Change Program was launched in 2011 when the Partnerships for Sustainability Education and Commit-to-Change programs were united into a single entity. The new Committed to Change program is divided into five major activities:
Our goal with the Committed to Change program is to provide the best possible opportunities for students and faculty alike to learn about and pursue careers focused on sustainability with an emphasis on local and global connections and partnerships.
For nearly ten years, the Partnerships for Sustainability Education (PSE) was primarily a collaboration between Ithaca College and EcoVillage at Ithaca. Much of the early PSE work was underwritten by a grant from the National Science Foundation, which was later supplemented by institutional funding. Among the PSE’s primary activities we:
- offer a rotation of Topics in Sustainability courses focused on community-based projects, many of them taught or co-taught by professional educators from EcoVillage at Ithaca;
- offer an annual sustainability curriculum development mini-grant program for faculty interested in infusing sustainability into their courses; and
- serve as a catalyst for various sustainability efforts in the community, such as Sustainable Tompkins and Ithaca Carshare.
For four years, the Commit-to-Change Program, which was underwritten by a major grant from the HSBC in the Community Foundation, has promoted student and faculty transformation around sustainability. For students, we awarded scholarships for incoming students that serve as role models, offered funding for students pursuing unpaid internships and research funding for faculty-student collaborations, and fellowships for exemplary completed projects. Likewise, for faculty, we have hosted the annual Finger Lakes Project, a sustainability curriculum development workshop to expand the presence of sustainability in our curriculum among faculty at Ithaca College and other regional institutions of higher education. Our more recent endeavor under the Commit-to-Change program was to expand our academic and service learning opportunities with select partners in Belize, Ecuador, and Ukraine.
The merged Committed to Change program retains the most successful elements of these two earlier programs, while allowing us to move into new directions.