The Green Teaching Certificate Program at American University
Now in its 10th year, the program has certified more than 500 individual professors at AU as “Green Teachers,” by allowing them to collect points for a variety of environmental actions, intended to (1) reduce the use of paper by moving towards using course materials, assignments, and exams in an electronic format; (2) reduce the use of energy and reduce pollution by using energy efficient equipment, e.g. by making a habit of turning off equipment not in use; scheduling office hours on the day of class; or biking or carpooling to campus; and (3) commit to other measures, such as using reusable food and beverage containers; or talking to department staff about purchasing recycled materials and supplies. Certified faculty receive a Green Teaching Certificate Seal which they can include on Blackboard course pages and syllabi. The direct impact of the program on AU’s campus sustainability is substantial, both given the large number of faculty who participate in the program, and the many times larger number of students whose actions are impacted as a result. In addition, AU’s Green Teaching Program has been replicated and successfully adopted by six additional universities across the nation, and was rewarded with the nationally competitive Innovation Award at the 2011 POD Network in Higher Education conference.