Greener Living Nets Sustainability Degrees –

Ensuring that the population will continue to have the water, minerals, and resources it needs to protect human health and the environment is the entire concept behind sustainable living. There have been great strides in sustainability driven by an expanding population, economic growth, and consumption of the earth’s natural resources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken an active role to make sustainability a priority by drawing on advances in science and technology and promoting innovative green business practices.

Whether it’s via building construction, farming, or automobiles, society is making an effort to be more ‘green’ by implementing sustainable practices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 75% of businesses reported use of at least one green technology or practice in August 2011.

The push for a greener way of living has created a demand for jobs in sustainability, and though still a relatively new degree, more colleges are beginning to offer these degrees. Here’s a few of the schools that offer online bachelor’s degrees in sustainability.

  • Oregon State University: Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, OSU’s online program provides students an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences. A specialization in environmental conservation and sustainability is also available. Course study includes subjects such as environmental law, sustainable ecosystems, and environmental geology.
  • University of Wisconsin: Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management at the University of Wisconsin are expected to graduate with the competencies necessary to help a business develop sustainable practices for a global marketplace. The degree program, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, will include course work in the following subjects: economics of environmental sustainability; environmental studies; information systems; logistics, supply chain management and sustainability; natural resource management; and triple bottom line accounting for managers.
  • University of Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts not only has a campus-wide sustainability initiative, it also offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies for students who want to get a green education and prepare themselves for an emerging green economy. UMass is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Curriculum in this degree program focuses on food and farming, sustainable business and entrepreneurship, public health, and journalism/communications.
  • Marylhurst University: Based near Portland, Ore., private Marylhurst University places a heavy focus on sustainability, whether it be through initiatives, its advisory council, or academic programs. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on College and Universities, Marylhurst offers a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Business program, designed to help graduates become leaders in green-focused careers.
  • University of Illinois: Students at the University of Illinois will be able to earn a Bachelor of Science in Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability online beginning in fall 2012. The program will concentrate on key issues associated with sustainability and the environment and students can choose to specialize in environmental informatics, sustainable business, and sustainability policy. University of Illinois is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN

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