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Apply systems thinking and sustainability theory to real world cases. Partner with organizers transforming communities and restoring ecosystems.
Students learn why and how environmental burdens are inequitably distributed, and explore the work of communities organizing for radical, lasting change. At the heart of the program lies a fundamental question: "How can we restore ecosystems, environmental health, and good quality of life for all?"
Coursework is interdisciplinary and includes field research, a project-based internship, conversations with innovators in the field of sustainability, and a substantial partnership with a permaculture farm in Wisconsin. Students explore structural inequalities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond, examining patterns of privilege, power, and oppression. They work on solutions, taking part in environmental justice organizing, ecosystems restoration, and urban and rural sustainability initiatives in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
Each student completes an intensive internship. Past internship sites include the Friends of the Mississippi River, MN350, the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy, and Carver County Environmental Services. Students leave prepared for leadership at the intersection of environmental and climate justice, with a profound understanding of the work being done locally and globally in those fields. Students completing the program can choose to receive a permaculture design certificate.
Read more about Environmental Sustainability on HECUA's website.
HighlightsHECUA designs an internship experience for all students that meets personal learning goals and connects program themes. Extraordinary mentors in the environmental arena lead students to participate in meaningful work during the internship portion of the program. Students from outside Minnesota have the option to obtain housing through Augsburg University.
- Sustainable agriculture
- Ecological Restoration
- Policy & Research Development
- Community Organizing
- Urban Planning
- Environmental Education
Member and non-member schools use different fee structures. Check the HECUA website, here, for the most up-to-date information.
Program fees include:
Tuition, internship placement and supervision and all course-related field visits.
None. Think this program is just for science students? Think again! This program integrates natural and social sciences within a social justice framework and no course prerequisites are required.
This Program is open to
Undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college.
Scholarships are Available
HECUA provides Scholarships for Community Engagement, Scholarships for Social Justice and Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
Application Process Involves
- Online or Paper Application
- Letters of Reference
More info at the HECUA Environmental Sustainability webpage >>>
HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.
Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.
Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.