We need insight from every field of study to address the emerging and long-standing sustainability challenges facing our communities. Through the University of St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP), students collaborate with local governments and communities to apply what they learn in class to improve interconnected human and environmental well-being in the Twin Cities area. Students develop real-world, creative problem-solving skills, make connections in the Twin Cities community, and gain confidence to be leaders in sustainability in their future career paths.
SCP develops multi-year partnerships with communities to integrate a set of community-identified sustainability projects into St. Thomas courses across disciplines, engaging students in real-world, applied research and innovative problem-solving.
SCP's multi-year partnerships and collaborative projects seek to catalyze systems-level change towards human and environmental well-being in the Twin Cities area and prepare students for the complexities of problem-solving in contemporary society. Projects include ecological, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability.
For communities, SCP provides creative approaches to move community-identified sustainability goals forward. Communities often face limited resources to investigate sustainability and quality of life issues that are important to them. SCP seeks to reduce those barriers by partnering with undergraduate and graduate courses at St. Thomas to investigate creative solutions and approaches to community-identified projects.
For faculty, SCP provides partnership and project development to integrate experiential and applied learning into existing courses to enrich teaching and student learning.
For students, SCP provides experiential learning opportunities to engage in real-world issues, develop creative problem solving skills, and to collaboratively advance the common good.
SCP is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N). SCP's partner, the City of Elk River, received EPIC-N's community partner of the year award in 2017! SCP won the Outstanding Program of the Year award in 2020!