Sustainability Studies Academic Program Launched

October 15, 2018

SUNY Corning Community College has launched a new academic program in Sustainability Studies. Designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in pursuing careers related to environmental, fiscal, and social sustainability within a large range of professional fields, the program offers a distinct advantage: an onsite nature and research center with faculty who are well versed in the opportunities this offers. In addition, the program is modeling sustainability with a goal of converting all courses to open education resources, (i.e. no textbooks!) in the first 2 years. SUNY CCC is experimenting with hybrid and online instruction to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Spencer Crest Nature and Research Center, located on the College’s 550-acre campus, will serve as an outdoor classroom and lab space for many of the required academic classes. The program explores the interplay between the natural environment, the built environment, and society through an interdisciplinary lens. Within the two-year scope of this program, students will complete a variety of courses from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities in addition to fulfilling SUNY’s general education requirements. The structure of this program will provide students with hands-on experience in the environmental field through coursework, independent research, internships, and unique learning experiences. Upon completion of this program students will have marketable skills for employment or to advance their education at a transfer institution.

Students with degrees in Sustainability may pursue careers in a wide range of vocations, including outdoor education, environmental policy, sustainability planning, conservation management, corporate responsibility, and many others. According to, this is a growing field that allows employees to choose from a wide variety of careers.

“Career opportunities with this degree are incredibly diverse,” said Katherine P. Douglas, President of SUNY CCC. “People initially think of scientists, and scientific careers are certainly part of the industry. There are many other options for those seeking to make an impact in this industry. A variety of careers in the sustainability field help organizations and companies run more efficiently, find opportunities for them to increase their profits through a combination of energy efficiencies and by leveraging the power of diversity and inclusion, meet customer needs, and create a sense of well-being in the community. I am confident our graduates will do all of this and more.”