RIT Revamps B.S. Degree in Environmental Sustainability

Studies will focus on environmental sustainability, social responsibility and international standards

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A. Sue Weisler

John Morelli

The College of Applied Science and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology has launched a Bachelor of Science degree program in Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety. Courses reflect the growing need for organizations to become more sustainable and socially responsible in their activities, products and services.

“The environmental management program, initially launched in 1991 as the first of its kind in the nation, has evolved from focusing on pollution control, to minimizing material, energy and environmental resource use, and now, by this move to pursuing environmental sustainability,” says John Morelli, chairperson of the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management and Safety. Accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is anticipated.

“We responded to this quickly,” says Morelli, “and we’d like to be one of the very first programs in the country to be accredited under these new criteria.”

Four new courses are being developed for the degree, three of which will focus on sustainability and social responsibility, including a new comprehensive capstone course.

“Companies today are beginning to set goals of zero emissions. The new focus and courses are the reality of what we are becoming and what employers want today,” Morelli says.