Professor speaking to students

The Center for Sustainability Education

Achieving sustainability is the defining idea of our era; the consequences of not achieving sustainability are certainly catastrophic. Education is perhaps the most viable pathway to sustainability as it shapes perceptions and values needed to pursue this path. We cannot continue with more of the same kind of education that helped create the problems we face today, but instead need to develop new educational programs that equip learners to deal with the sustainability challenges we face. This approach requires a new way of thinking based on complexity, interconnected systems, long time frames, and multiple scales from local to global, approaches not typically found in higher education’s siloed, disciplinary structure. The center’s programs are designed and intended to bridge that disciplinary gap and provide sustainability knowledge, skills, and competencies; personally engage faculty, staff, students, and community members; and instill a sense of agency, efficacy, and hope for a more sustainable pathway forward. The future of sustainable societies requires this interdisciplinary, systems way of thinking.

Our programs and practices reflect core strengths at Furman and have been at the cutting edge of sustainability in higher education since the founding of the original Shi Center for Sustainability and the creation of the bachelor of science degree in Sustainability Science. The center oversees a vast array of educational programs designed to provide innovative ways of teaching and learning about sustainability.

Faculty affiliates

Faculty and Staff Development

The Shi Institute serves as a central convener, facilitator, and educator, offering a robust faculty and staff development program centered on a series of monthly gatherings and workshops and an annual national workshop.

Faculty and Staff Development Programs

Student Development

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, change agents, and decision makers. The Shi Institute supports an array of student development programs designed to foster a sustainability worldview.

Student Development Programs
Students smiling
Students meeting with community member

Community Engagement

The best way to learn about sustainability is not to read about it in a book, but to actively engage with real world sustainability issues and challenges from a "hands-on" perspective.

Community Engagement