Climate change and its effects are increasingly salient issues in our world today, and with these issues, is the imperative of adequate environmental education. As an institution of higher learning, University of Richmond (UR) has the unique potential to equip students with the knowledge and tools to combat the imminent climate crisis. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility of incorporating sustainability into the General Education Curriculum at UR. To accomplish this, three sources of data were analyzed. The core of this study was based on an examination of the ongoing reformation of the General Education curriculum at UR, which is being performed by the General Education Curriculum Improvement Committee (GECIC). Admitted student survey results from 2018, 2019, and 2020, from both matriculated and non- matriculated students, were analyzed to determine trends, if any, of students’ interest in sustainability, indicating potential evidence to support this study’s purpose. An analysis of the past related literature developed by former UR environmental studies senior seminar course participants was conducted to supplement this inquiry and abridge research on proposed university-specific environmental education initiatives. Results indicated that with the proposed restructuring of the General Education curriculum at UR, sustainability education has the potential to become a mandatory part of UR students’ program of study. Results from the analysis of student survey results supported that there is some interest amongst Richmond students in environmental studies courses, and that sustainability in general is important to students. Bolstering these findings is a compilation of literature that supported sustainability education initiatives at University of Richmond. The findings of this study have implications on the required course of study at UR and provide evidence that UR students are interested in sustainability, and that required sustainability education has a place at the university.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Todd Lookingbill.

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