Experiential Learning

The Sustainability: Management and Economics (SUST) degree program places an emphasis on experiential learning through field trips, guest speakers, and class projects. Internships and practicums are also available and students are encouraged to engage in summer jobs and internships in sustainability areas.

Photo of Joe planting something

Sustainability class projects have partnered with Xavier's Physical Plant as well as with organizations throughout Cincinnati such as Macy's, Melink Corporation, the Flying Pig Marathon, Williams Creek Consulting, Dovetail Solar, the City of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Parks. Students have interned with Cincinnati's Green Umbrella Metrics Team, the City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Grailville Farm and more.


Highlighted below are a few of the projects that have connected our students to the community through unique experiences.

ECOS, Economics, and SUST Students work with Cincinnati as a 2030 District

In the spring of 2019, Dr. Bertaux's Environment, Economics and Policy class (ECON 421), allowed students to research, draft, and propose policies centered around the pillars of Cincinnati's 2030 District goals. Students were grouped in to either the water, energy, transportation, or health and wellness pillar and were able to explore different topics within their pillar that they found interesting to research more about how it is or can be included in Cincinnati. 

Students Assist with the Development of Green Cincinnati Plan

In the spring semester of 2017, students worked with Len Sauers in his 1 credit hour course on local sustainability to develop proposals for different aspects of local sustainability and why they matter as the city prepares to renew their Green Plan. The students each got to present their findings at a City Council meeting downtown.
In the fall of 2017, Dr. Bertaux's Natural Resource Economics class continued working with the city making and sharing proposals for the new Green Cincinnati Plan. Students have also been a part of the various subcommittees for the plan.

Sustainability Students Work With Community Members to Save Energy

During the fall of 2015, students in Sustainable Communities (SUST 405) worked directly with members of the community who had been working on developing SUSTAINERGY. SUSTAINERGY is a worker owned, residential energy savings company which sends specialists to conduct home energy assessments and retrofit homes for energy efficiency. Students were able to attend some the home assessments and delivered reports on communication strategies directly to the company throughout the semester.


Photo of Students and a Professor in a classroom

Economics Students Work on Green Infrastructure in Hamilton County

Students in Natural Resource Economics (ECON 320) worked on green infrastructure ideas and strategies for Hamilton County throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, they were able to share their projects and results with Steve Johns from Hamilton County's office of Planning and Development.