Abstract

Using the survey approach, this investigation examined the attitudes and interest of college students at two universities in different geographic locations within the United States. Approximately 24,000 students from all disciplines and majors at Weber State University (WSU) in Utah, and 4,000 at Purdue University in Indiana, were invited to participate in a study to determine current knowledge, familiarity, and interest in topics within the sustainability and Green Building educational arena. The goal of this study was to determine what students already know, would like to know, and how much interest there would be in developing a general elective course offered to students from all majors on sustainability in the built environment. Currently, neither university offers such curriculum generally: it is limited to students in the architecture, construction management, or engineering programs to receive general elective credit towards graduation. The theory is that students from all disciplines are interested and would take a general elective course based on Green Building in the built environment concepts. The title of the course could potentially be; “How to Green Your Home”. Based upon the survey results and analysis, several outcomes suggest that students across all majors are indeed interested in greening their built environment. The data highlights what is currently understood, as well as areas in which education may be lacking. This contribution includes an outline of teaching implications as well as recommendations as to what, how, and where Green Building should be taught at the college level. The findings of this study suggest that a general elective course, multi-disciplinary in its approach, is both needed and wanted by university students.

Keywords

Green Building, Sustainability, General Education, Curriculum

Date of this Version

4-27-2011

Department

Building Construction Management

Department Head

Dr. Robert Cox

Month of Graduation

May

Year of Graduation

2011

Degree

Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Gary Bertoline

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Kirk D. Alter

Committee Member 1

Daphene C. Koch

Committee Member 2

Wesley G. Crawford