It's a busy time of the year for students at the University of Illinois campus. Students are anxious to start classes for a new semester and many of them have enrolled in exciting and educational courses. Here at Illinois, there are many opportunities for students to major or minor in environmental studies programs. Two colleges within the university offer a diverse selection of majors and minors from environmental engineering to earth systems. Such majors require 60 or more hours of coursework pertinent to that particular field of study.
In addition to majoring in environmental studies, students are also given the option to minor in environmental programs. As a journalism major, I recently added an environmental fellows minor to my resume. To fulfill the minor, I'm required to take 18 hours worth of classes relevant to sustainability, ecology, earth systems and the human response to environmental policies and changes. There are at least 50 different classes in which I can fulfill my course requirements while also learning new, educational material.
This semester I enrolled in "plants and their uses," "humanity in the food web" and "nature religion." All of which satisfy my minor requirements, and have already impressed me. For example, Humanity in the Food Web is a class version of the film "Food, Inc." Not only is the course interesting, but the textbooks and other related content are extremely relevant to today's earth awareness.
Other course titles that a lot of students take include: urban geography, environmental law and policy, renewable energy systems, fish and wildlife ecology, plants and global change, and dynamic simulation of natural resource problems, just to name a few. Although many of these advanced courses require prerequisites, there seems to be a class for every type of student — environmental major or not!
Grab your backpack and sharpen your pencils, and re-think the value of going back to school. If state universities aren't an option, U of I offers extension programs in surrounding areas, as well as online courses. Knowledge is power, it's time to educate ourselves with global issues!