Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Benerd School of Education

First Advisor

Joanna Royce-Davis

First Committee Member

Dan Shipp

Second Committee Member

Thomas Nelson

Third Committee Member

Carol Brodie


Sustainability is a growing concept amongst education and throughout everyday life. This thesis takes a deeper look into what environmental sustainability indicates in terms of curriculum in co-curricular programming at the University of the Pacific and how that relates to current trends at other institutions in the tertiary sector. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the extent to which the Pacific Mountains, Ocean, Valley Experience (M.O.V.E.) impacted first-year students' awareness and understanding of sustainability. The students surveyed show strong evidence finding that first-year students who participated in M.O.V.E. (1) felt their experience provided them with new knowledge about sustainability and (2) felt comfortable defining what sustainability means to them. Definitions of economic, social, and environmental sustainability are given and provide evidence for overlapping relationships. A brief history regarding sustainability in relation to its evolution throughout higher education is reviewed. Many colleges and universities have become conscious to the ideas surrounding environmental

sustainability and have made many strides on their campuses to address this issue. Sustainability education is defined and issues surrounding its new development in higher education are addressed. There are various avenues colleges and universities take in order to fulfill environmentally sustainable practices, such as building LEED certified structures o·n campus, developing programs and curriculum to educate for eco-justice, and aligning mission statements to reflect the campus's commitment to sustainable practices. A further look into what criteria are being used to rate colleges and universities regarding their commitment to sustainable practices is assessed. This paper concludes with areas needed for further research on sustainability education with respect to methods of implementation and practice in higher education.



To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email