Sustainability Pathways

Sustainability Pathways is a fellowship program that invests in professional growth and academic achievement for undergraduate students while bringing needed capacity to advance place-based sustainability initiatives in local organizations, schools, agencies, and businesses in the Methow and Okanogan Valleys. 

The goal of the program is to develop systems thinkers to address the complex sustainability challenges of our times. This is accomplished through forming a supportive cohort learning community, grounding the experience with a strong place-based context, and connecting students directly with interdisciplinary community-engaged projects.

Community Learning Lab Fellowship

Students from the 2021 Community Fellowship pose for a group photo with the Methow Valley's mountains behind them

Sustainability Pathways provides a community learning lab where a small cohort of fellows live in the Methow Valley for 10 weeks in the summer. The fellowship involves a paid professional work opportunity to help an organization in either the Methow or Okanogan Valley advance initiatives in sustainability, including, community health and equity, economic vitality, social justice, environmental quality, and place-based learning.

In 2021 we offered 16 fellowships for undergraduate students that worked with 14 partner organizations. Most positions are 24 hours per week, with a couple of exceptions. Please also note that some positions have the option of running longer into September as well. Most positions offer a combination of an hourly wage and housing.

Sustainability Pathways is being developed as a Career Connect Washington “Career Launch” program that aligns paid professional work experiences with academic courses.

Internship credit is also available (up to 8 credits for most positions) but not required.

Coursework

Campus Sustainability Planning Studio students Jonny Smith, Katie Boon, and Maia Heffernan present on their Youth Corps project

Fellows also learn as a cohort, enrolling in a section of the 3-credit Sustainability Planning Studio course (ENVS 471) that involves learning project management and leadership skills through applied, community-engaged projects. Past Campus Sustainability Planning Studio projects can be viewed here.

Depending on your major, the Sustainability Planning Studio course may be taken as an elective or may also be applied to the Sustainability Minor. Please consult with your advisor to see how 471 fits in your degree path.

This is an interdisciplinary program and students from all colleges and departments are encouraged to apply.

Check back soon to find out about the 2022 fellowships and when you can apply! This will also be announced in the Sustainability Newsletter.

If you have questions about the program, your application, or any of the fellowship positions, or you would like to be notified when the next application period opens, email Joshua.Porter@wwu.edu.