Public Act 97-241 "Green" Industry Jobs

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is required to annually publicize on their Internet websites information concerning efforts made by State universities and community colleges to promote the green technology industry, including the development of new academic degrees and certificate programs, courses of instruction, and initiatives made by these State universities and community colleges to align green jobs programs with employer needs.  (Public Act 97-241, effective 8/4/2011)

Governors State University has a deep commitment toward preparing our students, traditionally underserved and marginalized in public higher education, for the jobs of tomorrow in a global economy while contributing to the ongoing stewardship of the environment, at an affordable tuition rate.  That commitment is not just in our degree programs and course offerings, but modeled in the efforts of the students, faculty, and staff of Governors State University to look for sustainable and environmental solutions and programming that creates and promotes “Green” Jobs and, in the long-term, saves money for the university and the state of Illinois.

Degree Offerings

In the fall of 2014, Governors State University admitted its first class of first-year students to take lower-division coursework.  These new students elect to join one of three thematic groups which will form a learning community and cohort throughout their lower-division studies.  Students within the cohort will take up to 13 credit hours together each term (in addition to three independent hours in areas of their choice).  The three cohorts are: Civic Engagement, Global Citizenship, and Sustainability, and the program is designed to offer dedicated programming, coursework, and collaboration on these critical issues, preparing students for dedicated study in their upper-division degree program starting at the end of their second year of collegiate study.

At the undergraduate level in upper-division study, the bachelor’s degree program in Biology,  prepares students with the latest technology and teaching methods for careers in the life sciences as well as the field of environmental science and sustainability. Students earning bachelor’s degrees and non-degree-seeking students can earn a certificate in Biotechnology and Bio-Analysis, certificate in Biotechnology and Bio-Analysis.  These degree programs are available to direct-entry and transfer-entry students, including those through our nationally-recognized Dual Degree Program which provides a pipeline for students from study at the community college to “Green” and sustainable jobs after completion of a bachelor’s degree.

At the master’s degree level a Master of Science degree in Environmental Biology,  prepares students for work as professional biologists with a strong environmental emphasis.  Governors State University is uniquely located where urban and rural areas meet, allowing students to explore a diverse range of complex environments.  Internships are available with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of Will County, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Brookfield Zoo, and the Argonne National Laboratory, among many other locations. 

Coursework available to degree-seeking students and those who are not seeking a degree plan but with to augment their existing knowledge and skills to be better prepared for employment in “Green” industries is listed below.  More information on courses and programs can be found in the university catalog.

ANTH-1100 (Cultural Anthropology)

ANTH-4100 (Urban Anthropology)

ANTH-4610 (Ethnographic Research Methods)

ANSO-3099 (Junior Seminar in Anthropology and Sociology)

ANSO-3300 (Ecology, Environment, and Culture)

ANSO-4300 (Food, Culture, and Society)

BIOL-1200/1201 (Environmental Biology, Lecture/Laboratory)

BIOL-2104/2109 (Biological Science Foundations II, Lecture/Laboratory)

BIOL-3118 (Environmental Studies: A Case Studies Approach)

BIOL-3322/3323 (Ecology, Lecture/Laboratory)

BIOL-4140/4141/4142/4143/4144/4145/4146/4147/4148/4149/4150 (Natural History Topics in Biology)

BIOL-6101/6102/6103/6104/6105/6106/6107 (Environmental Science Topics)

BIOL-6516 (Topics in Ecology)

CHEM-111/112 (Chemical Science Foundations, Lecture/Laboratory)

CHEM-1141/1142/1143/1144 (General Chemistry I and II, Lecture/Laboratory)

CHEM-4155 (Chemical Literature)

CHEM-5145/5146 (Environmental Chemistry, Lecture/Laboratory)

ENGL-4483 (Literature of the Environment)

PADM-8400 (Seminar in Public and Strategic Planning)

SOC-1100 (Introduction to Sociology)

SOC-3200 (Social Inequalities)

SOC-3500 (Population Studies)

SOC-4400 (Social Movements)

Modeling Sustainability and Environmental Advocacy as a University

In addition to our degree offerings, Governors State University offers programming based around environmental issues, takes efforts to protect the local and global environment through good stewardship of our planet, and looks for efficiencies through sustainable practice.  More information on university sustainability measures can be found below and at our university sustainability website.

Large-scale programming on campus

  • GSU is a signatory to the America College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, showcasing our promise toward reducing our carbon footprint.
  • GSU employs a full-time Environmental Health and Safety officer.
  • Annual participation as a campus in Earth Week celebrations.
  • Partner with local corporations and cities (e.g., City of Chicago Heights; Solvay, University Park; NuFarm, Chicago Heights) for litter clean-up on Earth Day.
  • Campus Clean-up of the Thorn Creek watershed.
  • GSU's Sustainable Garden in which faculty, staff and students rent a lot for gardening.
  • Vet Tech in which small appliances are repaired by Veterans who receive training.  The appliances are then reused or recycled.
  • Hydration stations across campus, energy-efficient lighting with vacancy/occupancy controls, multiple scene light controls in classrooms for reduced lighting levels, night light control system to monitor and control current fixtures and future installations.
  • DDC controls for local AHU and HVAC systems.

Campus sustainability practices

  • Use of bio-solids on university-owned farm land.
  • Use of beet juice instead of road salt in the winter to combat ice on all paved surfaces and sidewalks.
  • Make sure of a 64 panel solar-thermal system, offsetting the cost of hot water heating for its shower rooms and 168,000 gallon swimming pool, and displacing approximately 40 therms of natural gas daily.
  • Recycling lamps and batteries which eliminates more than 150 CFL lamps, 160 HID lamps, 230 Non-PCB Ballast, 120 2' Linear lamps, 180 3' Linear lamps, 1,000 4' Linear lamps, and 1,200 alkaline batteries.

Campus environmental stewardship practices

  • Recycling is available in every department and classroom.
  • Use of bio-friendly cleaning products throughout the university by the Housekeeping department.
  • Large-scale organic farming on university-owned farm land and the use of a Conservation Agriculture plan.
  • Installation of permeable pavers in the parking lot to promote effective drainage.
  • Installation of bio-swales.
  • Roller-brushing snow off surfaces to limit use of melting products.

Energy Performance Contract highlights

  • Campus energy audit.
  • Implementing Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) across campus.
  • Heating, Cooling, Air Handling controls
  • Lighting and motion sensors to limit unnecessary lighting.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 metric tons annually.
  • Generate annual guaranteed energy savings.