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Colleges See Green in Sustainability Studies

Schools around the US are developing new programs related to the environment. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

We talked last week about a movement to build environmentally friendly school buildings in the United States. Today we look at the spread of "green" studies in higher education.

Many colleges and universities around the country now offer programs in sustainability studies. These programs combine environmental science, social science, economics, agriculture, renewable energy and other subjects.

Antioch University in New Hampshire and Maharishi University of Management in Iowa are just two of the schools with sustainability programs. At Dominican University of California, near San Francisco, students can receive a master's of business administration in sustainable enterprise. School officials say their Green MBA brings together the aims of the financial world with those of the social justice and environmental movements.

This year, Arizona State University opened its Global Institute of Sustainability. The aim is to do research across many departments, then bring that information to schools, businesses and industries.

Arizona State has also launched a School of Sustainability. Like many sustainability programs, this one grew out of an existing environmental studies program.

The school is just starting its first academic year. Students can take courses towards a master's degree or a doctorate in sustainability. And the school will soon offer undergraduate programs.

Officials say the School of Sustainability aims to educate a new generation of leaders to solve environmental, social and economic problems.

But experts sometimes question whether students who study sustainability will be able to sustain themselves by finding jobs.

Charles Redman is the director of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He says more and more local governments around the country are forming sustainability committees that need environmental experts. And he says companies increasingly want experts who know how to make businesses as environmentally responsible as possible.

He cannot talk yet about graduates of his own school, since it has just started. But he says he does know that among colleges and universities, there is a high demand for professors who can teach sustainability.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Dana Demange. Last week's report about green schools can be found at I'm Steve Ember.