Beginning this spring, University of Central Florida students who have a passion for sustainability and the environment can turn their interests into a university recognition.
The Green Graduate Certification Program recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who have committed significant time to UCF’s environmental movement. It was created by E.Co, the Student Government Association’s environmental coalition.
As part of the certification, students will receive a certificate from UCF that acknowledges their commitment to being “green,” as well as a green cord to wear at commencement.
The goal of the certification program is to renew a focus on environmental education and awareness on campus among undergraduate and graduate students. After they graduate from UCF, the hope is that certification holders will continue working toward a more sustainable future.
Getting students to think about going “green” has been a challenge in the past, said SGA Sustainability Specialist Julian Belilty, who proposed the idea to the Registrar’s Office in the fall.
The certification program will address that challenge by directly connecting students with environmental opportunities on campus and rewarding them for their efforts.
“This program is an ideal way to incentivize student academic integration, action and leadership,” Belilty said. “Plus, given the current economy, the certification and the work put into earning it can help students stand out as they enter the workforce and compete for jobs.”
To earn the certification, students must complete tasks in the areas of academics, leadership and involvement.
Tasks vary but include enrolling in one of UCF’s sustainability courses, working a green job or internship, volunteering at one of UCF’s environmental events, and holding a leadership position within an environmental student organization.
A portfolio that details steps taken to earn the certification is required before the recognition can be awarded. E.Co’s board of directors reviews students’ work and approves it for certification.
For more information about the program or to apply for certification, visit https://www.green.ucf.edu/get-involved/environmental-courses/.