Sustainable Teaching Track

Instructors at all levels who want to infuse Sustainable Development Goals in their teaching are invited to this track. This track on the Master Teacher Certificate focuses on integrating critical problem solving into courses across the curriculum as tools for approaching wicked problems facing social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability.

Why participate in the Sustainable Teaching Track?

The Sustainable Teaching track can offer a number of benefits for instructors, including: 

required badges for sustainable teaching track

Ready to get started? 


Review the requirements of the Master Teacher Certificate
The prerequisite for the Master Teacher Certificate is the Teaching Scholar Certificate. The Master Teacher Certificate is structured to enhance instructor development by requiring participants to contribute to ETE's mission that "elevates and promotes our culture of teaching excellence." This secondary certificate is awarded by earning 10 more badges (4 engage,  3 implements, 3 contribute). 

All badges earned on the Master Teacher Certificate Pathway are in addition to those earned for the Teaching Scholar Certificate, totaling 20 badges overall. To review all the requirements of earning the Master Teacher Certificate and Sustainable Teaching track, visit the "ETE10 Pathways" page on the Empower Teaching Canvas course. 

Participate in the required badges 
There are five required badges for the Sustainable Teaching Track:
  1. Either the ETE Conference - 1st (Contribute) OR the Journal on ETE (Contribute) badge
    Description: Contributing back to our USU teaching community is important, therefore you have the choice to contribute either to the ETE Conference (through presenting) or to the Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence (JETE). For both of these contributes, you will share teaching practices/philosophies that you've implemented and how they impacted your teaching.
    Time to complete: Variable 
    When to register: JETE accepts proposals year round and publishes two issues a year, fall and spring. The call for proposals for the ETE Conference opens in March of each year and the Conference is on the third Wednesday of August annually. Check out the ETE Conference website for the most up-to-date information. 
  2. Either the SCOTs (Implement) OR the Peer Evaluation - Courses (Implement).
    Description: SCOTs are Student Collaborators on Teaching involving undergraduate students that can provide instructors with feedback on their teaching practices and resources to enhance learning excellence at USU. Peer evaluation is an excellent way to find areas of your instruction where you can further develop.
    Time to complete: Variable dependent on the implementation 
    When to register: The SCOTs program operates throughout the year. Instructors can request a meeting with a SCOT at any time by completing this form. Peer evaluations can be found either in your department/college or can be requested on the ETE Peer Evaluations Webpage. 
  3. ETE Learning Circle - Sustainable Teaching - 1st (Engage)
    Description: Every semester, ETE runs a number of learning circles, where instructors and/or graduate students get together to discuss a book related to pedagogy or college teaching. This ETE Learning Circle is specific to a topic relating to Sustainable Teaching. You can expect to meet with your learning circle 6-10 times a semester. 
    Time to complete: 1 semester (6-10 one-hour meetings)
    When to register: Registration usually opens 2-3 weeks before the start of each semester. Check out the learning circles website to find out what circles are coming up and to sign up.
  4. Planetary Thinking in the Curriculum Workshop (Implement)
    Description: This workshop is customized to and led by USU faculty that brings colleagues together to engage in shared inquiry over how to creatively incorporate issues of sustainability into their teaching.
    Time to complete: 2 days
    When to register: Applications for each workshop open in the Spring semester. To be alerted, sign-up for faculty updates for announcements and reminders. The workshop is typically held the Tuesday and Wednesday after graduation.
  5. ETE Sparkshop - Sustainable Teaching (Engage)
    Description: ETE Sparkshops were created to "spark" creative ideas and methods for instructors. ETE Sparkshops are about 45-minute virtual events that are held 3-4 times a semester. Sparkshops can be requested by departments to be presented to their instructors, or can be requested by an instructor directly. The topics for Sparkshops vary, as do their length.
    Time to complete: 1-2 hours
    When to register: You can turn in this assignment at any time throughout the year. There is usually one Sustainable Teaching sparkshop each year. 
Additional recommended events for the Sustainable Teaching Track include:
      1. Planetary Thinking in the Curriculum Workshop (Contribute)
      2. ETE Sparkshop – Diversity Mentorship & Inclusive Teaching (Engage)
      3. Inclusive Excellence Symposium (Engage)
Submit badge assignment to Empower Teaching
After you have engaged in the content of a badge (for example, once you have completed the Learning Circle) you should submit the badge assignment in Empower Teaching. To submit a badge, navigate to  the "Submit a Badge" page in Empower Teaching and click on "Start Assignment" at the top right of the screen.  To earn the badge, you will have to fulfill all the "Criteria" outlined for that badge. Make sure that you respond to the prompts for the Sustainable Teaching track.
Track your progress in Pathways
After you submit a badge to Empower Teaching, an ETE staff member will read through your reflection and either award you the badge or ask for additional information to award you the badge. If additional information is needed, the ETE staff member will indicate what information to add in a submission comment and ask you to re-submit the assignment. Once you have been awarded the badge, you can track which badges you've earned and which badges you still need using the "Badges" tab in the Empower Teaching course.

Still have questions? 

Email us at