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At Prescott College, We Take it Outside

Prescott College Logo

At Prescott College, We
Take it Outside

Prescott College Logo

At Prescott College, We
Take it Outside

Sustainable Food Systems

At Prescott College, we believe that a classroom is more than just four walls. Our classrooms are places, like mountains, forests, cities, and farms. With a mission to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world, we solve problems by getting into the field and taking action. Our students are educators, activists, counselors, researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We are inspired by all those we meet, while making a difference in our local and global communities. We don't only learn within the classroom. At Prescott College, we take it outside.

Food System perspectives are emerging to ensure our food security and wellbeing in the face of inequities, the profound impact of human-induced climate change, and increased pressure on natural resources and organisms. Food systems encompass all of the elements and activities associated with what we eat and what nourishes us: growing, harvesting, processing, distributing, marketing, consuming and waste.

Students will learn how to produce food in their communities with an emphasis on localized, urban and suburban farming systems. Prescott College’s Sustainable Food Systems undergraduate degree program is grounded in the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “10 Elements of Agroecology” because “...agroecology is the basis for evolving food systems that are equally strong in environmental, economic, social and agronomic dimensions.”

Students pursuing a degree in SFS will take many courses across Prescott College departments (see courses that begin with: ENV, SCD, CRS, HDP, EDU and ALE depending on the emphasis area). Please consult those departments’ advising documents. Some required courses may be gained through EcoLeague exchanges, international field or transfer courses.

Through the SFS program, students will gain:

  • ecological literacy through studying diversity, synergies and efficiencies in agroecological systems;
  • global and cultural literacy by learning about human and social values and how those are expressed in culture and food traditions; and
  • the competence for applying their skills to co-create and share knowledge for community wellbeing.

Students pursuing a degree in Sustainable Food Systems are well positioned to participate in most accelerated master’s degree programs at Prescott College (for ex., Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS)). Graduates completing their degree in Sustainable Food Systems have a competitive advantage in careers associated with any aspect of the food system due to their systems-level knowledge and practical skills. In their professions, graduates may apply sustainable food system concepts to ensure community food sovereignty; to adapt agricultural systems to conserve and enhance ecosystems services; to find leverage points in policy and community planning practices; and to examine sustainable business practices from farm to table.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • With Emphasis in Environmental Justice and Communities
  • With Emphasis in Marine Studies
  • With Emphasis in Environmental Education (see Education Advising Document)
  • Individualized emphasis (for example, any of the 10 Elements of Agroecology, or no declared emphasis area)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Ecological Literacy Demonstrate the ability to analyze different components of a food system -- origins, production, processing, distribution, preparation, consumption and waste -- in order to assess biodiversity, ecological , economic and social sustainability.
  • Global & Cultural Literacy Understand global environmental, socio-economic and policy environments and how theories of power and social change can support just food systems.
  • Inquiry, Analysis & Synthesis Develop analytical capacities to understand agroecological systems (ecological+human systems), including global and regional differences.
  • Civic Engagement Apply professional tools and skills to support sustainable practices to further community development

Ready to jump in?

Start your application for Spring, Summer or Fall 2023 today.


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