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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030090

Sustainability in Higher Education: Perceptions of Social Responsibility among University Students

1
Department of Engineering Technology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
2
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
3
Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract

Many construction-related training and education programs in the United States have now embraced the concept of sustainability, offering sustainable construction courses that highlight sustainable design and construction practices. These courses have mainly focused on green building strategies for the design and construction of built environments and indoor environmental quality necessary for students’ knowledge enhancement and career development. This study examined the effect of sustainability course on students’ knowledge as well as their perceptions of social responsibility and sustainable behaviors. Data were collected by conducting a survey from construction related programs in U.S. universities. Students were categorized based on their experience of taking such course(s), and results were compared in terms of their environmental concerns, objective and subjective knowledge, and sustainable consumer behaviors by conducting independent two-sample t-tests. The purpose of this study was to examine sustainable behaviors and social responsibility perceptions among U.S. university students enrolled in construction-related courses. The results indicated that environmental concern and sustainable consumer behavior scores were significantly lower among students who had taken the course than those who had not. Both objective and subjective knowledge scores were relatively low. There was no difference between the two groups in objective knowledge scores and unexpectedly, subjective knowledge was significantly lower among students who had taken the course than those who had not. The findings of this study provide implications for sustainability curriculum development that can enhance students’ learning experience. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability education; sustainable construction education; social responsibility; sustainable consumer behavior sustainability education; sustainable construction education; social responsibility; sustainable consumer behavior
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Jung, Y.; Park, K.; Ahn, J. Sustainability in Higher Education: Perceptions of Social Responsibility among University Students. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 90.

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