Community College Connection
The Cape Cod Center for Sustainability and Cape Cod
Community College are in the preliminary stages of forging a
partnership. This page will present the progress of this process toward
Those involved are very enthusiastic. To tap into this enthusiasm,
please read two excerpts from articles, one from The Mainsheet,
the campus newspaper, and one by Allen Larson from the op-ed page of The
Cape Cod Times.
from The Mainsheet 10/22
Center for Sustainability Looking to Join Forces With CCCC
By Dawn Hingen
Allen Larson, president of the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability, would
like to see his center set up shop at Cape Cod Community College...
Larson, who is also a member of the CCCC Board of Trustees, hopes to get
a working group of people together as soon as possible to start
assessing the various options of bringing the center to campus. He says
it is important that this group of people come from faculty, students
"The long-term goal is to establish a chair at the college that
would connect the many things the college already does that fall into
the context of study that comprises sustainability," says Larson.
Larson envisions a community think-tank on campus, made up of experts in
various academic disciplines. Some of the disciplines included would be
environmental, economic, statistics, health, and social service areas.
The think-tank would provide a "gateway of fresh respectful
dialog," while considering local issues, Larson said.
According to Larson, "The goal is to present for public
consideration the kind of information that would help shape how the
public assesses policy questions and private sector proposals that are
part of our community dialogue here on the Cape & Islands."
He points out that the college already operates in ways that make it a
leader and innovator in related areas. Also, it is home to a host of
people with varied opinions, and from varied social and economic
backgrounds. These actors add up to the campus being a great place for
the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability.
"The Center for Sustainability is an excellent match for our
mission, and we look forward to talking with the leaders of the center
to find and develop the ways in which we can work together,"
CCCCpresident Kathleen Schatzberg says. "This will help us
accomplish our mission to serve our community in environmental
protection, in economic and workforce development, and in educating
those who will help our hospitals, school and other social agencies
respond to community needs."
Space is the only concern Schatzberg has concerning this proposal.
"Housing the center at the college is an excellent idea, and would
involve very minimal space initially." she says. "As both the
college and the center continue to grow, we need to be planning how we
will handle the increased need for space."
From A Letter by Allen Larson
Op-ed Page, The Cape Cod Times, 10/27
Nearly ninety days ago, on
July 30, the Cape Cod Times asked in its editorial whether the
Cape Cod Center for Sustainability possessed attributes that define a
flourishing organization: "a clear mission, community support, a
vast army of local volunteers, leadership, deep pockets." It also
asked whether the center could enlist support from "other community
organizations, the business sector and local and regional
government." The editorial frankly stated that our "overly
philosophical mission rarely intersected with concrete action."
Since the editorial appeared, we've considered these questions
carefully. We mailed questionnaires to past supporters and people
familiar with our programs and interests. We met formally with the heads
of local businesses and nonprofit organization. We talked informally
with people on the street. We used Internet search engines to study what
others do elsewhere. And as we did these things, we kept in the back of
our mind the suggestion that we needed to take more "concrete
action" consistent with the fundamental mission of our organization
to encourage economic and social development in a way that also
sustaiins the environment and our natural resources.
Since the end of August, we have assessed whether we can more
effectively fulfill this mission by establishing a sustainability center
at Cape Cod Community College. After all, the college faculty and
students possess the range of academic expertise and interest necessary
to any objective assessment of the potential impact of public policies
and private sector proposals on our environment, our economic
development, our social welfare, and our quality of life.
We considered the viability of a sustainability center with input
from the college's administrators, faculty, students, and staff. On
October 17th, we took a leap of faith and formally pledged to the
college that we would work to establish the center by raising money and
developing a more formal and complete business plan. Our purpose is
to build on the college's existing capacity to gather data and conduct
independent, unbiased studies relevant to any consideration of economic,
social, and environmental issues that affect the Cape & islands.
Operationally, a sustainability center that utilizes the college's
existing curriculum as its academic base can complement the applicaton
of these course studies and also encourage efforts to define ways to
link environmental and social sciences, with business and liberal arts
offerings. Outside the curriculum context, a nonpartisan and unbiased
center could also bring together key leaders and people from across the
poitical spectrum to share information and examine how we might best
resolve economic, environmental, and social issues.
Reactions to the first presentations we have made regarding this
propisal to groups both at the college and in the Cape community have
been positive and encouraging...
The signs are just as encouraging outside the college that businesses,
individuals and nonprofit organizations will support this initiative.
In addition to our pledge to raise money to establish the center, we
will also convene a working group to develop a business plan outlining
how the center will evolve. Already, we have received positive responses
in both of these areas. We have received specific pledges totaling
fifteen thousand dollars at the same time that people expressed an
interest to join the working group...
...The spirit and drive to
suceed that typify the students who attend the college will catalyze the
center with energy, enthusiasm, and a commitment to this place. The
support and guidance that the administration and faculty offer will add
complementary experience and mature guidance. And this venture will
flourish to the extent that we connect it to the Cape and islands