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A primary function of colleges and universities is to educate students. By training and educating future leaders, scholars, workers and professionals, higher education institutions are uniquely positioned to prepare students to understand and address sustainability challenges. Institutions that conduct courses relevant to sustainability issues help equip their students to lead society to a sustainable future.

Many academic programs and courses related to sustainability are offered on campus, but currently there is not one program dedicated exclusively to sustainability. In 2013, the Energy and Sustainability minor was launched as the first UH program to identify specifically with sustainability and also caters to students interested in a career in the energy sector. The minor is housed in the Bauer College of Business, but there are plans to transition the minor to the Honors College to encourage multi-disciplinary curriculum development and more student participation across campus.