Teaching ecological and social transitions … “Bachelor Law”, post-baccalaureate education ahead of its time?

“Commitment is learned”. The maxim could very well fit into the pediment of the Bachelor of Laws’ future premises at the Learning Planet Institute. An interdisciplinary research center in the heart of Paris, where this new post-baccalaureate education starts in September. In the meantime, it appears in capital letters in the presentation brochure. Right next to the logos of Cergy Paris University (CY) and Essec, a prestigious French business school whose main campus is located in Cergy.

Since 2017, the two institutions have come closer and closer as part of the “Excellence Initiative” program, which aims to create a territory with academic expertise in the western part of the Ile-de-France region. “There are exchanges of professors, students, joint research programs, an international development strategy …,” begins Aymeric Marmorat, who will be in charge of the day-to-day management of the Bachelor’s Act. But the challenge is also to develop a global roadmap that includes the challenges of sustainable world at all levels, from the organization of campuses to research and teaching. “

“Understanding the full complexity of transitions”

This “bachelor’s law” is part of this approach. The post-baccalaureate training aims to train those who will lead the transitions in three years’ time tomorrow. “Not only ecological, but also social and democratic, from which we did not want to decorate the problems as they are connected,” clarifies Aymeric Marmorat. in the program? Hard sciences (bio, physics, chemistry), but also courses in sociology and anthropology, political science, management or philosophy. “The challenge is for students to understand the full complexity of these transitions on all scales,” continues Aymeric Marmorat. From the planet and the living to man, through communities and organizations (companies, communities, associations). »

This is the first strength of the Bachelor’s Act for Amélie Deloche, a consultant in ecological change and recently graduated from Grenoble Business School. She remained a member of “For an Ecological Awakening”. A collective born of the manifesto, signed in September 2018 by 32,000 students, mainly from large schools, calling for better consideration of ecological issues by their future employers, but already now also their schools. “Even though it’s starting to change, the ideal of working for big business, the ‘big four’ of consulting firms, remains very entrenched, she begins. This bachelor’s law shakes up the codes with a multidisciplinarity rarely found in traditional courses. This will open up new fantasies and, by extension, new outlets. “

In line with the Jouzel report

Such a highly specialized education already exists within the Grandes Ecoles, “but at the master’s level”, declares Gérald Majou de la Debuterie, responsible for sustainable development at the Conference of the Grandes Ecoles, an association that brings together 227. Previously especially at the bachelors [des cursus en trois ou quatre ans après le bac]”we are in a classical approach where we digest” siloed “knowledge [sans forcément faire de passerelles entre les matières] “A framework in the process of being pushed? In February 2020, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, asked a working group led by climatologist Jean Jouzel to reflect on how to” teach ecological conversion in higher education “. The results were published. on February 16. Main recommendation: “integrate the ecological transition into existing teaching with the aim of training 100% of students at Bac + 2 level, regardless of their course, within five years”.

The Bachelor’s Act is right in there. The idea is to even go beyond just understanding the challenges of transitions. “Another fundamental axis will be to develop the critical spirit of our students,” explains Alexis Mormoral. primarily aiming to provide the keys to being able to act.After three years, students should be able to design and lead a project, “from developing a business model to marketing and communications, including the basics of law,” Aymeric specifies Marmorat. “Leading transition projects also requires very different profiles to work in the same direction,” he continues. Engineers, business leaders, technicians, elected representatives … We want to work a lot with team leadership, the ability to debate both in writing and orally. “

No lectures but a pedagogy by action

Right program, therefore. But that should reassure more than one, the Bachelor Act does not allow for partiales or lectures. “We will be very much on the field,” promises Aymeric Marmorat. Students will be asked to make a carbon balance and a diagnosis of the territory to create a company in the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS). It is on the reproduction of these projects , that they will be graded.Each year will also include internships, the third can be performed on a work-study basis and provides, if not, a semester abroad.

This is another cornerstone of the Bachelor’s Act: lessons are learned through experience. Here, too, Aymeric Marmorat wants to adapt to the expectations of the new generations, while every other young person declares, according to certain studies, to suffer from eco-anxiety. “One of the reasons is the feeling of facing huge problems that cut down. Of their ability to act, he analyzes. We seek to give it back to them with the idea that through the three years and the projects they perform, discovering their path little by little. ”

Enter the professional world or pursue a master’s degree

Aymeric Marmorat targets careers in sustainable development, corporate social responsibility (CSR), territorial development as career paths for its future students … ESS ”, he lists, with the certainty that there will be jobs to be filled. He cites in particular the 2021 study from Birdeo, a recruitment firm specializing in CSR, according to which 40% of executives plan to recruit sustainable development professionals over the next twelve months. But getting into the professional world is not the only option under the Bachelor of Laws. “Another is especially taking a master’s degree in order to apply for a specialization,” he continues. We have identified at least sixteen that match very well. »

Upcoming candidates had until Tuesday night to stop their ten training requests at Parcoursup. “160 students, from all over France and even from abroad, had put the Bachelor Act on their list,” Aymeric Marmorat said last Friday. Sufficient a priori to fill the 30 places open for the first start of the school year. Although the CEO of the Bachelor of Laws at this point says he is a bit vague. “Admittedly, the education is characterized by Essec and CY, but it always requires a portion of courage to start a completely new course,” he says. But it is precisely the transition that calls for everyone’s courage. In the long run, the Bachelor Act hopes to welcome 150 students a year.

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