Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 87.10
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Arizona State University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 11.98 / 14.00 Alex Davis
Program Manager
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 4,121 2,468
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 122 111
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 509 243

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :

This course inventory was completed with support from the University Technology Office, School of Sustainability, and University Sustainability Practices. The data set used for this report reflects one academic year - Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019.

The following logic was used to filter our course catalog and create the data set that we ultimately inventoried:
- Courses with zero enrollment were removed
- Individually-directed courses were removed
- Remedial English Courses & ASU Bridge/Orientation Courses were removed
- Non-credit courses were removed
- Courses that are strictly practice-oriented, e.g. medical courses dedicated to clinical practice, art courses dedicated to performance, technique, or composition, and physical education courses that are activity-based were removed.
- Cross-listed courses were removed
- Duplicate sections were removed

The final data set provided by UTO was further reviewed to filter out ROTC courses as their content is determined by an external body. It was also reviewed to remove additional practice-oriented courses that were not automatically removed by UTO.

To identify sustainability-focused and sustainability-inclusive courses, the following steps were taken:

(1) Courses offered through the School of Sustainability were automatically designated as sustainability-focused -- generally courses with the following prefixes:
SOS (School of Sustainability)
BMY (Biomimicry)
EMS (Executive Sustainability Leadership)
SFS (Sustainable Food Systems)

(2) Sustainability Scientists and Scholars across ASU were surveyed to identify courses that may not have appeared to be sustainability-related based on their catalog descriptions.

(3) Course descriptions were reviewed to determine if courses were clearly identifiable as sustainability-focused based on the criteria in the Technical Manual

(4) Course descriptions were reviewed to determine if courses had connections to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets in order to mark them as sustainability-inclusive.

(5) The Office of the Provost sent an email out to deans asking them to help identify sustainability courses in their areas.

(1) Some special topics courses did not have full descriptions available in the course catalog. In these instances, course titles were reviewed for clear connections to sustainability.

(2) When considering sustainability-inclusive courses, efforts were made to differentiate between conceptual courses that would provide knowledge that was useful in sustainability work with those that applied it to real-world situations. For example, SWU 320, Research Methods in Social Work, was not marked as a sustainability-inclusive course (Course description: Applies scientific principles to field practice, problem formulation, intervention procedures, and impact assessment in social work.) However, SWU 374, Diversity and Oppression in Social Work was marked as a sustainability-inclusive course (Course description: Issues of social inequality related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Emphasizes populations of the Southwest.)

(3) During the reporting process, individual faculty and deans provided feedback about which courses in their areas were sustainability-focused or sustainability inclusive. Faculty were provided with the STARS definitions for both course designation options. Most faculty simply marked their courses as "inclusive" or "focused" and did not provide additional information about how their course addressed sustainability. Given this limited information, each faculty identified course was individually reviewed. For the most part, courses identified by faculty as "inclusive" or "focused" were entered as such into our inventory. However, approximately 25% of courses identified by faculty as "inclusive" or "focused" were not entered as such based on the available information and context.

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted:

Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections. For example, if a course had multiple sections that were offered over different campuses (including online) or over different semesters, the course was only counted once.

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Notes regarding the number of departments reported for AC-1, Academic Courses and AC-9, Research and Scholarship:

Academic departments are defined in varying ways across ASU to encourage trans-disciplinary research.

For the purposes of AC-1 and AC-9, departments were determined using two criteria:
(1) If they are the academic sub-division of a "school" or "college" headed by a dean. Note that not all divisions headed by a dean have further subdivisions and that some "schools" or "colleges" are not headed by a dean (and are thus counted as departments).
(2) If they are listed as "departments" as they are defined in this list of instructional faculty: https://catalog.asu.edu/faculty_list

Within the course inventory, while courses are listed with a subject (three letter prefix), departments are not included for each course because a given course may be offered by multiple departments (especially when a course may be offered on different campuses). In order to calculate course offerings by departments, departments were manually matched with sustainability courses where possible. The course catalog was further manually reviewed to confirm that a course was listed as being offered by that department.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.