Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.26
Liaison Tom Twist
Submission Date June 16, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bates College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Tom Twist
Sustainability Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

2016 Student Sustainability Survey

1. Which of the following statements best describes your level of interest in sustainability?
a. I have a passion for sustainability
b. I have considerable interest in sustainability
c. I think it’s important but am pretty neutral about sustainability
d. I have little or no interest in sustainability
2. Did you participate in any environmental clubs/events/campaigns/actions in high school?
□ Yes (If yes, please specify) ______________________________________________________________________
□ No

3. How do you recycle at home?
a. I comingle cardboard, plastics, paper, metal and glass in one bin
b. I separate paper and plastic
c. I don't recycle
d. Other(please specify)

4. Do you shut off your computer at night?
□ yes □ no

5. Do you think environmental degradation is a problem you can affect with your daily actions?
□ Yes, I strongly agree □ Yes, I agree somewhat □ I’m not sure □ I disagree □ I strongly disagree

6. Which of the following statements best describes the term “sustainability?”
e. Protection of the environment
f. Living sparse and eating vegetarian
g. Equal attention to economic well-being, strong community connections, and a healthy environment
h. Understanding your impact on the environment

7. What best explains your personal motivation to become involved in sustainability-related behaviors? (Rank all that apply)
a. Personal concern and beliefs
b. Information I have gotten from news sources
c. Saving money
d. Friend/peer influence

8. On a scale of 1-7, how important is it for you to reduce your personal energy use? (Circle the desired number)
(Less Important) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Most Important)

9. What do you think is the most effective way students at Bates can reduce their energy use? (Rank by order of importance)
a. Short showers (4 minutes or less)
b. Turning off computers and laptops every evening
c. Turning off lights
d. Keeping windows closed during the winter

10. What resources would you find most beneficial to help you learn more about sustainability or environmental issues? (Circle all that apply)
a. Email communication
b. Courses on environment/sustainability topics
c. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.)
d. On-campus signs and flyers
e. Training workshops (e.g. how to build a worm bin)
f. Co-curricular programs

11. How much time would you be willing to spend on projects to make your campus house/dorm a more sustainable place?
□ 0 hours □ 1-2 hours per week □ 2-4 hours per week □ 4 or more hours per week

12. Which opportunities would you be most likely to participate in?
Yes No Maybe
a. ‘Trashion’ Show □ □ □
b. EcoService Day □ □ □
c. Paid EcoRep position □ □ □
d. Periodic EnviroLunches □ □ □
e. Off campus activism □ □ □

13. Over the next year how often do you anticipate getting around campus/Lewiston/Auburn via the following?
Never Rarely Sometimes Always/Most of the time
Driving………………………………. □ □ □ □
Walking…………………………….. □ □ □ □
Biking………………………………… □ □ □ □
Skateboard……………………….. □ □ □ □
Public transport/shuttles…... □ □ □ □
Carpooling with friends….... □ □ □ □

14. What current problems are sustainability initiatives trying to address today? Please check all that apply:
i) Climate Change
ii) Habitat Degradation
iii) Access to clean drinking water
iv) Waste Management

15. Space heating is the largest sector of fossil fuel use for buildings in the Northeast. Please define the concept of a thermal envelope, and what role it has in energy efficiency in this sector.

16. What percentage of potable water is actually consumed by people?

17. What percentage energy reduction could one expect from switching from incandescent bulbs to LEDs?

18. What is the difference between recycling and down-cycling?

19. What is physically happening to food that is being composted?

20. What is the approximate lifespan of a solar panel?

21. How do the life cycle costs of an electric car compare to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine?

Thank you for completing our survey!

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

The literacy assessment tool was created by the sustainability office's EcoReps as an amendment to their sustainability workshops for the Junior Advisers and Resident Coordinator staff. They were administered at the beginning and end of these workshops to test for knowledge retention and to help inform the content delivered.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

The EcoReps gave this survey to the dorm Junior Advisers and Resident Coordinators at the college. This group is a subset of the total student body, numbering about 50 students. The literacy assessment was administered both before and after sustainability enrichment workshops put on by the EcoReps for this group.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Students tended to do well on the Bates-specific and engagement questions, but did more poorly on the global questions on sustainability. Overall, there was a 45% increase in scores from prior to post- workshop.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.