Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.99
Liaison Denice Koljonen
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Boston College
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 1.00 Jennifer Foley
Project Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

Thesis students at Boston College gathered information for an analysis of Boston College’s sustainability through a survey of the student population at Boston College, informal interviews with campus sustainability officials and leaders, and desk research at Boston College and its competitor universities’ sustainability websites. In order to obtain a robust understanding of sustainability at Boston College, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The main method of collecting data was through the use of an online survey of undergraduate and graduate students at Boston College. This survey aimed to collected both quantitative and qualitative data from respondents. Other methods of collecting data included in-person and e-mail interviews with relevant sustainability groups on Boston College’s campus.

A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

See attached document above - "EN 6 Questions related to Sustainability"

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

Two surveys were given to groups of students, staff, faculty, and administrators at Boston College. These surveys were assessed (see above). Further qualitative data were collected through in-person and online email inquiries. Persons of interest that were targeted for in-person interviews included professors in economics and sociology, as well as the president of the Investments Club on campus. Online email inquiries were sent to the presidents and administrative teams of twenty-six clubs and organizations on campus that address sustainability issues on campus and in the greater local and global community. These inquiries were used to create a master database of clubs and organizations, noting their affiliation with the university, mission statement, number of members, activities, and accomplishments. In order to understand the culture of sustainability within Boston College’s administration and structural governance, researchers collected data from Boston College’s website of public statements from Boston College addressing the topic of sustainability, including goals, promises, and missions. These findings were compared to other schools of a similar demographic, specifically other Jesuit Catholic schools. These findings were to be referenced alongside survey data on the topic of student agency and engagement with administrative initiatives at Boston College to further understand the administrative culture of sustainability on campus and how that affects the student body at Boston College.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Our survey results and institutional assessment indicate that Boston College is making progress in its culture of sustainability, though it has room for improvement. Boston College could improve in holistically demonstrating the characteristics of current scholarly definitions of a “culture of sustainability” and “sustainable university.” Students express a moderate to high interest and concern for sustainability and climate change, but their actions in campus involvements, residential life advocacy, and engagement with sustainability-related curriculum reveal somewhat of an incongruence between their reported values and behaviors.
The assessment also revealed the plethora of initiatives happening on campus that bolster Boston College’s culture of sustainability. There are sustainability-related clubs, sustainability-related courses and research opportunities, dining initiatives, and operations initiatives.
Boston College puts forth many efforts to build a culture of sustainability, but it may be the case that these efforts require a greater common denominator for collections and greater impact.

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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