Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.16
Liaison Ellie Perry
Submission Date June 30, 2020

STARS v2.2

California State University, Dominguez Hills
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.85 / 14.00 Ellie Perry
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services

Criteria

Part 1. Sustainability course offerings

Institution offers sustainability course content as measured by the percentage of academic courses offered that are ​sustainability-focused​ or ​sustainability-inclusive​ (see Standards and Terms).

Part 2. Sustainability course offerings by department

Institution offers sustainability course content as measured by the percentage of ​academic departments(or the equivalent) with ​sustainability course offerings​.

Required documentation

Institution must provide an inventory conducted during the previous three years to identify its sustainability course offerings and describe for current and prospective students how each course addresses sustainability. For each course, the inventory must include:

  • The title, department (or equivalent), and level of the course (e.g., undergraduate or graduate).

  • A brief course description or rationale explaining why the course is included that references sustainability, the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems, or a sustainability challenge.

  • An indication of whether the course qualifies as sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive (or equivalent terminology).

A course may be sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive; no course should be identified as both. Courses for which partial or incomplete information is provided may not be counted toward earning points for this credit. This credit does not include continuing education and extension courses, which are covered by the Continuing Education credit in Public Engagement.

An institution that has developed a more refined approach to course classification may use that approach as long as it is consistent with the definitions and guidance provided.


Applicability

This credit applies to all institutions that have students enrolled for credit.


Scoring

An institution must identify and describe its sustainability course offerings per the minimum criteria outlined in Measurement to earn points for this credit. Each part is scored independently.

Part 1

An institution earns the maximum of 8 points for Part 1 of this credit if 20 percent or more of all courses offered are sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive. Incremental points are awarded based on the percentage of course offerings that meet the criteria. For example, an institution where 4 percent of all courses offered are sustainability-focused and 6 percent are sustainability-inclusive would earn 4 points (half of the points available for Part 1 of this credit).

Points for Part 1 of this credit are calculated automatically in the STARS Reporting Tool as follows:

Course type

Factor

 

Number of courses offered of each type

 

Total number of courses offered by the institution

 

Points earned

Sustainability- focused

40

×

______

÷

______

=

 

Sustainability- inclusive

40

______

 

Total points earned →

Up to 8

Part 2

An institution earns the maximum of 6 points for Part 2 of this credit when 90 percent or more of academic departments offer at least one sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive course. Incremental points are available based on the percentage of academic departments that have sustainability course offerings. For example, if 45 percent of the departments at an institution offered one or more sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive courses, that institution would earn 3 points (half of the points available for Part 2 of this credit).

Points for Part 2 of this credit are calculated automatically in the STARS Reporting Tool as follows:

Factor

 

Number of departments with sustainability course offerings

 

Total number of departments

 

Points earned

6.67

×

______

÷

______

=

Up to 6


Measurement

Timeframe

Report the most data available from within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission.

Institutions may choose to inventory and report course offerings from one, two, or three academic years, as long as both the total number of courses offered and the number of sustainability course offerings are measured during the same period.

Sampling and Data Standards

Part 1

Each institution is free to choose a methodology to identify sustainability course offerings that is most appropriate given its unique circumstances. Asking faculty and departments to self-identify courses that are sustainability-focused and sustainability-inclusive using the definitions outlined in ​Standards and Terms​ or looking at the stated learning outcomes and course objectives associated with each course may provide a richer view of sustainability course offerings than simply reviewing course descriptions, but it is not required.

To best reflect the number of opportunities students have to learn about sustainability, it is recommended that institutions count each time a course is offered as a separate course (e.g., a course with two sections taught in the fall term and two sections taught during spring term would count as four courses). To streamline the data gathering process, however, institutions may elect to count a course with multiple offerings as a single course as long as sustainability course offerings are counted in the same way as total course offerings. For example, a course that is held twice (or if there are two sections) in the fall term and once in the spring term may be counted as 3 courses or 1 course, as long as the institution’s course counting methodology is consistent. An institution that elects not to count each time a course is offered as a separate course should verify that 50 percent or more of the sections or offerings of a course are sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive.

Likewise, an institution may choose whether or not to count courses listed in multiple departments or academic divisions as separate courses. For example, a course that is cross-listed in two departments or that is listed as both an undergraduate and a graduate course may be counted as one or two courses, as long as the institution’s methodology is consistent.

The following course types may be excluded at the institution’s discretion, as long as they are excluded from both the count of sustainability course offerings and the count of total courses:

  • Individually-directed courses (e.g., thesis, independent study, practicum)

  • Courses of four or fewer students

  • Special topics courses (e.g., courses that address emerging issues or specialized content and that are not offered on an ongoing basis)

  • Required courses for which the content is dictated by external bodies or legislation and not under institutional control (e.g., legally mandated courses on research ethics)

  • Courses that are strictly practice-oriented, e.g.:

    • Medical courses dedicated to clinical practice.

    • Arts courses dedicated to performance, technique, or composition.

    • Physical education courses that are activity-based.

    • Trades courses dedicated to hands-on learning or practice.

Any exclusions must be documented in the public “Data source(s) and notes about the submission” field.

Courses must have been taught during the specified timeframe of one, two or three academic years to count (e.g., as opposed to being listed in a course catalog, but not taught).

Courses offered by outside entities (e.g., courses offered by other colleges that are part of a consortium with the institution or courses offered through study abroad programs that are not administered by the institution) should not be counted in the reporting institution’s course inventory. However, courses developed and offered jointly by multiple institutions that are listed in the reporting institution’s course catalog may be counted. In such circumstances, courses should be counted consistently. This means that if sustainability courses offered jointly by the participating institution and another entity are included in the inventory, jointly offered courses without sustainability content should be included as well.

Part 2

Each department with one or more sustainability course offerings may be counted toward Part 2 of this credit, even if the courses are offered or administered jointly with other departments. Courses that are offered independently of any department are not considered in Part 2.

An institution may exclude departments that exclusively offer practice-oriented courses (see above), as long as they are excluded from both the count of departments with sustainability course offerings and the count of total academic departments. Any exclusions must be documented in the public “Data source(s) and notes about the submission” field.

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.