Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.90
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2021

STARS v2.2

Carnegie Mellon University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 13.63 / 14.00 Alexandra Hiniker
Executive Fellow for Sustainability Initiatives
Provost Office Operations
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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 3,156 1,380
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 1,661 527
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 0 0

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
48.24

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:
64

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
54

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
84.38

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?:
One

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :
When Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) established the Sustainability Initiative in September 2019, we aimed to align our education, research, and practice activities with the broader, 21st century understanding of sustainability as represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While SDGs address environmental issues, they are a broader conception of sustainability that encompasses reducing inequality, creating peaceful, just, and inclusive communities, reducing poverty, and more. Beginning with keywords provided by Elsevier for the company’s SDG tagging research, the team identified similar words (based on a metric called cosine similarity) and augmented the Elsevier dataset. From this expanded list, we selected the top 250 words for each SDG. We then created a package in R, a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, to provide a tool that can quickly load datasets of words (e.g., from a course description) and perform data analysis related to the mapping of text to the SDGs. We looked at all courses using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals to see how everything we do relates to sustainability, with a focus on equity. We encourage feedback to not only correct and refine our analyses and analytic tools, but also to facilitate discussions about the many ways that activities can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. These discussions can help uncover connections that otherwise would not be identified by simply tagging activities with goals. The analysis provided for this report covers fall 2019 - fall 2021. Courses with public course descriptions were reviewed and all courses that mapped to at least two SDGs were counted as sustainability-focused courses.

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:
If a course was offered with both a graduate and undergraduate course number it was counted in each category. Any course with multiple sections in undergraduate or graduate levels, however, was counted only once.

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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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.