Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.63
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2021

STARS v2.2

Carnegie Mellon University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Melissa Baker
Assistant Director IR
Institutional Research and Analysis
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):

A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

How knowledgeable are you about the SDG's?
What does the word sustainability mean, and what kinds of activities do you think about when people talk about sustainability?

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

Assessment questions were developed by the Provost’s Sustainability Council and Institutional Research and Analysis to gauge awareness, knowledge, and importance of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to our entire campus community, both students and employees. Areas around the SDGs that were addressed in the survey were: awareness, knowledge, importance, involvement (via education, research, and service and practice (both inside and outside of CMU)), and interest in future engagement.

Based on responses to the first survey, a follow up survey with those who participated in the original survey was administered in the form of focus groups. The group settled on a qualitative approach for the focus groups, allowing for a more in-depth examination into the phenomenon of faculty, staff, and student knowledge, awareness of, and engagement with the SDGs.

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

In February 2020, the university Provost distributed a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice survey to all students, faculty, and staff, at all locations, to take stock of the CMU community’s understanding of and interest in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow-up focus groups from the responding population were conducted in spring 2021. Due to a high level of interest in focus group participation, the originally planned eight sessions were expanded to twelve to accommodate more faculty, staff, and students.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

Results have been analyzed from the survey and student focus groups. The results from the employee focus groups will be completed by the end of October 2021.

Pittsburgh students who completed the survey indicated they had little knowledge of the SDGS. This response was slightly higher for Pittsburgh faculty and staff who responded to the survey. The focus groups revealed themes of resource mindfulness and the environmental impact of individual behaviors.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment 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.