Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.96
Liaison Stephanie Corbett
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Case Western Reserve University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Stephanie Corbett
Energy & Sustainability
"---" 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::
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::
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:

What is meant by the term "carbon footprint"?
the size of the carbon chain in a given quantity of gasoline
the carbon left on the ground each time you take a step
the greenhouse gases released by burning things like fossil fuels for electricity and transportation
do not know

What is one potential effect of global climate change?
loss of habitat and wildlife biodiversity
less severe weather
cheaper fossil fuels
decrease in sea level
do not know

Americans account for about five percent of the world's population and
about 50% of the world's energy consumption
about 25% of the world's energy consumption
about 10% of the world's energy consumption
about 5% of the world's energy consumption
do not know

Why is it important to recycle?
recycling decreases the amount of habitat lost due to resource extraction
recycling typically takes less energy to process recycled materials than to use new materials
recycling cuts down on the amount of trash that goes into landfills
all of the above
none of the above

Where does most of the garbage in the U.S. end up?
recycling centers
do not know

The best way to support a local economy and local jobs is to buy goods (like groceries, clothing, toiletries, etc.) at
large chains such as Target and Walmart
locally-owned stores, restaurants and farmer's markets
online sites like Amazon
none of the above
do not know

What is the most common cause of pollution of streams, rivers and oceans?
dumping of garbage by local governments
surface water with pollutants running off yards, city streets, paved lots and farm fields
litter washed in bodies of water from beaches
waste dumped by factories
do not know

Which of the following can pollute indoor air and negatively impact health?
chipboard, pressed-wood furniture
all of the above
do not know

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

A review of available, higher ed sustainability literacy assessment questions was gathered from AASHE, the Grn Schools listserv and STARS ER-13 submissions. A sustainability office intern developed a matrix of questions and the CWRU Institutional Research office and several other ad-hoc advisors narrowed to the selected questions.

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

We administer three surveys which assess sustainability literacy at CWRU: The Freshman Survey (TFS), the Your First College Year (YFCY), and the College Senior Survey (CSS). The surveys are administered on a three-year cycle, so the same cohort of students would be administered all three of the surveys. The TFS and YFCY are administered to all first-time, first year students who enrolled in a particular year, with the TFS occurring before fall term and the YFCY occurring at the end of the spring term. The CSS (also administered at the end of the spring term) is administered to all students who have senior status, the bulk of which would have filled out the TFS and YFCY term. This way, we not only have baseline data, but also follow-up data after one year and four. In addition to the standard items on the survey that deal with sustainability, CWRU has customized the survey to include eight additional sustainability literacy items questions across the three surveys.

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

This past year was the first that we were able to assess the fourth year students who were also assessed as first years. Of the eight questions used to assess sustainability literacy above, six of the questions saw improvement of correct answers in both the second assessment (YFCY) at the end of the first year as well a the fourth year (CSS). Students' scores went down from their first year (TFS) in both the recycling and indoor air pollution questions.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.