Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.77
Liaison Susan Kaspari
Submission Date July 16, 2022

STARS v2.2

Central Washington University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Susan Kaspari
Geological Sciences
"---" 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::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

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

CWU Sustainability Literacy Survey

Q1 You must be 18 years or older to participate in this survey. Please click “I accept” if you are 18 years or older and wish to participate.

Q2 Which Central Washington University campus do you attend?

Q3 What is your academic standing?

Q4 In which academic college(s) are you pursuing a degree(s)? (Please select all that apply.)

Q5 What is your gender?

Q6 What is your age?

Q7 How would you describe the community in which you were raised?

Q8 Which is the most commonly used definition of sustainable development:

Q12 Which one of the following dimensions is NOT included in the most widely used concept of sustainability?

Q11 The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 interconnected categories that address the global challenges that human society faces, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Which one of the following is not a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) as defined by the United Nations?

Q9 Which of the following has had the largest effect on the Earth’s climate in the past 50 years?

Q19 Which of the following is not a major contributor to current climate change?

Q31 When do you think global warming will start to harm people in the United States?

Q10 Which of the following countries has the highest per capita (per person) carbon dioxide emissions?

Q24 Approximately what percentage of water on earth is fit for human consumption?

Q13 Renewable energy is:

Q21 What is a "food desert"?

Q29 What is an accurate statement about food security in the U.S.:

Q18 The idea that environmental quality and social equity are as important as economic stability and growth is:

Q23 Over the past 3 decades, what has happened to the difference between the wealth of the richest and poorest Americans?

Q27 Which of the following statements about the relationship between environmental issues and socioeconomic issues is true?

Q30 The wealthiest 20% of people in the U.S. own approximately what percent of the nation’s privately held wealth?

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

The literacy assessment was developed by a student in the 2020-2021 CWU Sustainability Certificate program, with guidance and mentorship from the SUST309 course faculty and the CWU Sustainability Coordinator. The survey was constructed after reviewing best practices in sustainability literacy surveys, examples from STARS-rated institutions, and universally recognized literacy surveys (e.g. Sulitest). The survey underwent several rounds of revisions and drafts before being published.

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

The survey was administered as a pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort of CWU students: all students in SUST487 (n=8) and ENST499 (n=15) in Spring 2021; and GEOL384 (n=18) in winter 2022, SUST301 (n=13) and ENST480 (n=13) during Spring 2022. The survey was administered through Qualtrics. Some students were only administered the survey once. In total there are 190 responses to the survey.

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

There were some aspects of the survey that students performed well on (e.g. renewable sources, growing disparity in the distribution of wealth in the United States). There were other questions that revealed widespread misconceptions (e.g. the role of the ozone hole in climate change; thinking that per capita CO2 emissions are higher in China than the US). The survey was designed to gauge literacy related to environmental, economic and social sustainability. Further testing is needed to determine how students from different disciplines perform on the survey.

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.