Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 83.20
Liaison Mina Amundsen
Submission Date Nov. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colby College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sandy Beauregard
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

See uploaded document.

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

Using sustainability surveys from other higher education institutions, the Sustainability Coordinator, current students, and professors developed our first environmental literacy survey in the summer of 2014 specific to Sustainability at Colby. Revisions and improvements have been made based on feedback to the first assessment. Currently, we use a modified version of the Ohio State University's ASK Survey with questions specific to Colby's sustainability initiatives, as well as behavioral and opinion questions.

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

The survey is sent out to all first years during their first year, and seniors during their last semester. This year, the Class of 2021 had 125 respondents, which is about 25% of the class. We plan to continue this trend so that we can compare responses of the same class years as seniors to when they were first-years.

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

We found that in general, seniors performed better than first-years on the survey, Environmental Studies majors performed significantly better than all other majors, and students who had taken a sustainability-related course at Colby scored better than those who had not. Within the first year class, these trends were not as strong, which is probably due to students not declaring their majors or having minimal experience taking courses at Colby. However, first-years who indicated that sustainability was an important factor in their decision to come to Colby scored higher on Colby-specific questions than students who indicated sustainability was not important to their decision. There was no significant difference based on the general questions. Students who believe that climate change impacts them directly scored higher overall than students who do not believe this.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The survey data described above is from surveys administered in the fall of 2014 to the Class of 2018 as first-years, and the spring of 2016, to the Class of 2016 as seniors. We have experienced some discontinuity during the past year due to transition in our Sustainability Office, and the survey was not administered during the 2016-17 Academic Year. The survey has been re-instated with the administration to the Class of 2021.

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.