Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.19
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colgate University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.00 / 8.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

In April of 2010, Colgate University's Academic Affairs Board (AAB) adopted the "Thirteen Goals of a Colgate Education." As a result, a Colgate education should enable every student to be proficient in each of the following thirteen goals:

1. See themselves honestly and critically within a global and historical perspective: recognize that their beliefs, identities, interests, and values are in part a reflection of their background, education, and life experiences.

2. Understand the methodology, modes of thought, content, and discourse of a particular scholarly discipline: articulate questions for research and craft a coherent argument so as to produce a substantial work in their chosen field.

3. Conduct interdisciplinary inquiry: synthesize viewpoints from multiple disciplinary perspectives so as to overcome the limitations of any one perspective.

4. Appreciate the myriad modes of human creative expression across time and place.

5. Investigate human behavior, social relations, and institutions in order to understand the complex relationship between self and society.

6. Examine natural phenomena using the methods of science, and understand the role of science in contemporary society.

7. Acquire valuable habits of mind: listen and read well; think critically and creatively; ask challenging questions; gather relevant information and construct cogent arguments to answer them.

8. Communicate well: speak and write correctly and precisely; speak and read a second language; present information effectively.

9. Set an example of ethical behavior in public and in private: take a principled stand for what they believe and be accountable for their actions; uphold the legal and ethical uses of information.

10. Be engaged citizens and strive for a just society: embrace their responsibilities to local, national, and global communities; use their influence for the benefit of others.

11. Respect nature and the diversity of life on earth: recognize their individual and collective responsibilities for the stewardship of the earth’s resources and the natural environment.

12. Grow in both confidence and humility: affirm a set of values while respecting and learning from the diverse perspectives, identities, ways of life, and philosophies of others.

13. Continue learning beyond college: sustain a lifelong curiosity and grow in knowledge and wisdom.


Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Colgate University is committed to sustainability as an integral part of our academic system. Students are encouraged to identify, analyze, and discuss the complex social, environmental, and economic dynamics facing humanity. Through this and other initiatives students gain a strong multidisciplinary understanding of sustainability in a modern, global era; and, they are able to apply this knowledge, exploring possible solutions at a local, national, and transnational context.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM: Colgate’s Environmental Studies Program helps students to understand the complexity of environmental issues and to underscore the consequences and impacts of the human experience on the environment. Students in environmental studies learn to think, speak, and write clearly and articulately about environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. The environmental studies curriculum combines interdisciplinary breadth with depth in a chosen field of study.

GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT: The discipline of geography bridges perspectives in the social and natural sciences. In addition to deepening knowledge of biophysical and social change processes in their own right, diverse methodological approaches uncover the relationships between humans and natural and social environments. Students are exposed to the full spectrum of disciplinary subfields — physical, human, and nature-society geography as well as geographical techniques. They use integrative explanatory frameworks to grapple with critical areas of inquiry: the geopolitics of conflict, climate science, biogeographies of endangered species, public health, urban planning, disaster mitigation, international development, environmental and social justice, and natural resource management, among them.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

ENST 202 (Environmental Ethics) and ENST 232 (Environmental Justice): Both courses provide a framework in understanding the complexity of the sustainability nexus. Students will gain a better awareness of the intimate connection between human rights issues, environmental stewardship, and economic incentives, gaining an overarching view on how these and other factors shape our world. Environmental Ethics focuses specifically on the philosophic perspectives of how we engage with our natural world. Students critically analyze, with a particular emphasis, ethical reasoning and its influences on environmental policies and practices. In Environmental Justice, students explore the terms and ideas of environmental justice by addressing the key issues of environmental racism, distributive justice, political and cultural representation in environmental struggles, alternative theories of justice generated from disenfranchised groups, grassroots politics, and concepts of environmental identity.

GEOG 111 (Global Shift: Economy, Society, Geography), 121 (Earth, Society, Sustainability) 131 (Environmental Geography), 205 (Climate and Society): These courses highly recommended for all geography students as a introductory course, focusing on the dichotomy between human and physical geography while analyzing some of the most pressing issue facing humanity such as climate change and resource use.

Colgate University has a list of Sustainability Courses and Courses that Include Sustainability listed in AC1. Graduates from programs of study or departments that had a sustainability learning outcome (majors falling under Environmental Studies Program and Geography Department) were included.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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.