Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Oct. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colgate University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 John Pumilio
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?:

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:

1) What are the three pillars of sustainability?

2) One key aspect of sustainability is the inclusion of the considerations of future generations. (True/False)

3) The concept of ___ sustainability is when trade-offs cannot be made between the "pillars" of sustainability under any circumstances. (Weak/Strong)

4) Ideally each of the three pillars of sustainability is considered relatively equally when determining a course of action. (True/False)

5) The "Jevons Paradox" refers to the idea that more efficient technologies may increase total resource consumption as demand for these technologies increases. (True/False)

6) "Scope 1" emissions include those resulting from...
-sources owned or controlled by the institution
-the personal vehicles of professors and staff
-the indirect production of electricity for the university
-all sources not owned by the university

7) Which of these provide evidence for climate change?
-rising sea levels
-rising global surface temperature
-shrinking ice sheets
-all of the above

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

The Green Certification Program and Assessment was developed through the Office of Sustainability and was initially implemented in 2014. The last version was updated in 2017.

In the fall of 2020, the Office of Sustainability created a new and improved for-credit course called Climate Conversations. Climate Conversations is a 5-week, interactive, student-led, discussion seminar. Throughout the program, participants explore current topics in sustainability at Colgate and beyond. The course consists of both real-time conversations and out-of-class assignments. Climate Conversations also includes a pre- and post-questionnaire designed to gauge participants' engagement and knowledge of sustainable practices and concepts at the university and beyond.

Students earn a Physical Education (PE) credit for completing the program (5 weeks; 10 hours). All students must complete two (2) Physical Education (PHED) units or credits in order to be eligible for graduation.

The Sustainability 101 Pre and Post Course Assessment:

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

Students are able to sign up for Climate Conversations through the Department of Physical Education (PHED). PHED messages every Colgate student via email to let them know of the course offerings and how to register. After signing up, participants are welcomed to the program and sent a link to the pre-test followed by literature pertaining to general principles of sustainability and Colgate's personal commitment to sustainable operations. Students are intended to review the online readings and course materials before the group meets for a weekly seminar-style discussion. Students "pass" the course after completing all program requirements and participating in online and in-person discussions. The post-course test assesses the students' progress in sustainability practices and concepts.

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

Since the fall of 2020, over 50 students have successfully completed the Climate Conversations course earning one PE credit each.

Prior to Climate Conversations, more than 190 students passed and obtained Green Certification.

Over the years, inclusion in the Department of Physical Education's PE Passport program has improved awareness of the program, and we have seen a general increase in certified students from 61 in 2014/2015 to 95 in 2015/2016. This program has been a valuable tool in helping Colgate administrators to get a better understanding of students' understanding of sustainability.

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.