Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.23
Liaison Heather Albert-Knopp
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

College of the Atlantic
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Andrea Russell
Sustainability Coordinator and Community Energy Center Program Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

COA's sustainability assessment was established by the student-led Campus Committee for Sustainability together with the Director of Energy Education and Management as part of an awareness-raising campaign about energy use in campus residences, and included questions about sustainability culture. The survey was modified, refined and improved each year by Summer Energy Fellows, students working in COA's Community Energy Center, in collaboration with staff working in Student Life. The survey is now administered to every incoming class during first-year orientation (which includes all transfer students as well as freshmen). The survey is also administered to every graduating class, for the purpose of assessing sustainability literacy and culture both before and after students receive their COA education. In 2018, the sustainability survey was expanded to include a larger proportion of "cultural assessment" questions.

A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

The full survey has been uploaded as a pdf.

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

This survey is administered during orientation to all incoming students, and is also administered to all graduating students during their final term of senior year, thereby reaching 100% of the student body twice (both pre- and post- COA education). The assessment is administered on paper by the college's Student Life staff. Results are collected, entered, scored, and shared by students and staff in COA's Community Energy Center. The student response rate is nearly 100% with the hard-copy surveys.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

A large majority (almost 100%) of students surveyed responded that their daily behaviors and values strongly align with sustainability issues, whether energy, carbon, water, food, or waste. The culture of sustainability is built into the very fabric of COA, and there has been no measurable change in sustainability culture since this survey was implemented. All students at College of the Atlantic study human ecology, which is all about our relationships with the planet’s natural, social, and built environment, and therefore sustainability is never far from the surface at the College.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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