Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.37
Liaison Calandra Lake
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

College of William & Mary
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 1.00 Anne Harper Charity Hudley
Associate Professor
English & Africana Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:

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::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:
The William & Mary Culture of Sustainability Survey was proposed as a 2016 William & Mary Committee on Sustainability Summer Research Grant project to assess undergraduate and graduate students' sustainability-related behaviors, awareness, and beliefs and values. In April 2016, the proposal was reviewed by the William & Mary Committee on Sustainability and was selected for full funding and development. Between May 2016 and August 2016, the team who proposed the project underwent a period of survey research (to explore survey designs, etc.) and survey development in order to produce an anonymous survey mechanism that would best provide an understanding of the College’s culture of sustainability. The final assessment apparatus was created via Qualtrics (a research software) and was approved by the College’s Director of Sustainability prior to dissemination.

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:

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:
In September 2016, the final version of the William & Mary Culture of Sustainability Survey was electronically disseminated to students and made available for completion for two weeks. The cultural assessment was created via Qualtrics (a research software) and was linked to a “host” William & Mary-sponsored website (linked provided in the previous section). Undergraduate and graduate students were made aware of the “host” website (via mass emails to the student body and other promotional strategies) and were prompted to visit it and complete the survey. After the aforementioned two weeks, the survey was made unavailable for student completion.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:
The described survey administered in September 2016 was the first sustainability-focused cultural assessment to be developed and disseminated by the College of William & Mary. Therefore, results gleaned do not track “measurable changes over time.” In total, 324 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the survey; of the 324 participants, 193 surveys were fully completed. Concerning sustainability behaviors, students demonstrated that they mostly practice more environmentally focused behaviors, including conserving energy, conserving water, and recycling. Conversely, students demonstrated that they practice less environmentally focused behaviors (such as participating in on-campus outdoor activities, etc.) to a lesser degree. As far as incentives to act sustainably, the survey showcased that students’ degree of acting sustainably is mainly influenced by their capacity to protect the environment, their knowledge of sustainable behaviors, their capacity to support and care for their local environment, and also affordability (pricing of eco-friendly products, etc.). As far as sustainability awareness, students showcased more knowledge of public and readily accessible sustainability-focused events, services, and initiatives (including Earth Week and Meet the Greens). On the other hand, students showcased a lack of knowledge of less public and more internal (administration-level) events, services, and initiatives (such as the Green to Gold Fund and Green Fees). Students also expressed that they prefer to receive information about sustainability-related events, etc. via direct and public means (email, signage, campus events, etc.) instead of indirect means (social media, etc.). In terms of sustainability beliefs and values, students at the College generally believe in supporting general sustainability-centric issues (conserving energy, etc.). Also, many students affirmed their personal ability to resolve sustainability-focused issues and view William & Mary as an institution that offers the resources to do so. However, students generally do not believe that (or do not have enough information to form an opinion about whether or not) William & Mary, on an administrative level, is wholeheartedly committed to resolving on-campus sustainability-related issues.

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.