Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.35
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.57 / 8.00 Mark Lawrence
Communications Mgr
ACSF
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:
Sustainability-focused

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:

Cornell University awards about the same number of graduate degrees (3,665 in 2020-21) as undergraduate degrees (3,849 in 2020-21) each year, so we see the different colleges within Cornell as a better measure of the predominant student body. Five colleges within Cornell University have established sustainability-focused learning outcomes, including the two largest schools (College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences). The five colleges accounted for 5,203 graduates in 2020-2021 academic year, which is the predominant body of the University.

The five colleges with sustainability-focused learning outcomes are listed here in descending order of size, along with the number of graduates from the 2020-2021 academic year and the sustainability-focused learning outcome as published online.

College of Engineering: https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/students/undergraduate-students/curriculum
1952 graduates
- One of the 6 Educational Objectives is that graduates will “lead design processes that include consideration of the impact designs have on people, societies, and the environment” and to “approach, solve and evaluate complex problems considering a variety of technical, sustainability and societal goals. Identify contemporary global issues and recognize their professional and ethical responsibility to contribute to solutions for the social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by humanity.”
- The Student Learning Outcomes also include “apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors”

Arts & Sciences (A&S): https://as.cornell.edu/education/degree-requirements
1588 graduates
Students must complete a minimum of 8 courses to fulfill all 10 distribution categories including: Arts, Literature, and Culture (ALC-AS), Biological Sciences (BIO-AS), Ethics and the Mind (ETM-AS), Global Citizenship (GLC-AS), Historical Analysis (HST-AS), Physical Sciences (PHS-AS), Social Difference (SCD-AS), Social Sciences (SSC-AS), Statistics and Data Science (SDS-AS), Symbolic and Mathematical Reasoning (SMR-AS).
Global Citizenship (GLC-AS): Courses in this area examine the history, culture, politics, religion, and social relations of peoples in different parts of the world, as well as their interactions. They encourage students to think broadly about the global community and their place within it, beyond the boundaries of their particular national or cultural group, and cultivate skills of intercultural engagement that are vital to their role as global citizens. These courses introduce students to global challenges such as war and peace, social and economic inequalities, international migration, and environmental sustainability, and encourage students to think critically about international responses to these challenges.
Biological Sciences (BIO-AS): Courses in this area focus on understanding a wide range of life forms, from single cells to plants, animals, and their ecosystems. Topics include the molecular and biochemical makeup of life, the sub-cellular, cellular and organismal structures of life, and the evolutionary relatedness of all life forms. Students learn to describe how organisms are connected to each other and to their physical environment. Many courses address how genetic information is expressed from DNA, and how this expression leads to complex function and behavior.
Social Difference (SCD-AS): Courses in this area examine social differences relevant to the human experience. Social categories include class, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, nationality, language, religion, gender, sexuality, and ability as objects of study. Students develop a deeper understanding of these categories and their intersections. Topics may include: how hierarchies in power and status shape social differences; how social, economic and political systems can impact the interpretation of social differences; and how differences attributed to various groups are explained.

Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS): https://cals.cornell.edu/education/cals-experience
1044 graduates
The learning outcomes outline 5 expectations of all CALS students including “Apply concepts of sustainability to the analysis of one or more major challenges facing people and the Earth’s resources.”
CALS is powering the university toward meeting its sustainability goals—literally and figuratively – and toward creating an achievable, resilient and equitable future on campus and off. The college’s mission has broadened to include the understanding of natural and human systems; stewarding of sustainable food, energy and environmental resources; and fostering of social, physical and economic well-being. CALS is dedicated to creating practical, concrete, sustainable solutions that empower and easily enable individuals, communities and governments to make resilient choices.This is highlighted in the college’s Sustainability Commitment (https://cals.cornell.edu/about/our-values-impact/sustainability-commitment).

College of Human Ecology: https://www.human.cornell.edu/admissions/mission
464 graduates
Graduates are expected to focus their impact on Health Equity, Sustainability & Society, and Technology & Human Flourishing – including to Develop innovative designs, materials, policies, and programs to promote the wise and sustainable use of resources and evaluate human responses to these solutions
- Apply multi-disciplinary perspectives: Identify complex interactions between individuals and their environments; explain interactions within and between the natural, physical, and social sciences; manage diverse and changing social, technological, and material environments; collaborate across disciplines to understand and analyze issues
- Display commitment to ethical principles: Identify ethical and moral issues; know and adhere to ethical principles in academics, research, design, and practice; recognize conflicts of interest; attribute source materials

College of Veterinary Medicine: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/education/doctor-veterinary-medicine/curriculum
155 graduates
Graduates will demonstrate the Educational Goals:
- An understanding of the interactions among animals, people, and the environment
- A commitment to professionalism, including a commitment to animal welfare and to following the best practices in relation to ethical, cultural, global, business management, and legal issues

(2020-2021 graduate data is from https://irp.dpb.cornell.edu/university-factbook/graduation-and-degrees-conferred)


Total number of graduates from degree programs:
7,514

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
1,473

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:

Degree programs listed on the Fields of Study website (https://www.cornell.edu/academics/fields.cfm) were assessed for the three criteria listed above. See the attached pdf of documentation describing the programs, which criteria they meet, and the number of 2020-2021 graduates.


A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

See the attached pdf.


Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:
One

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
19.60

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.