Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.88
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.00 / 8.00 Mark Lawrence
Communications Mgr
"---" 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?:

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:

Cornell University awards about the same number of undergraduate degrees (3,781 in 2021-22) and graduate degrees (4,220 in 2021-22) every year. Additionally, each of the colleges define their own learning outcomes/goals and academic programs and admit their own students. Therefore, we evaluated the different colleges within Cornell to better measure the predominant student body.

Six colleges within Cornell University (on the Ithaca campus) have established sustainability-focused learning outcomes, including the two largest schools (College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences). The six colleges accounted for 5,915 out of 8,001 graduates in the 2021-2022 academic year, which is the predominant body of the University (74% of the total graduates).

The six colleges with sustainability-focused learning outcomes are listed here in descending order of size, along with the number of graduates from the 2021-2022 academic year and the sustainability-focused learning outcomes as published online.

College of Engineering: https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/students/undergraduate-students/curriculum
1987 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
1656 graduates
- Students must complete courses to fulfill the distribution categories that include an understanding of sustainability including: Global Citizenship (GLC-AS), Biological Sciences (BIO-AS), and Social Difference (SCD-AS).
- Global Citizenship (GLC-AS): Courses in this area 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 including environmental sustainability, international migration, and social and economic inequalities, 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. Students learn to describe how organisms are connected to each other and to their physical environment.
- Social Difference (SCD-AS): Courses in this area examine social differences relevant to the human experience, including 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.

Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS): https://cals.cornell.edu/education/cals-experience
1393 graduates
- All CALS students are expected “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 includes 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 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
474 graduates
- Graduates are expected to "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"
- students focus their impact on Health Equity, Sustainability & Society, and Technology & Human Flourishing – including to "developing innovative designs, materials, policies, and programs to promote the wise and sustainable use of resources and evaluate human responses to these solutions"

College of Architecture, Art & Planning
216 students
- mission to "advance research, scholarship, and critical and creative practices to build a more sustainable, just, and resilient world."
- learning outcomes include: "Rationalizing environmental stewardship goals across multiple systems for an integrated solution" and "Applying principles of sustainable design"
- graduating students "must appreciate their role in the implementation of design decisions and the impact of such decisions on the environment."

College of Veterinary Medicine: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/education/doctor-veterinary-medicine/curriculum
189 graduates
Graduates will demonstrate Educational Goals including:
- "An understanding of the interactions among animals, people, and the environment; and
- 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"

(2021-2022 graduate data is from https://irp.dpb.cornell.edu/university-factbook/graduation-and-degrees-conferred)

Total number of graduates from degree programs:

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

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. We included programs that were identified as 'sustainability-focused' based on AC-3 and AC-4, and then evaluated the learning outcomes and degree requirements for all of the additional programs. We included the programs if they clearly stated a sustainability-focused learning outcome or if the program had a requirement for degree-seeking students to take a sustainability-focused course. See the attached pdf of documentation of the programs included, the number of graduates from the program during the 2021-2022 academic year, and the specific criteria the program meets.

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

Please see the attached pdf for the complete list of degree programs.

Advanced Architectural Design
Agricultural Sciences
Agriculture and Life Sciences
Animal Science
Arch Sci-Matter Design Comp
Atmospheric Science
Biological Engineering
Biological Sciences
Biological&Environmental Engr
Biology & Society
Chemical Engineering
Civil & Environmental Engr
Civil Engineering
Design & Environmental Analy
Development Sociology
Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Enviromental Engineering
Envr & Sustainability
Evolutionary Biology
Fashion Design and Management
Fiber Science
Food Science
Food Science & Technology
Geological Sciences
Global and Public Health Sci
Global Development
Historic Preserv Planning
Horticultural Biology
Human Behavior and Design
Human Bio, Health, & Society
Human Environment Relations
Inter Agriculture & Rural Dev
Interdisciplinary Study in ALS
Landscape Architecture
Materials Science and Engr
Natural Resources
Nutritional Sciences
Plant Biology
Plant Breeding
Plant Pathology
Plant Sciences
Public Health
Soil & Crop Sciences
Urban & Regional Studies
Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Medicine Sciences
Viticulture and Enology

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

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

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes 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.