Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.21
Liaison Jeremy King
Submission Date Sept. 19, 2022

STARS v2.2

Denison University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.13 / 8.00 Jeremy King
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of the President
"---" 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:

Denison has a requirement that all students, as part of the general education requirement, take at least one course that focuses on "Power and Justice." The goal of the “Power and Justice” requirement is to promote critical thinking about the place of individuals or groups in the structures of power and privilege that constitute human societies. This requirement will be met by the completion of a single course that explores or interrogates relations of power and questions of justice, equity, and/or identity. These inquiries can be made in relation to issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class, and/or (dis)ability in domestic and/or international contexts. Engagement with one or more of these questions must constitute an integral and sustained component of the course. This requirement may be met by courses that satisfy other general education requirements. Any course can be designated as a course fulfilling the “Power and Justice” requirement, provided it has been approved as such by the relevant faculty person’s department or program, the Academic Affairs Council, and the Teaching Faculty. Departments are encouraged to develop such courses as part of their requirements for the major. The administration will provide resources for the development of such courses. AAC will develop standards that a course must meet in order to satisfy the “Power and Justice” requirement.

The General Education requirements ensure that students develop core liberal arts competencies and encounter a broad range of liberal arts inquiries — social, scientific, humanistic, and artistic — embraced by the Denison University faculty. In addition, the requirements expose students to a diversity of perspectives that enable them to interact more effectively in an increasingly interdependent world. Thus, the General Education program seeks to accomplish three goals:

development of competencies,
exposure to a broad variety of disciplines and,
development of a global perspective.

Five of these general education courses (or other courses) must fulfill these competencies:
One power and justice requirement
One quantitative requirement
One oral communication requirement
Two writing intensive course requirements following the completion of the W101 Writing Workshop (one of which must be completed by the end of the sophomore year)

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:

For academic year 2020-2021, Denison had 489 students fulfill their degree requirements. 69 of those students came from programs/departments with sustainability learning outcomes. Global Health was not yet an official program and thus no students from that department are included in these numbers.

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

Earth and Environmental Science Major/Minor

In the Earth and environmental sciences, we investigate our planet from space to the core, understood in the broadest terms, from a natural science perspective. We seek to understand how they have evolved and continue to evolve, how Earth systems, including human agents, interact to produce the environment in which we live, and how present and future changes may impact the habitability of Earth.

The central goal of the department is to educate students about the nature and history of the Earth, the processes that shape the Earth, and the impacts those processes have on humans, other organisms, and the environment in the past, present and future.

An understanding of the Earth is an essential component of global citizenship. Humanity faces many critical environmental issues, including global climate change, water shortages, loss of arable land, natural hazards such as earthquakes and flooding, and the dwindling access to energy resources; furthermore, vulnerability to these issues is disproportionate across humanity.

Citizens and professionals with training in the Earth and Environmental Sciences will contribute to addressing these and other problems, while increasing opportunities for humans to live sustainably and equitably on the Earth.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences strives to foster an environment of inclusion and equity. Innovative, effective, and equitable stewardship of Earth’s resources requires a diversity of perspectives and influences; we strive to empower a future generation of socially responsible scientific leaders who represent a cross-section of human society. We are committed to excellence in teaching and learning and affirm the value of our community members regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, social class, or sexual identity.

Broadly speaking, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences provides the tools to be successful in any field. Whether their goal is employment in the field or graduate school, EESC majors and minors develop a strong background in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. The department provides non-majors with a broad and deep knowledge of the Earth and its environment that will serve their needs as citizens and future community leaders.

Learning Goals:

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is committed to helping students become productive, informed, and influential citizens. To that end, we have developed a clear set of learning goals that reside within three broad categories:

Content Knowledge: Mastery of modern disciplinary content is paramount in our programs. Faculty are committed to staying apprised of the most recent developments and best practices within our individual specialties. Therefore, students will encounter up-to-date concepts and methods. Faculty are also keenly aware of the importance of the allied foundational sciences (i.e., Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Data Analytics, Anthropology and Physics). Accordingly, students are encouraged to learn deeply in the allied disciplines. Ultimately,we recognize that modern Earth and environmental science is rooted in a broad understanding of foundational skills and core disciplinary knowledge. By the end of their major, students will master the disciplinary knowledge needed to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and integrate new information into their ever-developing understanding of the earth and its environment.
Quantitative Literacy: The ability to reason using numbers is an essential skill for any informed member of the citizenry. We believe students should be empowered, not intimidated, by data. That said, we recognize that interpreting data is not always a straightforward exercise. Accordingly, quantitative exercises are integrated into all levels of the curriculum. These learning opportunities are designed to promote operational proficiency with data beyond college, even when confronted with incomplete and/or contradictory information. Graduates should be able to evaluate, analyze, and interpret quantitative information, not simply to find an answer but rather, to help interpret the earth and environment around them.
Communication: The ability to communicate effectively is a core learning outcome of any undergraduate education. The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences recognizes the importance of both oral communication skills (public speaking) and written communication (expository writing). Both skill sets are emphasized at all levels of the curriculum. Upon the completion of a major, students should be able to construct, apply, and evaluate effective oral and written communication strategies for both specialized and general audiences.

Environmental Studies Major/Minor

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between humans and the environment. Both a major and a minor are available to students with an interest in the rigorous study of these issues. The major requires students to develop a specific environmental focus as a concentration in addition to the environmental core and distribution courses. The minor in ENVS allows students to integrate an environmental perspective with their major field of study.

As an interdisciplinary area, Environmental Studies draws on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. It endeavors to bridge these many intellectual approaches and perspectives in the hope that students will gain a deeper understanding both of the environmental concerns facing the world and of proactive opportunities for change. Among issues of concern and investigation are resource utilization, the impact of technology on ecosystems, relationships between the environment and sociocultural systems, geographic information systems analysis, environmental economics and policy, conservation of biological diversity, nature writing, alternative dispute resolution, environmental psychology, political ecology, environmental photography, sustainable agriculture and environmental ethics, among many others.

Global Commerce Major

Learning goals for the Global Commerce major include the development of an advanced understanding of the complex ways in which the economy and trade are connected to culture, the environment, social movements, and other global factors; immersion in the study of a particular geographic area—or the connections between multiple regions for the transregional option—emphasizing the study of culture, history, social context, and language; building well-developed cultural fluency skills, including intermediate-level facility with at least one foreign language; the development of student creativity and autonomy in creating a meaningful and coherent global focus or transregional option; the integration of a significant off-campus experience with the curricular study of commerce and cultural context; the development of a sound understanding of the elements of commerce, including familiarity with basic aspects of financial accounting, spreadsheet proficiency, business language and etiquette, and business ethics; and the development of a supportive and engaged student cohort in the major.

Global Health Major

Global Health majors are uniquely positioned to evaluate the patterns and societal issues associated with understanding and responses to diseases and contribute to the public and private sectors. Furthermore, the required courses will introduce majors to the opportunity to analyze quantitative and qualitative data in order to inform policy and programmatic change. Central to Global Health is a critical examination of health disparities, the interaction between health and the environment, and the burden of disease and mortality. Upon completion of the Global Health major, students will be competent in addressing global health issues with a critical lens and from a culturally relevant perspective.

The Global Health major is geared to provide critical exposure to applied and experiential-based learning to understand health from a local yet global context. Interdisciplinarity is at the core of the discipline of Global Health. We are committed to actively exposing students to critical problems and methodologies that are specific to Global Health as well as additional fine arts, humanities, social and natural science disciplines.

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 numbers reported are for the 2020-2021 academic year and include only those students eligible to graduate that year. In addition, students minoring in a program are counted if the requirements of the minor include sustainability learning outcomes.

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.