Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.07
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dickinson College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Neil Leary
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:
A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

Student and employee sustainability surveys were developed in spring 2018 by the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE). The surveys were administered in spring 2018 and spring 2019. We plan to administer the survey every two or three years in the spring semester to extend the longitudinal data series.

The student survey included questions to assess sustainability literacy, interpretations, attitudes, engagement and practices. 12 questions concerning knowledge and understanding of key sustainability concepts and important sustainability-related trends were included in the student survey to assess sustainability literacy. The employee survey included many of the same questions but did not include questions to assess sustainability literacy.

Input to the student and employee survey instruments was obtained through consultations and meetings with students, recent alumni, faculty with expertise in survey design, CSE steering committee members, the President's Commission on Environmental Sustainability and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, as well as from a review of surveys used by other institutions and relevant literature.

Pre- and post assessment of student sustainability literacy is performed by comparing responses across representative samples of sophomore and junior year students. Students’ literacy before the junior year is measured and compared to students’ literacy at the end of the junior year. The comparison provides an assessment of gains made in sustainability literacy through studies and co-curricular activities from pre- junior year to post junior year. The results indicate measurable improvement in sustainability literacy over the junior year.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

Random samples of 1000 students and 500 employees were invited to participate in the surveys in both years. The samples are representative of the entire populations of students and employees. 195 students responded to the survey in 2019 and 214 in 2019. 128 employees responded in 2018 and 226 responded in 2019. The surveys were administered by Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education with support from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
The representative samples of students and employees for 2018 and 2019 provide longitudinal data to measure and compare change in sustainability culture over time among Dickinson’s student body and employees. Comparisons are made between 2018 and 2019 and changes are noted between the two years in this report. Because cultural change is a slow process, differences between the two years are not sufficient to draw strong conclusions. However, they do provide initial longitudinal data points against which to benchmark assessments of culture change as future data are accumulated.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

A summary can be found online at https://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/4134/sustainability_literacy_and_culture.

The summary includes assessment of students' sustainability literacy as well as sustainability interpretations, attitudes, engagement and practices of students and employees.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment 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.