Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Jennifer Lamy
Submission Date March 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Emerson College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter
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Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

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::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):

A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

How often do you recycle?
Why do you recycle? If you do not, why do you choose not to?
Why do you believe some choose to recycle and others do not?
Why do you believe some choose to recycle and others do not?
What items do you recycle most?
Are you aware that Emerson has single stream recycling on campus? Now paper, plastic, metal/aluminum and glass can all go in the same blue bin.
Do you believe people need to be more educated on the subject of recycling and know where an item goes after they have recycled it?
If recycling containers were more readily available, would you make an effort to recycle more?
With our present infrastructure, Emerson has the potential to divert 63% of our total waste into recycling. Knowing this, what do you believe to be Emerson's current rate of recycling?
Did you recycle before you came to Emerson College?
The U.S. is the #1 trash producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds of trash (not recycling) per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste. Do you believe that this is a failure of behavior or policy? *
*Roughly 90% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs and the EPA estimates that 75% of our waste is recyclable.


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

The waste management literacy assessment was developed and disseminated in Spring 2016 and will be publicized and incentivized each Spring.

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

The survey was exclusively accessible via the internet.
Students, staff and faculty were sent the survey in an email from the College's President, and were presented with the survey during tabling sessions throughout campus. In addition, the Emerson community was motivated to complete the survey through awarding randomly selected entries with prizes over an 8 week period.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

The Emerson community sited a lack of infrastructure (recycling bins) and a lack of knowledge (what's recyclable) as the two biggest hinderances from sustainable waste management practices. Since the survey, 400 recycling bins were added to our campus and there have been education campaigns carried out in student, staff and faculty settings. We will assess whether our efforts will impact this year's survey results.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.