Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.77
Liaison Josh Lasky
Submission Date April 4, 2023

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.44 / 8.00 Tara Scully
Director of the Sustainability Minor Program
Assistant Professor of Biology
"---" 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:
GW publicly committed to seven ambitious sustainability objectives. In the absence of university-wide learning outcomes for its ten colleges and schools, two of the commitments are focused on sustainability academic learning and apply to all university schools and divisions.

In June 2020, the George Washington University and its Board of Trustees accepted and publicly announced the Board of Trustees Task Force on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Responsibility (consisting of board members, faculty, staff, and students) recommendations. These university priorities are categorized as Endowment, Operations, and Academics and Engagement. As it pertains to AC-2, the accepted and published Academic commitments are 1. "that the overall university-wide academic curriculum ensures every GW student has an opportunity for an academic credit experience that promotes innovative thinking in sustainability in the classroom, through research, or through service learning;" and 2. "to develop a transdisciplinary academic home, which brings together and elevates our research, undergraduate and graduate degrees and innovative courses for students, faculty, and staff."

In response to the commitments, the Provost announced in the fall 2022 that sustainability and climate change have been selected as priorities to build a basis for comprehensive academic planning (https://www.gwhatchet.com/2022/09/12/equity-sustainability-among-academic-priorities-outlined-before-faculty-senate/), and below is a summary of how GW schools have integrated this philosophy to date. Also in response to the commitments, a GW transdisciplinary academic Sustainability Institute has been chartered and is currently looking for funding. Part of the institute's mission will be to strengthen and expand academic sustainability programs throughout GW's colleges and schools.

The full text of the Board of Trustees ESG Task Force commitments can be found here: https://trustees.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs5116/files/2022-08/esg-task-force_institutional-statement-of-beliefs-and-recommendations.pdf.

The University public announcement can be found here:
https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/gw-eliminate-all-fossil-fuel-investments-endowment

Summary of how some GW schools have integrated sustainability academic learning to date:

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences also includes sustainability as a learning outcome for all of their graduates. GW's ABET accreditation requires a number of specific student outcomes, (a) through (k) that have to be met by all "engineering" students graduating from the five engineering departments. Two of the outcomes address environmental impacts and sustainability. They are:
(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences is home to the new Environmental and Sustainability Sciences Bachelor of Science degree. The Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Science program equips students with a broad foundation in the sciences with which they can take advantage of important new quantitative skills in geospatial techniques and data science and develop a concentration in either Earth and Environmental Science or Ecological Management. Required coursework incorporates science classes from across the university, with elective options including Conservation Biology, Water Resources, Oceanography, and more. Through varied courses, internships, and undergraduate research, students gain experience in one of the fastest-growing career fields. Graduates of the BS program are well prepared for competitive careers in natural resource management; environmental consulting and startups; sustainability planning and policy; and compliance-oriented agencies and departments of the environment at the federal, state and local levels. The program is also beneficial for students planning to attend graduate programs in environmental science, ecological management, or sustainability planning and policy.

The School of Business offers a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management. Well-planned and sustainably managed tourism can contribute to the environmental, social and economic health of destinations. In fact, the United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism because of the industry’s ability to contribute to key Sustainable Development Goals. The George Washington University’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Management program provides a strategic overview of responsible destination management along with practical applications. The certificate is designed for tourism professionals and career changers who want to advance their careers and take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the field. Participants will learn strategies and tools for recognizing and developing tourism products, creating visitor markets, minimizing the potentially negative effects of tourism and enhancing the sustainability of destinations so that they remain viable and attractive to visitors, and support their host communities.

Established at the beginning of the modern environmental law era, the George Washington University Law School's Environmental and Energy Law Program has been at the forefront of education in the field for over 50 years. Over the past decade, the program has been expanded to increase our focus on energy law, adding new classes and creating the Sustainable Energy Initiative. Today, the program is expanding significantly to provide the next generation of environmental and energy lawyers with the tools they need to tackle the local, national, and international challenges facing the planet and its inhabitants, including climate change, fisheries depletion, air pollution, water scarcity, and developing new sources of energy. GW Law is located in the heart of the nation’s capital, where environmental and energy law policy is debated and made. The law school’s location provides students with unique opportunities to learn environmental and energy law from nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field and to work as interns with some of the most influential government and nonprofit environmental organizations in the world.

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration offers a Master of Arts in Environmental Resource Policy. The Master of Arts in Environmental Resource Policy (MA-ENRP) at the Trachtenberg School offers a multidisciplinary approach to environmental and sustainability studies. This STEM program prepares students to enter environmental policy careers in government, nonprofit organizations, the private sector and environmental advocacy groups. Students begin the program by taking a specialized, two-semester course in environmental sciences, which provides a solid grounding in the scientific side of environmental and resource policy. The program culminates in a capstone project, during which students collaborate in small groups on a pro bono product for a client of their choice.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Has developed in conjunction with the Sustainability Academic Program a graduate certificate in Sustainability Leadership. Certificate description: With all the frightening climate change and social injustice stories that flood our news, it is time for us to step up and educate our future leaders who will create the change necessary for a positive future. The cross-disciplinary master’s certificate will engage our students in the theories surrounding effective leadership and change interventions and explore the policies, technologies, and models that support sustainable development. We will work in cross-disciplinary teams to research our university’s commitments to carbon neutrality, historic carbon emissions, clean water, energy efficiency, and elimination of single use plastics and implement practices that will achieve these commitments. These projects will create models of change to be shared with other institutions and external partners. The experience will challenge students to examine their own personal involvement and appreciate the global connection we all have to make these changes.
● Build competency in global sustainability initiatives
● Discover the mindset and behaviors of sustainability decision making
● Take personal ownership of sustainability
● Amplify inner landscape development
● Support the transformation of our campus and community through our ESG goals
● Commit to being a change agent and catalyze change

Total number of graduates from degree programs:
8,755

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
1,573

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:
The number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability was determined by calculating the number of graduates from degree programs that require successful completion of a sustainability-focused course as identified in the Academic Courses credit (AC-1) or that had a clear connection to sustainability in its overview and/or learning outcomes.

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
Sustainability-Related Degree Programs

GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
+ BA, Africana Studies
--- SOC 2179 required
+ BA, American Studies
--- AMST 3901 required
+ MA, Art Therapy
--- ARTH 6235 required
+ BS, Biological Anthropology
--- BISC 1112 required
+ BA or BS, Biology
--- BISC 1112 required
+ BS, Biophysics
--- BISC 1112 required
+ Certificate, Contexts of Environmental Policy
--- The National Park Service Roger Kennedy Fellows Program is for NPS employees who have served for three years or more and who are looking to develop as current and future leaders who are responsible for the preservation and protection of our public lands and cultural heritage.
+ PhD, Clinical Psychology
--- PSYC 8236 required
+ BS, Cognitive Neuroscience
--- BISC 1112 required
+ BS, Cognitive Science of Language
--- BISC 1112 and ANTH 1004 required.
+ BA, Criminal Justice
--- The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program examines the historical development of criminal justice and its evolution into modern legal systems. Through interactive classes and practical seminars, students analyze how different forms of criminal justice affect individuals and society.
+ MS, Environmental and Green Chemistry
--- All required chemistry courses related to sustainability
+ BS, Environmental and Sustainability Studies
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ BA, Environmental Studies
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ BA, Geography
--- Requires GEOG 1001 and GEOG 1002.
+ BA or BS, Geological Sciences
--- Requires GEOL 1001, GEOL 1002, and / or GEOL 1005
+ BA, Human Services and Social Justice
--- HSSJ 1100 and HSSJ 1177 required
+ MPA, Public Administration – Education Policy Option
--- The education policy field provides students with the necessary skills to analyze problems and policies related to major education policy issues at national, state and local levels in both K-12 and/or higher education. Topics covered in this field include school reform, urban education problems, student achievement, school finance and its equity, teacher quality and effectiveness, equal opportunity, accountability and access and attainment in higher education. The field of education policy is offered in close collaboration with the Education Policy Program in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
+ MPA, Public Administration – Environmental Policy Option
--- PPPA 6066 required
+ MPA, Public Administration – International Development Option
--- ECON 6250 required
+ MPA, Public Administration – Science and Technology Policy Option
+ MPA, Public Administration – Social Policy Option
--- Social policy includes a range of policy issues that address the well-being of individuals and of society, with a particular focus on causes and consequences of poverty and income inequality.
+ MPA, Public Administration – Urban Policy Option
--- This track focuses on policies specific to these areas, including policies relating to land use, mass transportation, congestion, crime, fiscal capacity, poverty, inequality, unemployment, homelessness, racial and ethnic tension, sprawl, and other related concerns.
+ MPP, Public Policy (same options as MPA)
+ BA, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
--- WGSS 2120 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental Resource Policy
--- All courses related to sustainability
+ MA, Environmental Resource Policy
--- All courses related to sustainability

Milken Institute School of Public Health
+ BS, Community Nutrition
--- EXNS 2126W, EXNS 2122 Required
+ BS, Public Health
--- PUBH 3132, PUBH 3133 required
+ MPH, Public Health Nutrition
--- Core competencies of the program include:
Understand the factors impacting the accessibility, availability, adequacy, and safety of the food and water systems serving a community.
Outline the relationship between community food and water systems and health outcomes.
Develop skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating nutrition interventions to improve the health of communities.
Appreciate the role of public health policy in altering the food environment at the community level.
+ MPH, Public Health Communication and Marketing
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Physical Activity in Public Health
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Maternal and Child Health
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Humanitarian Health
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Health Promotion
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Health Policy
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Global Health Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Global Health Policy
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Global Health Epidemiology and Disease Control
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Global Environmental Health
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Epidemiology
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Environmental Health Science and Policy
--- The mission of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) Environmental Health Science and Policy program is to educate individuals who are committed to improving public health through reducing risks posed by environmental and occupational hazards. Graduates from this program learn to apply critical and analytic skills to better understand how environmental and occupational exposures impact human health. Our graduates bring these skills into the world in order to develop, implement, and evaluate environmental health practices and policies.
+ MPH, Community Oriented Primary Care
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ MPH, Biostatistics
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, Public Health
--- PUBH 6011 Required
+ PhD, Environmental Health
--- PUBH 6121 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, LGBT Health Policy and Practice
--- PSYD 6201, PSYD 6202, and PSYD 6203 required
+ BS, Neuroscience
--- BISC 1112 Required
+ BA, Peace Studies
--- PSTD 1010 Required
+ BS, Psychological and Brain Sciences
--- BISC 1112 Required

Corcoran
+ BFA, Interaction Design
--- CIXD 3820 Required
+ MA, Interaction Design
--- CIXD 6005 Required
+ BFA, Interior Architecture
--- CIAR 3350 Required
+ MFA, Social Practice
--- CSA 6080 required

School of Business
+ MBA, Executive
--- MBAD 6289 required
+ BS, Business
--- BADM 1004 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Corporate Responsibility
--- MBAD 6289 Required
+ BS, International Business
--- BADM 1004 required
+ MIM, Management
--- MBAD 6289 Required
+ MS, Management
--- MBAD 6289 Required
+ MBA, Business Administration
--- MBAD 6289 Required
+ MBA (STEM), Business Administration
--- MBAD 6281 Required
+ MTA, Tourism Administration
--- TSTD 6249 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, Tourism Management
--- TSTD 6249 Required

Graduate School of Education & Human Development
+ EDs, Educational Leadership and Administration
--- EDUC 6238 Required
+ MAEd&HD, Educational Leadership and Administration
--- EDUC 6238 Required
+ MA, Education and Human Development in the Field of International Education
--- EDUC 6610 (Policy Issues in International Education: Developing Countries) required
+ MA, Education and Human Development in the Field of Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching
--- SPED 6275 Required
+ EdD, Special Education
--- SPED 6275 Required

School of Engineering and Applied Science
+ BA, Applied Science and Technology
--- BISC 1112 Required
+ BS, Biomedical Engineering
--- BISC 1112 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, Business Crisis, Continuity, and Recovery Management
--- EMSE 6345 required
+ MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering – Environmental Engineering Option
--- CE 6503 required
+ BS, Civil Engineering
--- CE 1010 required
--- Also has an Environmental Engineering Option and a Medical Preparation Option
+ Graduate Certificate, Energy Engineering and Management
--- MAE 6263 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Energy Systems Management
--- EMSE 6200 required
+ MS, Engineering Management - Environmental and Energy Management Focus
--- EMSE 6220 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental and Energy Systems Management
--- EMSE 6220 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental Engineering - Hazardous Waste Remediation
--- CE 6503 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental Engineering - Advanced technologies in environmental engineering
--- CE 6503 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental Engineering - Engineering design and impact assessment
--- CE 6503 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Environmental Systems Management
--- EMSE 6200 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, Geoenvironmental Engineering
--- CE 6509 required
+ BS, Mechanical Engineering – Medical Preparation Option
--- BISC 1112 required
+ Graduate Certificate, Structural Engineering
--- CE 6342 required

Elliott School of International Affairs
+ MA, Global Communication
--- Requires either ECON 6280 or ECON 6250
+ Graduate Certificate, Global Gender Policy
--- Required IAFF 6102
+ BS or BA, International Affairs - Global Public Health Concentration
--- PUBH 3133 Required
+ BS or BA, International Affairs - International Development
--- ECON 2151 Required
+ BS or BA, International Affairs - International Environmental Studies
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MA, International Affairs - Global Energy and Environmental Policy Concentration
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MA, International Affairs - Global Gender Policy Concentration
--- IAFF 6102 required
+ MA, International Affairs - Global Health Concentration
--- PUBH 6400 Required
+ MA, International Development Studies
--- ECON 6250 Required
+ MA, International Science and Technology Policy - Energy Policy Option
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MA, International Science and Technology Policy - Environmental Policy Option
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MIS, International Studies - Global Energy and Environmental Policy Concentration
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MIS, International Studies - Global Gender Policy Concentration
--- IAFF 6102 required
+ MIS, International Studies - Global Health Concentration
--- PUBH 6400 Required
+ MA, Middle East Studies - Global Energy and Environmental Policy Concentration
--- All courses relate to sustainability
+ MA, Middle East Studies - Global Gender Policy Concentration
--- IAFF 6102 required
+ MA, Middle East Studies - Global Health Concentration
--- PUBH 6400 Required
+ Graduate Certificate, Nuclear Policy
--- IAFF 6152 Required

Law School
+ LLM, Environmental Law
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ LLM, Energy and Environmental Law
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ LLM, Government Procurement and Environmental Law
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ LLM, International Environmental Law
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ JD, Concentration in Environmental Law Area of Study
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ JD, Concentration in Energy Law Area of Study
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ MSL, Environmental & Energy Law
--- All coursework related to sustainability
+ JD, Concentration in Animal Law Area of Study
--- The Animal Law focus area at GW Law provides an exceptionally broad range of educational and practical opportunities for law students while also providing pro bono services and support to the District of Columbia government, humane organizations, and community groups working to strengthen the protection of animals. GW Law offers instruction both in existing law (including the law affecting companion animals; animals used for food, research, and entertainment; and wild animals at the state, federal, and international levels) and in the promotion of animal protection and welfare through legal reform. The focus area also works to build bridges between local government and local and national humane organizations to support these entities in their efforts to change the perception of the relationship between human and non-human animals within our society and to improve the lives of animals.

School of Medical and Health Sciences
+ MD
--- IDIS 8312, IDIS 8320, and IDIS 8401 required
+ BS, Health Sciences - Global Leadership in Disaster Response
--- EHS 4101 Required
+ BS, Health Sciences - Leadership for Emergency Action and Disaster Response
--- EHS 4101 Required

College of Professional Studies
+ Graduate Certificate, Sustainable Urban Planning
--- All courses related to sustainability
+ MPS, Sustainable Urban Planning
--- All courses related to sustainability


Minors:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
+ Cross-Cultural Communication
--- The degree is an exploration of intersectionality through social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of communication.
+ Geography
--- Requires GEOG 1001 and GEOG 1002.
+ Geological Sciences
--- Requires GEOL 1001, GEOL 1002, and / or GEOL 1005
+ Heath Equity (Micro-Minor)
--- The health equity micro-minor will both broaden and deepen student learning about health equity. The courses collectively draw on multiple disciplines and diverse cultural perspectives on the principles of social justice, ethics, and human rights for health. Through this micro-minor, students complete a public health course, a history course, and a leadership or service-learning course to identify, analyze, process, and translate how to address social and structural inequities that historically marginalized populations face when trying to achieve their full health potential. Students who complete the micro-minor will be able to: Explain how eliminating health disparities serve as a metric for progress toward health equity for all U.S. populations; Describe historical, economic, and/or social indicators of disadvantage, marginalization, and discrimination within U.S. subpopulations; Review changes to policies, practices, laws, and systems as what fosters opportunities for populations to be healthy; and Critically analyze the role of racism and/or discrimination to explain the disproportionate morbidity and mortality rates and other adverse health outcomes among historically marginalized populations.
+ Human Services and Social Justice
--- HSSJ 1100 required
+ Law and Society
--- UW 2031 required
+ Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
--- WGSS 2120 required

Milken
+ LGBT and Sexuality Studies
--- WGSS 2120 or WGSS 2120W required
+ Peace Studies
--- PSTD 1010 Required

School of Business
+ Management and Leadership
--- MGT 3305 required

School of Medicine and Public Health
+ Disaster Management
--- EHS 4101 Required

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:
17.97

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
We are certain that our calculation is an under-count. Undertaking this calculation is a time consuming and complex task at a university as large and decentralized as GW. To arrive at the 1573, we considered only those sustainability courses required for the degree and degrees with clear ties to sustainability in their overviews and/or learning outcomes, We have not tried to estimate how many GW students take an elective that has sustainability content or how many pursued various minors, degree options, or other academic tracks, as we were unable to obtain this information. As a result, even though there are several programs we have listed based on study options they offered (such as the MPA Public Administration - Environmental Policy Option), we were not able to include any of these graduates in our count because the MPA program itself did not require any sustainability-focused courses, nor did its learning outcomes demonstrate a strong tie to sustainability, and we could not locate graduate information deeper than program-level (i.e., the general MPA program in this case). We have also listed several minor programs that have required sustainability-focused courses, but we were unable to determine how many students graduated with the minors.

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.