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

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tara Scully
Director of the Sustainability Minor Program
Assistant Professor of Biology
"---" 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:
1. What is the most common cause of pollution of streams and rivers?
2. Which of the following is an example of sustainable forest management?
3. Of the following, which would contribute to the greatest reduction in consumer impact?
4. Which of the following is the most commonly used definition of sustainable development?
5. All United Nations Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Which is not an SDG:

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:
The literacy assessment was designed in the fall of 2022 in conjunction with GW's Survey Research and Analysis department and the Office of the Sustainability Minor.

The literacy assessment was modeled after similar tools developed by peer institutions that have successfully fulfilled the requirements of AC-6, then adjusted to ensure compatability with GW. The assessment was initiallly developed by staff within the GW Office of Sustainability, then reviewed by GW sustainability faculty and GW's Office of Survey Research and Analysis, whose feedback was incorporated within the tool.

GW reviewed the survey with the AASHE STARS team prior to deploying it.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :
GW's director of survey research and analysis provided a representative sample of graduate students to which the survey was distributed via email and administered using an online platform.

The sustainability literacy assessment was distributed to a random sample of GW graduate students.

Participants were invited to participate on 1/24/23. Reminders were sent on 2/1/23 and 2/9/23.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):
The response rate was 15.89% (262 respondents out of 1649 invited).

Graduate students from the programs listed below responded to the survey. The percentage represents percent of total responses.

Milken Inst Sch of Public Hlth - 19%
Columbian Coll of Arts & Sci - 18%
Law School - 15%
School of Business- 12%
School of Engin & App -11%
School of Med & Health- 8%
Grad Sch of Ed and Human Devel- 6%
Elliott Schl of Intl Affairs - 5%
Coll of Professional Studies- 4%
School of Nursing - 2%

The average respondent answered 11 out of 20 question correctly, with a standard deviation of 4. In all but two questions, the majority of the responders as a whole identified the correct answer. And in only two questions, the majority of the responders indicated "Don't Know".

28% of the respondents got 14 or more questions correct (or 70% or more of the questions)
30% of the respondents got 10 or fewer questions correct (or 50% or fewer of the questions)

GW is still processing the survey results and will continue to look at:

- time to complete the survey as a marker to assess whether or not respondents used third party knowledge to answer the assessment questions.

- grouping the questions as follows to assess sustainability knowledge by category/topic:


- analyzing the results by graduate school to determine sustainability educational opportunities (where students scored low on specific topics/categories).

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 post assessment (which will be the same survey) will be sent at the conclusion of the 2023 summer term to the same respondents as the initial survey.

A copy of the survey is available on request.

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.