Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
ER-13: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Bill Throop
Provost's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a sustainability literacy assessment?:

Did the assessment include a baseline evaluation of students and then a follow-up evaluation of the same cohort?:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment :


Academic and Intellectual Experiences
In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have you done each of the following? 1=Very Often, 2=Often, 3=Sometimes, 4=Never

1. Completed an assignment that evaluates the sustainability of some activity.

2. Analyzed the economic and social dimensions of an issue.

3. Integrated knowledge from multiple academic disciplines in accomplishing a project

4. Completed an assignment that evaluates our responsibilities to future generations.

Mental Activities
During the current school year, how much has your coursework emphasized the following mental activities? 1=Very much, 2=Quite a bit, 3=Some, 4=Very little

5. Understanding the complex relationships between economic, social, and ecological systems.

6. Evaluating the moral dimensions of social and environmental problems.

7. Comprehending ways in which human activities may exceed the carrying capacity of systems that support us.

Additional Collegiate Experiences
During the current school year, about how often have you done each of the following? 1=Very Often, 2=Often, 3=Sometimes, 4=None

8. Participated in a campus or community sustainability project.

9. Altered your behavior to become more sustainable.

10. Went on a field trip in your bioregion.

Time Usage
About how many hours do you spend in a typical 7-day week doing each of the following? 1= More than 30 hrs/wk, 2=26-30 hrs/wk, 3=21-25 hrs/wk, 4=16-20 hrs/wk, 5=11-15 hrs/wk, 6=6-10 hrs/wk, 7. 1-5 hrs/wk, 8=1=0 hours/wk

11. Participating in service that enhances community life.

12. Leading or facilitating group activities.

13. Engaging in activities that reduce environmental impact.

Institutional Environment
To what extent does your institution emphasize each of the following? 1=Very much, 2=Quite a bit, 3=Some, 4=Very little

14. Taking responsibility for the health of your communities.

15. Learning about sustainability.

16. Understanding local economies and ecosystems.

Educational and Personal Growth
To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas?
1=Very much, 2=Quite a bit, 3=Some, 4=Very little

17. Articulating a vision of a just and sustainable society.

18. Acquiring skills to work for social change.

19. Understanding the consequences of one’s choices.

20. Understanding complex systems.

A brief description of how the assessment was developed:

Green Mountain College (GMC) and Luther College (LC) created a National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) sustainability education consortium in fall 2010. GMC Provost William Throop and LC faculty member Jon Jensen developed a draft set of 20 sustainability questions to be added to the standard NSSE survey which is administered at an average of 700 colleges annually. The survey instrument was circulated to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) board of directors for comments and to the NSSE survey team. After revisions, the survey questions were presented at the 2010 AASHE conference. The survey will be administered to first year and senior students at eight colleges during spring 2011 and the data will be available in summer 2011. This survey will provide a baseline evaluation of first year students’ sustainability understanding which will be compared with the same cohort when it is administered four years later.

Green Mountain also uses an e-Portfolio based system to assess sustainability competencies faculty have written into the general education learning outcomes. This assessment system was initiated in fall 2008 with the help of a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation. Faculty track student performance on the learning outcomes through the four environmental liberal arts (ELA) core courses and seven distribution courses. By the time students have completed their ELA requirements, the College will have a record of each student’s sustainability competencies, and an evaluation of the percentage of graduates who meet these competencies. We believe that this richer form of competency-based sustainability assessment provides more useful data for program improvement than simple survey-based sustainability literacy assessments, but we will continue to use both to assess sustainability literacy.

A brief description of how the assessment was administered:

The NSSE survey is administered in the spring of each year, in both paper and web-based formats.

A brief summary of results from the assessment:

The results of the survey assessment will be available in the August of 2011.

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment is available:

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.