Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability


Institution conducts an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students. The sustainability literacy assessment focuses on knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges.

Assessments that primarily address sustainability culture (i.e. values, behaviors, beliefs, and awareness of campus sustainability initiatives) or student engagement in sustainability-related programs and activities are excluded. Cultural assessments are recognized in the Assessing Sustainability Culture credit in Campus Engagement.

Participation by U.S. and Canadian institutions in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Sustainability Education Consortium does not count for this credit, but may be reported as an Exemplary Practice in Innovation & Leadership.

An institution may use a single instrument that addresses sustainability literacy, culture, and/or engagement to meet the criteria for this credit if at least ten questions or a third of the assessment focuses on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges.


This credit applies to all institutions. 


Institutions earn the maximum of 4 points available for this credit by administering a pre- and post-assessment to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body (e.g. all undergraduate students), directly or by representative sample. Partial points are available based on the population assessed and whether or not a pre- and post-assessment is conducted, as follows:


Attributes of the sustainability literacy assessment (points awarded)

Points earned

An assessment of sustainability literacy is:

  • Administered to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body (e.g. all undergraduate students), directly or by representative sample. (2 points)


  • Administered to a subset of students (e.g. students enrolled in a sustainability program) or a sample of students that may not be representative of the institution’s predominant student body (e.g. graduate and not undergraduate students). (1 point)


  • Administered as a pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort of students or to representative samples in both the pre-test and post-test.

× 2

Total points earned ->

Up to 4



Report the most recent data available. Sustainability literacy assessments administered within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission are eligible for this credit. A structured pre- and post-assessment for which the pre-assessment has been conducted and the post-assessment has been scheduled may count.

Sampling and Data Standards

Institutions may choose to measure sustainability literacy by administering a survey to a representative sample of the student population being assessed or by surveying the entire student population being assessed (e.g. by making the assessment mandatory).

In conducting an assessment with a representative sample (e.g. of an entire class or cohort of students), care should be taken so that participation in the assessment is not skewed toward individuals with an interest in sustainability, e.g. by employing appropriate sampling techniques or making the assessment mandatory. Recruiting students during a sustainability event or limiting the assessment to students enrolled in a sustainability course or program, for example, would not result in a representative sample.

Institutions may report on a single assessment or on multiple assessments that target different groups (e.g. students taking specific courses).

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.