Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.28
Liaison Michelle Seppala Gibbs
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Hope College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Steve Bouma-Prediger
Professor of Religion
"---" 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::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

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

1. How many days until the moon is full?

2. Describe the soil around your home.

3. Trace the water you drink from precipitation to tap.

4. Name five edible wild plants in your bioregion. Name five agricultural plants.

5. From what direction do winter storms generally come in your region?

6. Where does your garbage go?

7. How long is the growing season where you live?

8. Name five trees in your area. If you can't name names, describe them.

9. Name five resident and any migratory birds in your area.

10. What primary geological event or process influenced the land where you live?

11. What species have become extinct in your area?

12. From where you are reading this, point north.

13. What spring flower is consistently the first to bloom where you live?

14. What kinds of rocks and minerals are found in your bioregion?

15. Were the stars out last night? If so, name one constellation.

16. Name five non-human creatures who share your place.

17. What is the land use history by humans in your region in the last 200 years?

18. What is the largest wilderness area in your bioregion?

19. When did it last rain or snow?

20. Where is the closest Michigan state tree?

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

Professor Steven Bouma-Prediger (Religion Dept. and Env. Studies) developed this ecological literacy quiz two decades ago and uses it in a number of his classes, e.g., Earth and Ethics, Ecological Theology and Ethics.

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


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

In brief, college students today are ecologically illiterate. They do not know where their water comes from or where their garbage goes. They cannot identify the trees or the birds that surround them. They cannot describe the soil on which they walk or the clouds or stars overhead. However, once they become aware of their ignorance of the wonders of the world in which we live, they are motivated to learn and become more eco-literate.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

We have not had the opportunity to evaluate sustainability literacy on campus outside of a few sustainability courses; however, this is a project we intend to work on.

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.