Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.01
Liaison Lindsay Walker
Submission Date Feb. 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Humber College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Lindsay Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Management
"---" 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::
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:


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

The Sustainability Literacy Assessment was developed by the Office of Sustainability in collaboration with the HLO (Humber Learning Outcomes) team over the course of one year. We developed a pilot survey with 20 knowledge questions based on the sustainability literacy assessments of similar institutions, incorporating all three aspects of sustainability (attitude, behavior, and perception). In January 2019, the survey was first piloted in 22 different classes, and had 170 respondents. Based on the responses, we evaluated each question for clarity, accuracy and difficulty and created a revised version with edited, removed or added questions. Key changes included multiple choice questions and options edited or removed based on overlapping ideas, how heavily knowledge-based it was, and the importance of the question. We reduced the number of questions on the literacy assessment to 15 and added another section for cultural assessment. The survey was run again in 2020 and in 2021.

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

There are two surveys that are administered twice every academic year: in September (pre) and in April (post). Our first post survey was administered in September 2020 to a random sample of diploma students (predominant student body). All diploma students must take a class of WRIT100 or ESOL100 in their first semester, so a random subset of 80 of those classes were chosen in which we posted digital announcements recruiting participants.

For the post survey in April, we are choosing a capstone project (final year) class form each of the 78 diploma programs and following the same announcement procedure from the pre-survey. Since every single final year class will get an announcement, this sample is representative. Both samples was representative as it was a random sample, and every student had an equal chance of participating in the survey.

Pre and post surveys will be done every year to monitor the difference in literacy when the same cohort of students are starting and finishing their program, as well as to see the change in literacy level in all students over time.

The methodology of how our samples were obtained in this credit is the same as the methodology in EN-6: Sustainability Cultural Assessment. This is because we combine the Sustainability Literacy and Sustainability Cultural Assessment together.

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

Based on a review of the findings of the 2020-2021 Sustainability Literacy Assessment, Humber College’s outgoing students have a stronger understanding of sustainability literacy than incoming students. An increase of knowledge was demonstrated on more than half of the questions within the assessment.

The following are examples of the survey’s findings:
- When asked what activity generates a ‘larger’ carbon footprint, 79% of students entering Humber were able to answer correctly, which increased to 83% as students exited the college.
- 76% of Humber’s incoming students were able to identify the correct statement regarding greenhouse gas emissions, among false statements – which increased to 90% as students exited.
- There was no significant increase between the in-coming and out-going students that answered the question, “Which of following Sustainable Development Goals help lift people out of poverty?” The proportion of students answering this question correctly remained the same in both Sept 2020 and March 2021.

Overall, there was an increase in sustainability knowledge from in-coming and out-going students based on the SLA assessment.

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 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.