|Submission Date||May 7, 2020|
Humboldt State University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture
|0.50 / 1.00||
Sustainability & Waste Coordinator
Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:
In the fall semester of 2016, a working group, comprised of the Office of Sustainability (OS) and faculty members, developed questions for a sustainability literacy assessment (SLA), which included some cultural questions that assessed values, behaviors, beliefs, and awareness of campus sustainability initiatives. The group reviewed SLA’s from other institutions, and developed certain questions about local issues. The OS then compiled the questions, worked with the IRB and Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) to push out the assessment in April 2017, and then again in the spring of 2018.
In the summer of 2018, the OS met with Dr. Tony Silvaggio, Department of Sociology, who had expressed interest in refining the SLA, expanding the cultural questions, and using it as a tool to teach his students about survey development and analysis, and building it out to a longitudinal study by surveying new students (i.e., freshmen and first year transfers) in the fall semester and then surveying graduating students in the spring semester. The revised, longitudinal SLA with expanded cultural questions was first launched in the fall of 2018, was again deployed in the spring of 2019, and will continue each semester moving forward.
A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:
Below are the cultural questions included in the sustainability survey:
Please indicate which of the following statements best describes your level of interest in sustainability:
I have a passion for sustainability
I have considerable interest in sustainability
I am neither interested nor disinterested in sustainability (neutral)
I have little interest in sustainability
I have no interest in sustainability
Please indicate how often do you engage in the following activities? Always, Most of the time, Sometimes, Rarely, Never
o Use a reusable water bottle, coffee container, etc.
o Use reusable bags at store
o Volunteer work in the community
o Join a student club or student government
o Participate in a gathering addressing social issues
o Buy sustainable products (fair trade certified, organic, etc.)
o Use alternative transportation (ride bus, bike, carpool)
Please indicate the degree of importance you place on the following sustainability issues:
Very Important Important Neutral Not Important Not Very Important
o Minimization of waste being sent to the landfill
o Choosing food based on its environmental impact
o Water conservation
o Purchasing environmentally friendly consumer products
o Energy conservation
o Livable wages
o Minimizing carbon emissions from transportation
Was HSU's commitment to sustainability a reason you chose to come here?
I don't know
How many times have you taken classes at HSU that either explicitly focus on
sustainability or touch on sustainability-related topics
A few times
More than five
My understanding and awareness of sustainability related issues has increased since I have become a student at HSU.
From the following list please indicate what or who has influenced your awareness and understanding of sustainability (0 = no influence) (4 = a great deal of influence).
no influence great deal of influence
High school teachers/courses 0 1 2 3 4
Parents/family 0 1 2 3 4
Peers 0 1 2 3 4
Student Activism 0 1 2 3 4
College Instructors/courses 0 1 2 3 4
Initiatives around campus (recycling, Earth Day etc.) 0 1 2 3 4
Media 0 1 2 3 4
I find it easy to find data/information about our sustainability-related practices and policies here at HSU.
STRONGY AGREE, AGREE NEUTRAL DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE
I would prefer more sustainability-related content in my courses.
I think that universities should be sustainability role models in their daily operations (for example, water and energy conservation, exemplary recycling program, environmental and social issues awareness).
I feel that HSU is doing a good job of modeling sustainability in its daily operations ( for example, water and energy conservation, exemplary recycling program, environmental and social related issues awareness).
A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:
In the fall semester, the sustainability survey is emailed out to all freshmen and transfer students, across all colleges and programs, by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE). In the spring semester, the same questions are emailed out to graduating students. The survey is online and is hosted by QuestionPro. Respondents first review consent information and click on a consent button before they can enter the survey. The survey remains open for three weeks. To help bolster response rates, the OS requests department administrative support coordinators to request faculty to remind their students to take the survey. All identifying information is removed before IE shares survey data with Dr. Silvaggio and the OS.
A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:
See the attached summary for more details. In all surveys between Spring 2017 and Spring 2019, over 40% of respondents answered yes to the question, “Was HSU’s commitment to sustainability a reason you chose to come here?”. Over 60% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I would prefer more sustainability-related content in my courses.”
The SLA also asks cultural/behavior/value questions. For example, in the Spring 2019 survey, 57% of respondents indicated they always use reusable water and coffee containers. In the Fall 2018 survey, 22% of respondents indicated they always use alternative transportation (ride bus, bike, carpool). Likewise, in the Spring 2019 survey, 65% of respondents indicated that minimizing carbon emissions from transportation is very important, whereas in the fall of 2018 63% indicated this issue as very important.
Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.