Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.57
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date April 11, 2023

STARS v2.2

Cal Poly Humboldt
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Morgan King
Sustainability & Waste Coordinator
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::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

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:
The assessment includes questions specific to sustainability literacy, as well as cultural questions on sustainability values, behaviors, beliefs, and awareness of campus sustainability initiatives. See the attached document for the questions and responses to the Spring 2022 Graduating Students survey.

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was 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) for Cal Poly Humboldt. 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 Research, Analytics, and Reporting (IRAR) to administer the assessment in April 2017, and analyzed the results. 1,018 HSU students completed this initial, 27 question assessment. Among the results,
• Response rate of approximately 12%
• All majors (except for Francophone studies) were represented
• Baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate were represented
The OS then worked with IRAR to administer the same assessment in the spring of 2018. In the summer of 2018, however, the OS met with Dr. Tony Silvaggio, Department of Sociology, who had expressed interest in refining the SLA, 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 transfers) in the fall semester and then surveying graduating students in the spring semester. The revised, longitudinal SLA was first launched in the fall of 2018, was again deployed in the spring of 2019, and continues each year moving forward.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :
In the fall semester, the SLA survey is emailed out to all freshmen and transfer students, across all colleges and programs, by the Office of Institutional Research, Analytics, and Reporting (IRAR). In the spring semester, the same questions are emailed out to graduating students. The survey is online and is hosted on Qualtrics. 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 literacy assessment(s):
One might assume that graduating students will outperform new students on all questions. While true for most questions, this has not always the case. For example, on the 2021-22 survey, "Which of the following is the United Nations' definition of sustainable development?" [96.1% correct response from new students compared to 86.1% of graduating student responses]. In general, however, we see a significant majority of respondents, whether new student or graduating, scoring the correct answer, except in two instances: "What is the source of water for Arcata and Cal Poly Humboldt?" [72.8% of new students with incorrect response, 56.9% of graduating students with incorrect response], and "Which of the following are principles of systems thinking?" [55.2% of graduating students with incorrect response]. See the attached report for an additional overview and summary of results.

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.