|Submission Date||Nov. 24, 2015|
Illinois Central College
IN-2: Innovation 2
- Innovation credits are reserved for new, extraordinary, unique, ground-breaking, or uncommon outcomes, policies, and practices that greatly exceed the highest criterion of an existing STARS credit or are not covered by an existing STARS credit.
- In general, innovation credits should have roughly similar impacts or be on the same scale as other STARS credits.
- Outcomes, policies, and practices that are innovative for the institution’s region or institution type are eligible for innovation credits.
- The innovative practice, policy, program, or outcome must have occurred within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission.
- The innovative practice or program has to be something that the institution has already done; planned activities do not count.
- The innovative practice or program should originate from an area within the defined institutional boundary.
- An institution can only claim a particular activity as an innovation credit once. When re-submitting for a STARS rating, an innovation credit that the institution submitted previously cannot be re-submitted. An institution that has made significant advancements to a project or program that was previously submitted as an innovation may resubmit based on those advancements if the project or program is still considered innovative.
- Practices, policies, and programs that were once considered innovative but are now widely adopted (e.g. being the first institution to enact a policy 20 years ago that is now common) may not be claimed as innovation credits.
- Multiple activities or practices whose sum is innovative can be considered for an innovation credit as long as those activities or practices are related. For example, three innovative waste reduction programs in research laboratories could be listed together under a single innovation credit for Greening Laboratories. Listing a series of unrelated accomplishments or events under a single innovation credit is not accepted.
- While the practices that led to receiving an award may be appropriate for an innovation credit, winning awards and/or high sustainability rankings in other assessments is not, in and of itself, grounds for an innovation credit. When the innovation is part of a partnership, the summary provided must clearly describe the institution’s role in the innovation.
To help ensure that the policy, practice, program, or outcome that the institution is claiming for an innovation credit is truly innovative, institutions must submit a letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise in the associated content area. The letter should affirm how the innovation meets the criteria outlined above.
For example, if an institution claims an innovation credit for water use reduction, the institution might solicit a letter from a hydrologist or a water expert from another campus or organization to verify that the strategy is innovative. An innovation may be affirmed internally by campus personnel who are independent of the policy, practice, program, or outcome. Please note that it is not required that the individual be employed in the higher education sector to submit a letter of verification.
The letter should be specific to a single innovation credit. If an institution is claiming three innovation credits, it would solicit and submit three separate letters, with each letter speaking to the specific innovation credit it addresses.
All institutions may earn innovation credits.
Institutions may earn up to 4 innovation credits. Innovation credits are not required to be specific to any STARS category or subcategory and are scored separately. An institution’s overall STARS score is increased by the number of innovation credits it earns. For example, if an institution achieved an overall score of 30 based on the four main categories, earning 2 innovation credits would raise its final score to 32.
Report on innovations that occurred during the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission. Planned activities or activities that happened more than three years ago do not count for these credits.
Sampling and Data Standards
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.