Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 37.54
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University South Bend
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Krista Bailey
Director: Center for a Sustainable Future
Sustainability Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

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

IU South Bend chose to use sustainability literacy questions from The Ohio State University's Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge (ASK) tool to assess sustainability literacy of Hoosier students. This tested battery includes questions pertaining to the ecological, economic, and social domains of sustainability.

A sample of questions is provided below.
Many economists argue that electricity prices in the U.S. are too low because:
a. *They do not reflect the costs of pollution from generating electricity
b. Too many suppliers go out of business
c. Electric companies have a monopoly in their own service area
d. Consumers spend only a small part of their income on energy
e. Don’t know

38. Which of the following countries has now surpassed the U.S. as the biggest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide?
a. *China
b. Sweden
c. Brazil
d. Japan
e. Don’t know

The wealthiest 20% of people in the U.S. own approximately what percent of the nation’s privately held wealth?
a. 20%
b. 35%
c. 50%
d. *85%
e. Don’t know

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

Sustain IU, a consortium of all sustainability office, programs, and initiatives on all IU campuses chose to utilize the OSU ASK tool in order to assess sustainability literacy of IU students. The survey was adopted in the fall of 2019 and administered from 3-28 February 2020.

More information on the OSU ASK tool may be found here:

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

A representative sample of 40% of IU South Bend undergraduate and graduate students were received the survey using Spring 2020 FTE figures provided by the Registrar's Office.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

IU South Bend administered its first literacy assessment in the spring of 2020. The results indicated knowledge of environmental, social, and economic issues as well as related behaviors and attitudes towards printing double sided, turning off the lights, eating vegetarian meals, recycling, using a refillable water bottle, and utilizing public transportation.
In terms of literacy scores, overall students scored better on the social dimensions, with an average of 63% of responses answered correctly vs. 56% average correct on environmental and 39% on economic dimensions. Mean scores were slightly higher for male students, and increased as students progressed.

The attached table outlines literacy score results.

*A post survey with representative sample in spring 2023 is currently planned, with ongoing assessments anticipated at regular intervals.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Link to IUB survey that was done in collaboration with IUB and distributed to regional campuses.
Data for this credit was pulled from IU Bloomington's report and changes were made to make it IU South Bend Specific. All Indiana University campuses gathered to create a survey that would be able to asses the sustainability culture on each campus. The survey was distributed system wide.

IU South Bend chose to assess a representative sample of 40% of our student population both undergraduate and graduate levels.

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.