Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.72
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date May 12, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Christie-Joy Hartman
Executive Director
Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students, staff and faculty), directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

Two DIFFERENT assessments are conducted.

A survey of continuing students is conducted regularly by the Office of Institutional Research. The instrument requests responses from JMU students to questions about their perceptions and degree of satisfaction with JMU, their self-perceptions, and their attitudes, values, and beliefs. For each survey administration, the Office of Institutional Research documents the areas (e.g., gender) in which participants in the survey are representative of the JMU undergraduate population. http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/surveydata.shtml.

The survey covers a multitude of topics/areas. Environmental stewardship results were first included in 2011. The first engagement results were for 2015.

A pilot assessment instrument for sustainability culture was developed by a committee of faculty members on a subcommittee of the ISNW Education and Scholarship, and given to a random sample of employees in Fall 2016.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
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A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

Below is a sample of the questions on the 2015-16 Continuing Students Survey:

SQ1: Which of the following statements best represents your thoughts about environmental issues?
1. I think about environmental issues, and as a result, I have made large lifestyle changes.
2. I think about environmental issues, and as a result, I have made small changes in my habits.
3. I think about environmental issues, and they are unrelated to my actions.
4. I rarely if ever think about environmental issues.
5. I purposely avoid thinking about environmental issues.

SQ2: Which of the following statements best represents your thoughts about community and civic engagement?
1. I think there is value in citizens being engaged in their communities and the democratic process, and as a result I have made a strong commitment to being engaged.
2. I think there is value in citizens being engaged in their communities and the democratic process, and as a result I have made some effort to be more engaged.
3. I think there is value in citizens being engaged in their communities and the democratic process, but this has not changed my own behavior.
4. I rarely if ever think about the value of being engaged in my community and the democratic process.
5. I purposely avoid thinking about being engaged in my community and the democratic process.

SQ3: Based on the scale below, indicate the personal importance to you concerning each of the following:
1. Essential 3. Somewhat important
2. Very important 4. Not important

24. Influencing social values.
25. Influencing the political structure.
26. Helping others who are in difficulty.
27. Becoming involved in programs to clean the environment.*
28. Participating in a community action program.*
29. Keeping up to date with political affairs.
30. Promoting racial understanding.*
31. Becoming accomplished in one of the performing arts (acting, dancing, etc.).
32. Becoming an authority in my field.
33. Obtaining recognition from my colleagues for contribution to my special field.
34. Raising a family.
35. Having administrative responsibility for the work of others.
36. Being very well off financially.
37. Making a theoretical contribution to science.
38. Writing original works (poems, novels, short stories, etc.).
39. Creating artistic works (painting, sculpture, decorating, etc.).
40. Being successful in a business of my own.
41. Developing a meaningful philosophy of life.
42. Being admitted to a prestigious graduate school.
43. Receiving a liberal arts education of high quality.
44. Becoming accomplished in a varsity sport.

Based on the scale below, please indicate how important each of the following is to you:
1. Very important 4. Somewhat unimportant
2. Somewhat important 5. Very unimportant
3. Neutral

45. Achieving my own identity
46. Friendship
47. Education
48. Privacy
49. Family
50. Athletics
51. Being close to nature*
52. Work
53. Love
54. Living a clean, moral life
55. Having children
56. Religion
57. Physical development
58. Doing things for others
59. Contributing to societal change*
60. Money
61. Patriotism
62. Politics
63. Ethical behavior*
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Examples of questions on the employee survey are:
The following statements are about your actions within the last year. Indicate how often you have done following:
-How often do you walk, bicycle, or take the bus instead of driving to campus?
-How often do you recycle or compost?
-How often do you talk to others about their environmental behavior?
-How often do you consider the environmental impact of your purchases prior to making them?
-How often do you seek opportunities to educate yourself about environmental issues?
-How often do you engage in activities that will promote social and economic equality?


A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

With the support of the Provost and the academic deans, a representative sample of approximately 30 percent of the JMU undergraduate student body was selected. To create a representative sample, a random selection of course sections is drawn from all on-campus course sections. This random sample is then analyzed to ensure appropriate representation on variables such as gender and major. If the random selection does not produce a representative sample on a variable (e.g., the number of men selected is higher than the overall university population of men), the survey administrator will review additional course sections to replace the randomly selected ones in order to create the breakdown that mirrors the population data. These additional course sections are only selected based on the criterion in question to help minimize the addition of bias into the sample. The survey is sent via paper-pencil to those faculty of course sections that were selected and faculty are asked to administer the survey in-class at some point in a given time frame. There are five versions of the survey, which are distributed equally for every course section. If a student has already taken a version of the survey in one class, they may take a different version in another, but they do not complete the same version of the survey more than once. All versions of the survey take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Through the cooperation of faculty, Survey 2015-16 was administered during class time and 5,837 usable surveys were returned.

For the employee survey, 1600 employees were randomly sampled by Human Resources. 297 responses were returned.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Results of the Continuing Students Survey are available at http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/surveydata.shtml
Consistently each year (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015) in response to SQ1, 10% of JMU students selected, "I think about environmental issues, and as a result, I have made large lifestyle changes". In the same years, the number of students who selected, "I think about environmental issues, and as a result, I have made small changes in my habits." ranged between 66% to 70%.

In response to SQ2 in 2015, 17% selected "I think there is value in citizens being engaged in their communities and the democratic process, and as a result I have made a strong commitment to being engaged." and 15% selected, "I think there is value in citizens being engaged in their communities and the democratic process, and as a result I have made some effort to be more engaged."

In 2015, in response to SQ3, 21% of respondents indicated that becoming involved in programs to clean up the environment was essential accomplishment compared to 15% in 2011. Also, in 2015, 38% indicated that promoting racial understanding was an essential accomplishment compared to 25% in 2011.

The results for the employees were still being analyzed while this STARS report was being completed.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Responses reviewed and edited by Tina Grace, Policy/Planning Analyst, and Chris Orem, Associate Director, Office of Institutional Research.

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.