Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.34
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

James Madison University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Christopher Orem
Office of Institutional Research
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

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:

Assessment of sustainability culture is included in the Continuing Student Survey. In Fall 2019, the Office of Institutional Research distributed the Continuing Student Survey 2019-20, an instrument that requests responses from JMU students to questions about their perceptions and degree of satisfaction with JMU, their self-perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs. Demographic data were also collected.

The survey covers a multitude of topics/areas. While two questions relating to the environment have been included on the survey since the late 80s, the majority of environmental sustainability questions were first added in 2009 and have been changed once since. Civic engagement and social values questions are included as well.

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:

Because of the CSS's length, not all items are contained in this STARS report.

Sample Question: During the last 12 months, about how often have you done each of the following?
A. Very often
B. Often
C. Sometimes
D. Never
Intentionally prevented waste through reduction and reuse.
Considered environmental impacts when making daily choices.
Learned about environmental sustainability in a course.
Participated in environmental activities outside of courses.

Sample Question: 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 up 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 as a graduate student at a prestigious university.
43. Receiving a liberal arts education that is of high quality and very diversified.
44. Becoming accomplished in a varsity sport.

Sample Question: 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

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

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. https://jmu.edu/oir/oir-research/surveys.shtml.

In 2019, with the support of the Provost and the academic deans, a representative sample of approximately 20 percent of the JMU undergraduate student body was selected. Five separate forms of the survey were developed with each student in the sample receiving one of the five forms. Through the cooperation of faculty, Survey 2019-20 was administered during class time and 3,424 usable surveys were returned.

Comparing information received from the respondents to data from the Office of Institutional Research, participants in Survey 2019 are representative of the JMU undergraduate population in the following areas: gender, race/ethnicity, college credits earned, and permanent residence.

This survey is traditionally administered annually, but due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, JMU did not distribute the survey in fall 2020. Therefore, Fall 2019 remains the most recent year of results.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Results of the Continuing Students Survey are available at https://jmu.edu/oir/oir-research/surveys.shtml

In 2019, 52% of continuing students had ‘very often’ or ‘often’ considered environmental impacts daily. 55% of continuing students had ‘very often’ or ‘often’ intentionally prevented waste through reduction and reuse. 41% of continuing students learned about environmental sustainability in a course. 19% of continuing students had ‘very often’ or ‘often’ participated in environmental activities outside of class.

45% percent of the respondents in the 2019 survey indicated they view helping others who are in difficulty and promoting racial understanding being an 'essential' accomplishment. Approximately one-fourth or more of the students stated the following accomplishment is 'essential': becoming involved in programs to clean up the environment, while only 5% did in 1987.

21% of respondents identified being close to nature as 'very important' to them. And, 42% of respondents indicated contributing to societal change was 'very important' to them.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Completed by Essa Paterson, ISNW, February 12, 2021.

Reviewed by Dr. Christopher Orem, October 18, 2021.

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.