Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 35.38
Liaison Kristy Howell
Submission Date June 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Johnson County Community College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.22 / 4.00 Kim Criner
Student Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:

We developed our assessment by drawing questions from several assessments gathered from either the Green Schools listserv or the AASHE resources page, as well as supplementing with our own questions regarding economics and systems thinking to flesh out a fuller spectrum of sustainability themes that we felt would best indicate a broad understanding of sustainability.

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:

The assessment was administered through our department of Institutional Planning & Research to a representative sample of 3,210 students. The representative sample was reached by sorting the variables of age, ethnicity and gender. Each student is "assigned" an institutional survey for the semester (sustainability must share the population with other student-geared surveys). Each survey group is reviewed to ensure it is representative of the student population as reflected by the three main variables.

The survey was sent to the email accounts of the representative sample as an optional survey. They received 2 reminders over 2 weeks before the survey was closed. For this survey we offered the incentive of a chance to win one of three $25 campus cards (debit card for dining services and bookstore, etc.) for participating.

A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):

The quiz received a 10% response rate, 324 responses out of a possible 3,210. The majority of respondents were female (69%). Respondents’ age ranged from 14 to 77 years old with an average age of 32. However, 50% of respondents were 28 or younger. Furthermore, the majority of respondents were Caucasian (78%).

Results of the assessment showed that 90% of students recognized a complex definition of sustainability, as well as realized sustainability as a concept encompassing, social, economic and environmental issues. Three-quarters of students actually thought the US used more of the world's energy than we do, conveying a strong perception of the US as either wasteful or powerful (or both). Just over half of students did know the primary source of electricity is coal and almost three-quarters knew motor vehicles to be the biggest contributor to Carbon Monoxide emissions. Eighty percent recognized gasoline prices to correlate with global competition for the resource. Student overwhelmingly (50-90%) recognized a variety of cause and effects of climate change, as well as affects of population growth. Only 6% recognized urban redesign as having a profound effect on sustainability, rather almost 80% answered that renewable energy would have a great impact. This suggests that they recognize energy as a crucial factor, but don't immediately make the systems connections between all the inputs and outputs required for a city/community. Three-quarters recognized repercussions of coal mining, while there seemed to be more confusion about implications of the US food system (37% thought it increased food diversity, while only 25% thought it led to lower food prices, about 65% did associate soil erosion and poor nutrition to be related). Students did not widely know where most water pollution comes from (only 38% answered runoff), while the majority (75%) recognized at least some aspect of the effects of externalities on economics and society. About 83% of students understood at least some aspect of the affect of government policy on sustainability. Almost 70% understood life-cycle assessment. Over 50% of students said they guessed at their responses. Over 25% said that a JCCC class informed their response.

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

324 responses = 1.82 % of the total spring 2013 credit enrollment of 17,837.
But we used a representative sample of 3,210, 324 responses = 10.1% of the sample size.

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.