Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.86
Liaison Alyssa Erding
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2021

STARS v2.2

Macalester College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Christie Manning
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

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::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

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

In 2020 the Sustainability Office initiated a sustainability literacy assessment, which will be administered at least every other year for the next 10 years. The next assessment is planned for Fall 2022. The five minute assessment was created by the Sustainability Office in collaboration with a Faculty/Student research team with guidance from the Office of Institutional Research.

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

We administered the survey by posting the link in our daily newsletter and on the class Facebook pages. The ratio of class year respondents is relatively proportional to the breakdown of the student body (ie roughly the same number of respondents are juniors as juniors are part of the student body). There is representation from almost every major, minor, and concentration on campus, with about 20% of respondents electing they are "undecided" (Macalester does not require the formal selection of a major until the end of your sophomore year, and some students choose to declare before then).

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

Our results demonstrate that most students interact with environmental justice and sustainability on campus through their coursework and through campus operations. The majority of students identified all of the aspects of sustainability correctly; the aspects that they most often felt were not a part of sustainability were (1) gender and racial equity, (2) universal access to healthcare, education, and social services, (3) the eradication of poverty and achievement of equality amongst countries, and (4) just, effective, and accountable institutions at all levels. They most commonly chose environmentally-tilted components of sustainability (like ecosystem health, agriculture, and clean air/water), and also selected sustainable consumption and infrastructure at high rates. It is clear that most students understand that marginalized communities are affected more disproportionately by climate change, and, it is also true that some students believe everyone is impacted equally (just in different ways).

Overall, it is clear that the office has room to create and communicate a clearer message surrounding the intersectionality of social justice and climate change through academic work and campus marketing and operations. Students are excited about sustainability and want more opportunities to engage with it. They are grateful for what Macalester has already done to be more sustainable, and they expressed that there is a lot more work to do.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.