Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.27
Liaison Sarah Mittlefehldt
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Michigan University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.95 / 8.00 Sarah Mittlefehldt
Co-Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:

In the Fall of 2017, a committee of faculty members from a range of disciplines worked to transform Northern Michigan University’s Liberal Studies program, which was required for all undergraduate students, to the General Education Program. While the new General Education learning outcomes do not use the word “sustainability” and are not really “sustainability-focused,” members of the Sustainability Advisory Council believe that some of the new learning outcomes support sustainability and include specific intellectual and practical skills that are critical for addressing sustainability challenges.

The goal of the General Education program is “to help our students develop the skills necessary for becoming independent lifelong learners and effective citizens of a challenging and rapidly changing world.” One requirement that supports sustainability is the “Social Responsibility in a Diverse World” requirement. Other requirements that support sustainability are “Integrative Thinking,” “Scientific Inquiry,” and “Perspectives on Society.” For each of these categories, students chose from a list of designated courses, and many of those specific courses have been designated sustainability-related or even sustainability-focused.

Total number of graduates from degree programs:

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:

Northern Michigan University began to review academic programs in 2012 and implemented a system to systematically collect and review program learning outcomes in 2014. Currently, major degree programs report their learning outcomes and explain how they assess those outcomes. We used those reports to determine which programs have sustainability-related learning outcomes. We also used information from our faculty survey to identify which sustainability-focused courses were required for academic programs, including majors, minors and certificates. This information is recorded in the attached Excel spreadsheet.

To track students from different programs, the Office of Institutional Research provided us data on Degrees Awarded by Department by Major for the academic year 2018-2019. They also provided the number of Degrees Awarded by Department by Minor for the academic year 2018-2019. To be consistent with NMU’s 2017 report and because we did not want to double-count students having both a major and a minor, we decided to only use number of graduates by MAJOR for the year 2018-2019.

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Biology General Major-BA and BS
Biology Major - Botany Concentration
Biology Major - Ecology Concentration
Biology Major - General Biology Concentration
Biology Major - Zoology Concentration
Fisheries and Wildlife Management Major
Secondary Education Biology Major
Earth Science Major
Environmental Science Major
Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major
Geomatics Major
Secondary Education Earth Science Major
Secondary Education Geography Major
Outdoor Recreation & Leadership Management Major

Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

We only used the number of majors from programs that included sustainability as part of their learning objectives. We did not include minors or certificates.

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.