Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.05
Liaison Jessica Thompson
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2023

STARS v2.2

Northern Michigan University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 8.00 Jessica Thompson
Professor/SAC Co-Chair
"---" 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:

While the current General Education learning outcomes do not use the word “sustainability” 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 an Assessment of Learning (AoL) 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 2021-2022. They also provided the number of Degrees Awarded by Department by Minor for the academic year 2021-2022. To be consistent with NMU’s 2020 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 2021-2022.

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

English MA - Environment & Literature
Masters in Administration of Nature Based Tourism
College of Business
Sustainable Business and Enterprise Creation
Public Relations - Environmental Concentration
Biology Major (concentrations in botany, ecology, general biology, microbiology, physiology, and zoology)
Biology Minor
Fish & Wildlife Management Major
Secondary Education Biology Major
Secondary Education Biology Minor
Medicinal Plant Chemistry
Center for Native American Studies
Native American Studies Major
Native American Studies Minor
Criminal Justice & Loss Prevention Management
Wildlife Conservation Law & Policing Minor
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
Earth Science Major
Earth Science Minor
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences Cluster Minor
Environmental Science Major
Environmental Studies & Sustainability Major
Food, Environment and Society Minor
Geographic Information Science & Technology (GIST) Major
Geographic Information Systems Certificate
Sustainability Minor
Education, Leadership & Public Service
Elementary Education Integrated Science Major
Elementary Education Integrated Science Minor
Engineering Technology
Alternative Energies Minor
Health and Human Performance
Interpretation & Outdoor Education Minor
Outdoor Leadership Minor
Outdoor Recreation Minor
Outdoor Recreation & Leadership Management Major
Outdoor Recreation & Leadership Management Cluster Minor
Individually Created Programs (ICP)
Integrated Science Major
Minors: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics
Technology and Occupational Sciences
Indoor Agriculture Associates
Indoor Agriculture Bachelors

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. Then counted total undergraduate and masters graduates in 2021-2022 (1379)

Learning outcomes are assessed both at the major, or programmatic level and at the university level (GEC = General Education Curriculum). We've included graduates from specific programs that have sustainability-related learning objectives for this count. However, ALL students complete GEC courses as part of their degree requirements. ALL of the Learning Outcomes reports for these courses are available here: https://nmu.edu/gec/assessment

Departments own the learning outcomes assessments for each program, and we will begin to collect those from Department heads. Each program is on a different 2 or 3 year cycle for reporting; we hope to have a full inventory of all relevant AoL reports cataloged for future STARS submissions.

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.