Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 39.89
Liaison Charles Riley
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Oregon Institute of Technology
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Claudia Torres Garibay
Chair, Sustainability Committee
Electrical and Renewable Energy Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

As part of the Oregon Institute of Technology’s (OIT) participation in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability, Tracking, and Rating System (STARS 1.0) a course inventory was conducted over the 2009-2010 academic year. The definitions for “sustainability-related and focused” courses were adopted by the OIT Sustainability Committee on February 24, 2010 and follow the recommended guidelines provided by STARS:
“Sustainability-focused courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examining an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens.”

“Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.”

More specific definitions were also adopted by the Committee:
“In order to determine whether or not a course is sustainability related or focused, it is useful to ask whether or not a given course will help students to achieve one or more of the following:
1. Understand and be able to effectively communicate a concept of sustainability.
2. Explore ethics and globalization with respect to a particular discipline.
3. Understand the connections between a student’s major and sustainability.
4. Understand whole-systems approaches to problem solving.
5. Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainability solutions.
6. Apply knowledge of sustainability to contribute to practical solutions to real-world health, social, economic, and environmental challenges.
7. Synthesize understanding of the interconnections between health, social, economic, and environmental systems.

If a course addresses one or more of numbers 1-6, then it can be counted as sustainability-related. If it addresses number 7, then it can be counted as sustainability-focused.”

Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

The above definitions were used to identify sustainability-related and focused courses for the 2009-2010 academic year. The course inventory was supervised by Sustainability Coordinator, Carrie Wittmer, and conducted by student Sustainability Intern, Spencer Jones. Course lists were obtained from the registrar’s office and a preliminary evaluation was conducted by Jones and Wittmer. Based on the preliminary evaluation, an email was sent to all OIT faculty with the list of sustainability-related and focused courses. Faculty had a week and a half to respond to the email. Faculty could add to the list or comment on list accuracy for courses that they teach. Additionally, individual faculty members were approached to refine the assessment where there were questions. Based on faculty responses, a final list of sustainability-related and focused courses was compiled.

Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:

The website URL where the sustainability course inventory is posted:

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.