Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 32.82
Liaison Katharine Glenn
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Paul Smith's College of Arts & Sciences
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Katharine Glenn
Sustainability Coordinator
Center for Campus Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

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

4. What is the most common reason that an animal becomes exctinct?
_____ Habitat loss
_____ Hunting and poaching
_____ Disease
_____ Climate Change
_____ Genetics

5. Which of the following is a renewable resource?
____ Oil
_____ Copper
_____ Coal
_____ Trees
_____ Uranium

6. Do you currently consider yourself environmentally conscious (well informed or caring about the environment)?
_____ Yes _____ No

7. Which of the following concepts is NOT included in the widely accepted concept of the three pillars of sustainability?
_____ Society
_____ Democracy
______ Environment
_____ Economy
8. Where does the majority of garbage from the United States of America end up?
_____ dumped in the oceans
_____ incinerators
_____ landfills
_____ recycling facilities

9. What is the primary federal agency in the USA that oversees environmental regulation?
_____ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
_____ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
_____ World Heath Organization (WHO)
_____ Bureau of Land Management (BLM)


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

In April of 2019, Professor Dr. Deborah Naybor worked with her Social Research course to develop and administer the Sustainability Literacy Assessment Survey for Paul Smith's College. Students developed the assessment and questionnaire with Dr. Naybor, they then surveyed the student body, and coded the results. The survey will be administered on an annual basis (April) for the next 3 years. The questions included base demographic information, general sustainability knowledge and knowledge about the college's own sustainability initiative.


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

Each student in the Social Research course distributed a paper copy of the survey to 10 other Paul Smith's college students. 340 survey's were completed which made up a random sample size of nearly 45 % of the student population of Paul Smith's College.


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

The spring of 2019 was the first time a Sustainability Literacy Assessment had been conducted. Students were assessed on 3 main categories. The first of which assessed the students general "Sustainability" knowledge on a variety of topics related to waste minimization, energy, climate change, and ethics. The second category assessed students awareness of Paul Smith's college sustainability initiatives. The third category assessed the students own interest and motivation to live a sustainable lifestyle.
The majority of students scored well on the questions related to general "sustainability" knowledge. Over 70% of the students assessed were in an Forestry, Natural Sciences, or Environment and Society- all of which are sustainability related programs. Students assessed in this study seemed to have a minimal knowledge of current sustainability initiatives on campus. The majority of students assessed in this study were highly motivated to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
The Center for Sustainability used the results of this assessment to inform a new strategic initiative for the 2019/2020 academic year, and is focusing on communicating and promoting it's program to the student body at Paul smith's college in hopes of keeping them better informed on the colleges sustainability efforts.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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