Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 64.57
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 12.91 / 14.00 Sherri Mason
Director of Sustainability
School of Science
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 688 0
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 48 0
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 124 0

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :

A listing of courses offered during the AY 2021-2022 (Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022) was obtained from the registrar. Duplicate sections, cross-listed courses, internships, practicums, special topics, and graduate courses were eliminated.

Any courses identified by Penn State University Park (main campus) as 'Sustainability Related" or "Sustainability Focused" were similarly identified as such on our campus.

Remaining courses were reviewed and evaluated using the material found in the course descriptions available through the online Course Bulletin. The sustainability director worked with a set of student sustainability ambassadors (n=7), representing all schools within the college, to review the classes. Students were able to provide perspective on course coverage beyond what is simply included in the course descriptions. Additionally we used an automated process (see below) and compared our by-hand classification of courses to the automated classification; In all cases, we felt our conservative, personalized experience approach made more sense.

Although it is possible that we have misidentified some courses using this approach, we believe this to be a conservative estimate of sustainability courses offered at Penn State Behrend. Our numbers are comparable to those from Penn State University Park. Additionally we tried using an R-code following the process by USC (https://github.com/USC-Office-of-Sustainability/USC-SDG-Curriculum). We found that the USC keyword list DRAMATICALLY increased the number of courses IDed as related or inclusive. We also used the University of Auckland keyword list, which provided much more moderate results, but still higher than our classification by hand. Here we report our by-hand classification, which seemed much more conservative than either of the automated approaches.

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted:

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The course counts provided above include only courses actually offered during academic year 2021-2022 (Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022).

Following guidance in the STARS Technical Bulletin, we removed from the course counts, courses in the following categories: independent study, practicums/ internships, thesis/ research, other individual research (*94/*95/*96 courses), ARMY, KINES, cross-listed courses and graduate level courses.

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.