Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

In 2018 a Sustainability Survey was developed by a committee led by the Penn State Student Affairs Research and Assessment (SARA) office. The committee included staff from the Sustainability Institute, and other offices of Student Affairs. The survey covered several areas, including literacy, opinions regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, and knowledge of and attitudes toward sustainability programs and practices at Penn State.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

See linked file above.


A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

Survey was administered in Fall 2018 by Student Affairs Research and Assessment staff. An invitation to participate, with a link to the Qualtrics survey, was sent via email to a randomly selected sample of 7,500 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate full-time, degree-seeking students. A total of 1,228 students completed the survey for a 13.64% response rate. Demographics of respondents were compared to those of the overall student body. The survey will be repeated in Fall 2021, which will allow comparison between the two time periods.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Examples of results:
- Overall, more than 80.0% of students reported that they make an effort to be knowledgeable about sustainability issues and would like to learn more about sustainability while at Penn State.
- 93% of students agree or strongly agree that Penn State should pay as much attention to the impacts of its actions on the environment as it does other topics (e.g., diversity, student health).
- Among students who do not recycle on a regular basis, the top three barriers were not always being sure which items are recyclable or which bins their items should be placed in (59.9%), inconvenience (37.2%), and not knowing how to recycle properly (27.9%).
- The Sustainable Development Goals of most importance to Penn State students were quality education (40.6%), good health and well-being (38.2%), clean water and sanitation (37.1%), and no hunger (34.3%).


Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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