Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.85
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Principia College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.22 / 4.00 Cindy Shedd
Institutional Effectiveness
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:

The survey was developed by the Center for Sustainability with support from the Principia College Office of Institutional Effectiveness. It was beta-tested by the Sustainability Club prior to its distribution campus-wide. This being our first survey, similar surveys developed by other colleges and universities were reviewed prior to the development of our survey.

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:

The survey was submitted to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to administer to all currently enrolled students. Results were collected, analyzed, and reported back to the student body, as well as posted on the Center for Sustainability's Facebook page and reported to the President's office.

A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):

The survey sought to measure student knowledge of core sustainability topics, and the results were heartening. 85% of respondents knew that “sustainable businesses operate on a principle often referred to as the Triple Bottom Line” and that “People, Planet, Profit” is often used to describe this multidisciplinary approach. 85% could characterize a multi-pronged approach for a Fortune 500 company seeking to implement a program of corporate social responsibility (CSR); similarly, 83% could characterize a multi-pronged approach for a community seeking to “most effectively promote an environmentally sustainable future”. 85% thought that “persons seeking to promote a more sustainable future” should look for an indication of fair labor practices, ‘green’ certifications, use of renewable energy during manufacturing and transport, and community-based philanthropy. 79% knew that “the three components of sustainability—environmental protections and stewardship, social equity, and positive financial performance—become inseparable from each other when true sustainability is achieved” (21% were unsure). 90% chose “energy sources that are infinitely renewable and do not produce harmful emissions” over other choices (e.g., locally extracted and refined carbon-based fuels, fuels made from biological materials, etc.) when asked “Which of the following fuels do you consider to be the most sustainable over the long-term?” Finally, 81% and 13%, respectively, said that “The Principia [having] a strong commitment to sustainability” was important or somewhat important to them. When asked “which of the following practices would demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability by The Principia?”, those receiving more than 50% of respondents’ votes were: campus-wide recycling and composting, renewable energy production for the campus, ‘green’ purchasing policies, sourcing sustainably grown food for Dining Services, and investments to encourage energy/water conservation.

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

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.