Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.69
Liaison Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Submission Date Feb. 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Santa Clara University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

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

A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

Q: What is meant by the term “carbon footprint”?
A) The age of an item found at an archeological site
B) The carbon left on the ground each time you take a step
C) The size of the carbon chain in a given quantity of gasoline
D) The greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation

Q: What is the name of the primary federal agency that oversees environmental regulation?
A) Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA)
B) Department of Health, Environment, and Safety (the DHES)
C) National Environmental Agency (the NEA)
D) Federal Pollution Control Agency (the FPCA)
E) Do not know

Q: "Sustainability" with regard to natural resources means:
A) Using natural resources as slowly as possible
B) Using only as much as is replaced by natural processes
C) Not introducing new technology too quickly
D) Discovering new resources to allow maximum economic growth
E) Do not know

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

The literacy assessment was developed in late 2016 with the sustainability coordinator and 2 faculty members (from the Environmental Studies & Sciences and Communication departments). Questions were replicated from other university literacy assessments like Arizona State University, Ohio State University and University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in addition to our own. It was finalized, adopted and administered with the culture assessment at the end of January 2017.

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

All incoming first-year students are asked to complete the survey, with a representative sample of this same class being re-assessed during their fourth year at the University. The survey is voluntarily and sent to all graduating students of that class year, whether or not they initially responded to it in their first year. Students are alerted of the survey via the University's email network. The surveying tool used was Qualtrics.

The survey was sent in the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 academic years, pausing during the COVID-19 pandemic and resuming in 2022-2023 academic year with revised questions.

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

For the class of 2020:
• Knowledge of sustainable practices increased by 9.63% between their first and final years
• Knowledge of sustainability programs and initiatives implemented by SCU increased by 31.42% during the same time period

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Only undergraduate first-year and graduating students are surveyed during the academic year.

Only undergraduate first-year and graduating students are surveyed during the academic year.

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.