Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Paul Scanlon
Submission Date Feb. 29, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Slippery Rock University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Paul Scanlon
Special Assistant to the President
President's Office/Sustainability
"---" 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:
0

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:
100

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

Student Sustainability Survey Questions

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Very unimportant" and 7 being "Very important," how important to you is each of the following issues facing the
country today? – Economy

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Very unimportant" and 7 being "Very important," how important to you is each of the following issues facing the
country today? - Climate change

True or False: The buildup of greenhouse gases due to human activities is changing the climate at a pace and in a way that threatens human
health, society, and the natural environment.

Do you think that global climate change will be a major problem, a minor problem, or no problem at all in your lifetime?

Do you think that global climate change will be a major problem, a minor problem, or no problem at all for your children or grand-children's
generations?

A "Climatic Tipping Point" is:
(a) The point at which a melting glacier will fracture off the main ice floe and tumble into the sea
(b) The year 2100, which Al Gore designated as the date by which greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 280 ppm in order to avoid a climatic catastrophe
(c) A threshold beyond which a small additional increase in average temperature or some associated climate variable results in major changes to
the affected system

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Very unimportant" and 7 being "Very important," how important do you think it is for:
(a) Americans to conserve energy?
(b) SRU be a leader in sustainability and the environment?

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Very unimportant" and 7 being "Very important," please indicate how important the following environmental-related issues at SRU are to you:
(a) Recycling
(b) Energy consumption
(c) Environmental effects on my health
(d) Air pollution
(e) Water pollution
(f) Water conservation
(g) Alternative transportation
(h) Elimination of waste in Food Services Operations

The majority of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are associated with:
(a) Agricultural production
(b) Building energy use
(c) Transportation
(d) Methane release from naturally-occurring rifts in undersea formations
(e) Industrial manufacturing

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Never" and 7 being "Always," please indicate to what extent you practice one of the 3-Rs:
(a) Reduce (don't buy/use things you don't really need)
(b) Reuse (reuse something multiple times before discarding or recycling)
(c) Recycle

Please indicate which of the following you have done or used in the last 30 days: (Check all that apply)
(a) Turned off the water while brushing teeth/shaving
(b) Recycled on campus
(c) Washed clothes in cold water
(d) Took shorter shower
(e) Unplugged electronic appliances to eliminate "ghost" power use
(f) Turned off the lights in a classroom
(g) Reported a leak or other utility waste concern
(h) Used a "power-save" scheme for your computer
(i) Used a bus instead of a car
(j) Walked or used a bike instead of a car
(k) Turned my thermostat down in winter
(l)
Please answer “Yes” or “No” the following questions:
(a) Have you read, or heard about, the report entitled "SRU Greenhouse Gas"?
(b) Have you read, or heard about SRU's Energy Action Campaign?
(c) Have you taken SRU's Energy Pledge?
(d) Have you read, or heard about SRU's Sustainability website?

What do you think is the largest contributor to SRU's greenhouse gas carbon footprint?
(a) Purchased electricity used in our buildings
(b) Coal and natural gas burned in our central heating plant
(c) Commuting to campus by students, faculty and staff
(d) Animals at the Macoskey Center
(e) SRU's vehicle fleet and grounds equipment
(f) Air travel used for staff/faculty seminars
(g) Air travel used for International Studies program
(h) Other (please specify)

In general, do you think too much attention is given to the issue of global climate change, not enough attention is given to it, or about the right
amount of attention is given to the issue of climate change?
(a) Not enough attention
(b) About the right amount of attention
(c) Too much attention
(d) Not sure

Which one of the following comes closest to what "sustainability" means to you? Sustainability is about . . .
(a) Being rigorous stewards of the environment
(b) Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
(c) Don't know

Have you calculated your personal carbon footprint?
(a) Yes
(b) No

Which best explains any personal motivation on your part for becoming involved in sustainable behavior? (Check all that apply)
(a) It's the right thing to do to make the world a better place
(b) It can save the University money
(c) It can save me money
(d) It protects the environment
(e) Peer pressure
(f) It could help me in my future career plans/getting a job
(g) Not applicable

What has influenced any energy conservation behavior on your part so far? (Check all that apply)
(a) Saves me money
(b) Saves the University money
(c) Concern about limited natural resources
(d) Concern about global climate change
(e) Concern about energy security/reduced dependence on foreign oil sources
(f) An educational/environment course taken
(g) A co-curricular course, seminar, workshop, or activity participated in
(h) Peer pressure
(i) Not applicable

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Strongly disagree" and 7 being "Strongly agree": - When I conserve energy, I contribute fewer greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
(a) Strongly disagree
(b) Strongly agree

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Strongly disagree" and 7 being "Strongly agree": - I have learned more about energy conservation practices since enrolling at SRU.
(a) Strongly disagree
(b) Strongly agree

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Strongly disagree" and 7 being "Strongly agree": - SRU has a strong and effective recycling program.
(a) Strongly disagree
(b) Strongly agree

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "Strongly disagree" and 7 being "Strongly agree": - SRU is a leader in sustainability.
(a) Strongly disagree
(b) Strongly agree

How do you typically hear about SRU sustainable activities and events? (Check all that apply)
(a) E-mail
(b) Campus flyers/posters
(c) Word of mouth
(d) Campus radio station
(e) Residence Hall meetings
(f) Sustainability website
(g) Sustainability Facebook page
(h) Campus organization/club meetings
(i) Other (please specify)


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

The questions in the assessment survey were compiled by reviewing similar surveys conducted by other higher education institutions, and customizing them to SRU campus-specific issues.


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

The University uses an electronic survey firm (overseen by the SRU Institutional Research Office) to conduct blind surveys of students .SRU’s Public Relations Department sent out mass emails to all students several times during the roughly two week time slot allocated for this survey.

Note that a follow-up sustainability survey was not undertaken due to administration concerns over "student survey fatigue"; instead, several sustainability questions are now included in the annual Student Government Association general survey of students.


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

A voluntary survey of the entire student population conducted by the Office of Sustainability, “Assessing Student Attitudes Toward Sustainability”, was first conducted from 2/25/2013 through 3/19/2013. Total respondents were 327 (327/8,182 = 4% of total student population), and were fairly well distributed among student classifications (19% freshman, 19% sophomores, 27% juniors, 24% seniors, and 11% graduate students). 27% of respondents were from the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences, 18% from the College of education, 46% from the College of Health, Environment and Science, and 9% from the College of Humanities, Fine & Performing Arts. 35% were male and 65% were female, with the respondents split between on-campus (41%) and off-campus (59%).

The issue of "Climate Change" was rated by students to be less important than the economy and healthcare but more important than both poverty and the Afghanistan war. Respondents were generally quite aware of climate change issues and the scientific basis behind it as 82% said that it is important for the U.S. to save energy, with 79% agreeing it reduces GHG emissions. Of all the students participating, 48% thought global climate change will be a major problem in their lifetime; 46% thought it would be a minor problem, while 76% thought global climate change will be a major problem for their children or grandchildren.

A follow-up sustainability survey was not undertaken due to administration concerns over "student survey fatigue"; instead, several sustainability questions are included in the annual Student Government Association general survey of students.


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