Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.85
Liaison Geory Kurtzhals
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Illinois University Carbondale
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.60 / 14.00 Geory Kurtzhals
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" 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 2,991 1,787
Number of sustainability courses offered 141 48
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 297 107

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

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 determine the total number of courses offered and to identify sustainability course offerings, including the definitions used and the process for reviewing and/or validating the course inventory :

The following steps were taken to identify a list of "Sustainability Courses" and "Courses That Include Sustainability:"
1. A Sustainability Fellow reviewed processes used by other universities and reported them to the Sustainability Director. The following process was agreed upon by the Sustainability Council as the most appropriate for our university and was followed.
2. A Sustainability Fellow identified and created a list of sustainability keywords. These keywords were reviewed by the Sustainability Council. The Council made suggested changes to the list and the finalized list was voted on and approved by the Council on February 18, 2019. This keyword list is at the bottom of this section.
3. A Sustainability Fellow searched the course directory catalog for the 2018-19 school year using the keywords to identify a list of sustainability courses.
4. The Sustainability Fellow reviewed the course descriptions and completed an initial coding process for each course and identified it with a “1” as appropriate in columns titled as follows: “undergraduate sustainability course (SC),” “undergraduate course that includes sustainability (IS),” “graduate sustainability course (SC),” and “graduate course that includes sustainability (IS).” For courses the Fellow was not clear about, a “1” was coded into the “Double Check” column for the following step. Not all courses that included identified keywords made it to the original list. The Sustainability Fellow excluded some courses that were not related to sustainability, even if they included the keywords.
5. A team of 4 individuals (the 3 faculty members from the Sustainability Council and the Sustainability Director) met to review the course list created by the Sustainability Fellow. (This list included the Department, Area of Study, Course Title, Level, and Catalog Description, in addition to the Double Check” column.) The team of 4 reviewed the STARS definitions V 2.1 for "Sustainability Courses" and "Courses That Include Sustainability." The team discussed the definitions to level set, focusing on courses with a “1” in the “Double Check” column.
6. The entire course list was divided into 4 groups. Each of the 4 members of this small team was responsible for reviewing a list of 100-175 courses. Even with the definitions offered by STARS, it was not always clear what category the course should fall into. As such, the team used evidence in the course description and any personal knowledge of the course to determine if it should be a "Sustainability Course,” a "Course That Includes Sustainability," or if it should be removed from the list. If the majority of words included in the course description were sustainability terms, the course was coded as a "Sustainability Course." If the keywords identified courses that could not be coded as a "Sustainability Course" or a "Course That Includes Sustainability," they were deleted from the list. After courses in the “Double Check” column were reviewed, that column was deleted from the spread sheet. The course list was finalized after each of the 4 individuals completed their task.
Sustainability Keywords
1. Agriculture
2. Alternative
3. Awareness
4. Balance
5. Behavior Change
6. Biodiversity
7. Bioenergy
8. Biomass
9. Carbon (to detect Carbon offset)
10. Change
11. Climate
12. Communit (to detect “community”, “communities”)
13. Conservation
14. Conserve
15. Collaboration
16. Culture
17. Coastal
18. Crisis
19. Social responsibility (to detect “social responsibility”, “social responsibilities”)
20. Democra (to detect “democracy”, “democratic”)
21. Diversity
22. Drought
23. Development
24. Design
25. Deforestation
26. Disaster
27. Discrimination
28. Economy
29. Ecolog (to detect “ecology”, “ecological”)
30. Ecosystem
31. Eco-system
32. Energ (to detect “energy”, “energies”)
33. Environment (to detect “environment”, “environmental”, “environmentally”)
34. Engage
35. Entrepreneurship
36. Equality
37. Equit (to detect “equity”, “equitable”)
38. Endangered
39. Electric
40. Electronic (waste)
41. Efficiency
42. Ethical (consumerism)
43. Farming
44. Finance
45. Flood
46. Food ( to detect foodchain, food systems, foot prints)
47. Future
48. Fossil Fuels
49. Footprint
50. Fair Trade
51. Gender
52. Geothermal
53. Global
54. Governance
55. Green
56. Growth
57. Human (to detect Human conditions, Rights, Environment)
58. Hybrid
59. Innovat (to detect innovation, innovative)
60. Indigen (to detect “indigenous”, “indigene”)
61. Intergenerational
62. Inter-generational
63. Invest
64. Index (for human development index)
65. Justice
66. Land
67. Landscape
68. LEED
69. Life
70. Local
71. Marine
72. Minority
73. Modernization
74. Movements
75. Multidisciplinary
76. Natural Systems
77. Nature
78. Nutrition
79. Outreach
80. Ocean
81. Planning
82. Policy
83. Poverty
84. Public
85. Prosperity
86. Pollut (to detect “pollution”, “polluting”)
87. Resilien (to detect “resilience”, “resiliency”, “resilient”)
88. Resource
89. Race
90. Recycle
91. Renewable
92. Resilience
93. Rights
94. Rural
95. Scarce
96. Scarcity
97. Sustainab (to detect “sustainable”, “sustainability”)
98. Solutions
99. Stakeholder
100. Social
101. Stewardship
102. System thinking
103. Systems thinking
104. Triple bottom line
105. Technology
106. Transdisciplinary
107. Transformation
108. Transit
109. Transparency
110. Undeserved
111. Urban agriculture
112. Urbanization
113. Waste
114. Water
115. Welfare
116. Wealth
117. Wildlife
118. Wind
119. Women

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 (if different from the options outlined above):


Are the following course types included in the inventory? :
Yes (included) or No (not included)
Internships Yes
Practicums Yes
Independent study Yes
Special topics No
Thesis / dissertation Yes
Clinical No
Physical education Yes
Performance arts Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

https://catalog.siu.edu/_common/documents/ugradcatalog1819.pdf - undergraduate catalog 2018-2019
https://gradschool.siu.edu/_common/documents/catalog/catalog-18-19/18-19-graduate-catalog.pdf - graduate catalog 2018-2019

Methodology for calculating all total university courses:
The Sustainability Fellow responsible for coding courses was also responsible for counting total courses as she progressed, following guidelines for counting courses that ensured consistency in methodology between the two lists.

Sustainability Fellow work completed by student Gabby Robles.

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.