Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.29 / 8.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Several academic programs at Southern Oregon University have learning outcomes that encompass sustainability, or feature a required course that focuses on sustainability, such as Environmental Health or Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development. The degree programs that include program level sustainability learning outcomes are:

Master of Science in Environmental Education
BA/BS Sociology & Anthropology
Certificate in Sustainability Leadership
Environmental Science & Policy Minor
BS in Environmental Science & Policy
Honors College
Regional Studies and Applied Research (RSAR) Certificate

The degree programs that do not include program-level learning outcomes, but require a sustainability course for degree completion are:
Cultural Resource Management Certificate
BA/BS Health and Physical Education
Master in Business Administration
BA/BS Outdoor Adventure Leadership
Minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership
Bachelor of Applied Science in Management
Management Concentration


Program Level Outcomes:

Master of Science in Environmental Education
Program outcomes include, but are not limited to:
Graduates will understand uses of natural resources, including:

relevant ecology
various methods of resource extraction
environmental impacts related to each of the extraction methods
management practices for sustained use

Environmental Science and Policy

Students will be able to define and describe the fundamental scientific processes and major national/international laws or protocols relevant to environmental problems in the natural sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences.

Students will communicate effectively about environmental issues in writing, speech and visual images.

Students will be able to analyze hypotheses and environmental problems utilizing statistical and data analyses.

Students will be able to construct temporal and spatial models of complex environmental problems and be able to interpret maps and spatial data of natural resource issues.

Students will act as global citizens and engage in civic activities in their community addressing sustainability.

Certificate in Sustainability Leadership
The Certificate in Sustainability Leadership (CSL) is an undergraduate interdisciplinary program designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in organizations committed to sustainable practices. The program is designed to give students a strong foundational understanding in the three E’s of sustainability: economy, environment, and equity (also known as the Triple Bottom Line). The certificate provides students with a broad understanding of all of the major applied areas of sustainable organizational leadership, including alternative transportation, waste reduction, renewable energy, green building, corporate social responsibility, fair trade, shared value, localization, community finance, and other emerging sustainable business practices.

Students who complete the certificate will have a strong grasp of what sustainability means, how it is achieved, and the forces that discourage sustainable practices. This understanding will enhance their ability to serve as effective leaders in both small and large corporations, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector throughout the region, state, and country. Students will have opportunities to work on real-world projects in the many fields of sustainability and explore how their personal values and future goals relate to their practice of sustainable organizational leadership.


The Regional Studies and Applied Research (RSAR) Certificate program is a 36-credit interdisciplinary certificate. The overall goal of the Regional Studies and Applied Research Certificate program is to provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand interrelationships among the social, cultural, economic, geographic and environmental aspects of a region. Although the region of southern Oregon will be emphasized in some of the classes, students pursuing this certificate will learn modeling processes that are widely transferable and applicable to other settings.


SOU's Green House general education program has also adopted several sustainability learning outcomes. The full list of the program's learning outcomes can be found at: https://inside.sou.edu/houses/greenhouse/ghmission.html. An example of the program's learning outcomes include:

Knowledge and Awareness Outcomes:

Has been exposed to a wide range of sustainability initiatives and topics.
Is capable of sharing examples of and applying sustainable solutions to complex problems.
Demonstrates deep understanding of the interdependence of economic, social, and environmental systems.

Sustainability Leadership Outcomes:

Demonstrates confidence as a role model for sustainability.
Inspires others to participate in sustainability through action and attitude.
Models collaborative leadership with deep commitment and value for organizational interdependence.

The SOU Honors College program level learning outcomes include:

Disposition 1 - Leadership: Through curricular and co-curricular activities students will strive to understand characteristics and forms of leadership and to exhibit leadership in various settings. These include, but are not limited to, academics, civic engagement, community service, and environmental responsibility.
Sociology & Anthropology

The Sociology & Anthropology program level learning outcomes include:
Our graduates will be able to describe and explain how people, cultures, social institutions, power-relationships and environments interact across time and space.
They will be able to document, analyze, and interpret patterns in culture and society.
They will be able to write and speak effectively.
Finally, they will practice ethical and civically engaged anthropology and sociology.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

The figures reported above for the number of graduates from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome is largely based on an inventory of degree or certificate programs that have at least one required course that is sustainability-focused. Several university programs include sustainability learning outcomes at the program level, such as Environmental Science and Policy and the Certificate in Sustainability Leadership. Other programs may not include sustainability learning outcomes within their overall program goals, but the programs require sustainability-focused courses for program completion. For example, the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program (including two major options, a minor, and a certificate) does not expressly define sustainability in its program learning outcomes, but the programs require several sustainability-focused courses including Sustainability in Outdoor Programming and Environmental Health. Similarly, the Environmental Education Masters program includes sustainability-focused courses such as Environmental Issues and the Health and Physical Education program requires Environmental Health and other courses that incorporate sustainability.

Course descriptions for some of these courses are provided below for reference:

Environmental Health: Surveys contemporary environmental issues and the interrelationship between the health of the individual and the environment. Covers such topics as population dynamics, environmental resource pollution status, environmental degradation, federal and state environmental laws, and environmental agencies.

Environmental Issues: Investigates relevant environmental issues important to today’s environmental educators. Prepares future environmental educators to address a wide range of local and regional issues facing society. Areas of study include the loss of biodiversity and strategies for preservation and recovery of threatened species, management of natural resources in a sustainable manner, and issues affecting the welfare of human population and the biosphere. To better understand regional environmental issues, relevant natural history and ecological principles are included.

Sustainability in Outdoor Programming: Explores the planning and management of adventure programming, emphasizing the connections among the environment, culture and economy.

Strategic Management: Introduces students to advanced strategic management concepts in successful organizations, including the emerging field of sustainability and its influence on organizational strategy and leadership. Students develop an understanding of how to use strategic management tools to initiate and implement problem-solving processes in dynamic and diverse environments. An in-depth case analysis allows students to demonstrate their understanding of key strategic management principles.

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

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.