Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.01
Liaison Rebecca Walker
Submission Date April 13, 2022

STARS v2.2

Southern Oregon University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Rebecca Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Management, Sustainability and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

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:

Which of the following is the most commonly used definition of sustainable development?
a. Creating a government welfare system that ensures universal access to education, health care, and social services.
b. Building a neighborhood that is both socio-demographically and economically diverse.
c. Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
d. Setting aside resources for preservation, never to be used.
e. Do not know

Which of the following statements about the relationship between environmental issues and socioeconomic issues is true?
a. Poorer people are disproportionately impacted by climate change because they are more likely to live in areas threatened by water scarcity, vector-borne disease, and/or potential damage from storms and floods.
b. Wealthier people are disproportionately impacted by climate change because they are more likely to own properties and businesses that can be negatively influenced by water scarcity, vector-borne disease, and/or potential damage from storms and floods.
c. People of all socioeconomic classes are equally impacted by climate change, but for different reasons. d. Environmental issues and socioeconomic issues are unrelated.
e. Do not know

Which of the following statements about greenhouse gases is TRUE?
a. Greenhouse gases allow solar radiation to escape from the Earth’s atmosphere.
b. Methane is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.
c. Greenhouse gases help cool the Earth.
d. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.
e. Do not know

When you hear the word sustainability, which of the following do you think about? (check multiple if needed)
a. The environment
b. The economy
c. Culture
d. Socioeconomic
e. Equity and justice
f. Agriculture
g. Other: _________________________

Many economists argue that electricity prices in the U.S. are too low because:
a. They do not reflect the cost of pollution and other social effects from generating the electricity.
b. Too many suppliers go out of business.
c. Electric companies have a monopoly in their service area.
d. Consumers spend only a small part of their income on energy.
e. Do not know

Which of the following are recyclable at SOU?
Coffee cups Yes /No
Plastic Lids to coffee cups and food containers Yes/No
Aluminum cans Yes/ No
Paper Yes /No
Shredded paper Yes/ No
Plastic bottles Yes /No

To what extent has your experience as part of the SOU community impacted
a) knowledge of sustainability issues
b) sustainability-related behavior
c) awareness of social justice issues


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

The literacy assessment was developed as a collaborative project with Students, Student Sustainability Center, and SOU's Sustainability Office to understand the level of understanding around sustainability to inform outreach and communications. The faculty also supported the development of the survey. The results will be evaluated and shared with those involved in sustainability at SOU and used to inform communications and outreach. The survey on literacy was part of a larger survey combined with sustainability and transport.


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

The survey was released to all staff, faculty, and student to participate. It was open for three weeks with two weeks of tabling at the Student Union and the Hawk dining, as well as social media, newsletter release, and an all-student and all-employees email from the Vice President of Finance and Administration. The survey was structured to give us a snapshot of understanding from staff, students, and faculty.


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

The survey results highlight that there is a good understanding of sustainability in relation to environmental issues and that this has increased during time at SOU. The links between the social and environmental aspects are less understood and this can be addressed through outreach and communication.

The knowledge of sustainability at SOU e.g. waste management is also mixed and this has been addressed though a social media campaign. The survey results have been uploaded.


Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.