Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.44
Liaison Rachel Kornhauser
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York at Oneonta
IN-1: Sustainability Course Designation

Status Score Responsible Party
0.50 / 0.50 Rachel Kornhauser
Sustainability Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution formally designate sustainability courses in its standard course catalog or listings?:

A brief description of the formal sustainability course designation program, including the methodology used to identify and approve courses for inclusion:

A two-tiered designation system that would identify sustainability-focused courses as well as sustainability-related course sections was approved by the Curriculum Committee (December 2014). The basic guidelines are based on AASHE’s recommendations and STARS recognition. The sustainability-focused designation will be granted to courses in a manner that will not vary by section, while the sustainability-related designation will be granted to course sections so that it may vary by section. For example, a section on Calculus might include sustainability examples, but that would not be required of all sections of Calculus.

Designation Definitions:
The task of defining sustainability is not a simple one, as the concept entails a range of meaning. The PACS committee working definition: “sustainability: meeting the economic, environmental, and social needs of present and future generations.”

● Sustainability-Focus
○ will be assigned by course
○ AASHE guideline: “a course in which the primary and explicit focus is on sustainability and/or on understanding or solving one or more major sustainability challenge (e.g., the course contributes toward achieving principles outline in the Earth Charter).”
● Sustainability-Related
○ will be assigned by section
○ AASHE guideline: “a course that includes sustainability that is primarily focused on a topic other than sustainability, but incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability issues throughout the course.”

Process for Identifying Sustainability-Focused and Sustainability-Related Courses:

As the sustainability-focused designation will be permanent, since it is given at the course level, we propose that anyone currently teaching such a course submit a Sustainability Designation Application form with a copy of the course syllabus to the PACS (Presidents Advisory Committee on Sustainability) committee. After reviewing these documents, PACS will submit a copy of these with a recommendation to the college Curriculum Committee for discussion and final approval. These courses will retain the designation permanently and will not require resubmission for future semesters.

The sustainability-related designation will be more variable, since it is given at the section level. The process will be similar, but will involve continual work. Since these course sections are not permanently focused on sustainability, a resubmission will be required to retain the designation for each future semester.  

Sustainability Focused courses are listed in the online course catalog and can be searched for by this attribute. Sustainability Related courses are listed by attribute in the online course search for a given term.

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

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.