Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Irvine
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
13.63 / 14.00 Richard Demerjian
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
"---" 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 1,742 1,021
Number of sustainability courses offered 62 10
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 328 155

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
20.09

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
45

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
38

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
84.44

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?:
One

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 2018 Sustainability Course Inventory presented in this section is compilation of all sustainability courses and courses including sustainability offered during the 2017/2018 academic year.

The methodology for identifying the total number of qualifying courses offered was improved for the 2018 inventory. Non-applicable course such as internships, practicums, independent study, special topics, thesis/dissertation, clinical, and performance art classes were excluded from the 2018 inventory consistent with STARS guidelines. These courses were excluded from both the count of sustainability course offerings and the count of total courses. Previous years' inventories did not fully exclude all of these non-applicable courses, resulting in the lower amount of total graduate and undergraduate courses.

The methodology used for the 2018 review of academic courses was updated from previous inventories and involved a more rigorous review of courses involving a three-tiered process of campus-wide faculty surveys, review of course descriptions, and follow-up interviews with faculty in selected academic departments. First, UCI faculty were surveyed via an online form. The link to this form was emailed to all campus faculty via a mailing list maintained by ZotMail, UCI's primary electronic communication system. ZotMail enables authorized senders in the offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans to send official UCI messages using a password-protected interface. Survey respondents were given the definition of a “sustainability course” versus a “course that includes sustainability,” as well as a link to UCI’s most recent course inventory. Respondents were then asked to identify any courses they taught within the last three academic years that met each definition. 159 individuals responded to the survey, identifying a total of 33 sustainability and sustainability-related courses. Courses that were not offered in the most recent academic year were removed.

Because this number does not capture the full range of sustainability course offerings at UCI, the survey was then supplemented by a review of the UCI course catalog in order to identify additional courses that meet the definition of “sustainability course” or “course that includes sustainability.” In addition to conducting a comprehensive campus wide faculty survey and a review of all course descriptions, sustainability staff interviewed selected faculty to confirm course content related to sustainability. As an example of course content identified in these interviews, ceramics faculty include sustainability as part of course instruction including water and materials conservation, firing techniques and associated energy use, and the carbon footprint of materials procurement.


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):

Each unique course was counted as a single course. Only primary courses were counted. Secondary courses (e.g., labs, discussions, independent study, etc.) were not included; field courses directly related to sustainability were included. Courses with multiple offerings within a year or courses that are offered annually were counted as one unique course. Courses with the same general number but with unique course designations (e.g., ESS 60A and ESS 60B, for which ESS 60A is a prerequisite) were counted individually. Courses cross-listed in multiple departments with unique course numbers were counted as separate courses.


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

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The methodology for identifying the total number of qualifying courses offered was improved for the 2018 inventory. Non-applicable course such as internships, practicums, independent study, special topics, thesis/dissertation, clinical, and performance art classes were excluded from the 2018 inventory consistent with STARS guidelines. These courses were excluded from both the count of sustainability course offerings and the count of total courses. Previous years' inventories did not fully exclude all of these non-applicable courses, resulting in the lower amount of total graduate and undergraduate courses.

The methodology used for the 2018 review of academic courses was updated from previous inventories and involved a more rigorous review of courses involving a three-tiered process of campus-wide faculty surveys, review of course descriptions, and follow-up interviews with faculty in selected academic departments.

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.