Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.59
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 14.00 / 14.00 Brenna Biggs
Sustainability Analyst
UCI Office of 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 1,628 1,104
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 100 49
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 802 382

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
48.79

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:
59

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
57

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
96.61

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 complete the course inventory :

The 2021 Sustainability Course Inventory presented in this section is compilation of all sustainability courses and courses including sustainability offered during the 2020/2021 academic year. Courses that were only offered during summer were not included.

The methodology for identifying the total number of qualifying courses offered was improved for the 2021 inventory. Non-applicable courses such as internships, practicums, independent study, special topics, thesis/dissertation, clinical, and performance art classes were excluded from the 2021 inventory consistent with STARS guidelines. These courses were excluded from both the count of sustainability course offerings and the count of total courses. Fewer courses were offered during the 2020-2021 academic year than in previous years because many classes were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Although previous inventories excluded the School of Law from this inventory, this 2021 submission included School of Law courses in order to be more inclusive of the overall campus sustainability offerings.

The methodology used for the 2021 review of academic courses was updated from previous inventories and involved a campus-wide faculty survey, a review of previous inventories, and a rigorous comparison to recommended sustainability keywords.

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 asked to self-identify sustainability-related courses that they had taught within the 2020-2021 academic year given a list of 519 sustainability keywords adapted from the Earth Charter and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Respondents were asked to include how sustainability was incorporated into the course. 147 individuals responded to the survey, identifying a total of 101 sustainability-related courses. Courses that were included in responses in the survey that did not meet the criteria for AC-1 (e.g., they were offered outside of the regular academic year in summer, were an internship program, etc.) are included for reference at the end of the AC-1 inventory on Page 241 under "Additional Self-Reported Courses." These courses are not calculated into the overall count.

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 previous 2018 course inventory to identify additional courses that have continued to be offered in 2020-2021. Finally, each course description was read and compared to the list of 519 sustainability keywords to identify additional courses. Additionally, each course description was evaluated to determine to what degree it incorporated the ecological, social, and economic components of sustainability, and/or whether it addressed a sustainability challenge. Each course was then labelled as sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive and the implied or included sustainability keywords were added. Please note "sustainability-related" is a term used in the inventory to represent all courses defined as either sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive.

Out of the 60 departments listed in PRE-5, one (Clinical Pharmacy Practice) did not offer classes that met the above chosen criteria for AC-1 during the 2020 – 2021 academic year because the course offerings were all practicums or clinical. These were not included in the total number of departments for the AC-1 credit. Therefore, the calculations for AC-1 used 59 departments rather than 60 departments. Out of these, 57 offered sustainability-related (sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive) courses.

Once a draft of the AC-1 inventory was completed, it was sent to various faculty representatives from several Schools and Departments for their approval and any additions.


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:

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 as long as all the cross-listed courses had different numbers – if two were the same, only one of the two were counted. For example, LSCI 142, LPS 104 and PHIL 104 were only counted twice because LPS 104 and PHIL 104 have the same course number.


Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The methodology for identifying the total number of qualifying courses offered was significantly 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 2021 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. Eight different faculty members representing the Schools of Engineering, Physical Sciences, Social Ecology, Biological Sciences, Law, Arts, Physical Sciences, Information and Computer Sciences, the Program in Public Health, and the Department of Earth System Science reviewed the course inventory and confirm which courses were identified as sustainability-focused or -inclusive.

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.