Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.77
Liaison Andrew Porter
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" 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::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

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:

Sustainability Survey 2019


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

In 2016, the Office of Sustainability collected examples of survey instruments being used by other schools to assess both environmental literacy and the experiences of campus culture as it relates to sustainability. These include Ohio State and the University of Maryland, with their ASK instrument; the annual survey American University conducts, and others. These instruments were adapted by the UC Office of Sustainability in cooperation with UC Institutional Research, and a combined survey instrument that assesses both environmental literacy and campus culture were adopted in 2016 and first administered in 2017.


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

UC’s first sustainability literacy assessment was conducted in 2017 and sent to students on the Uptown campus. In 2019, a slightly-updated version of the same instrument was once again distributed to the student body on the Uptown campus, including to the third- and fourth-year student cohorts to whom the assessment had been administered in 2017. (It was also distributed to faculty and staff.)

The 2019 assessment served as a "post-test" to determine the degree to which sustainability literacy had changed for the third- and fourth-year students; it also served as the "pre-test" for first- and second-year students.

The Office of Sustainability worked with the University’s departments of Institutional Research and Communications to best determine the most effective way to share the survey to ensure a diverse representative sample, which ended up being creating a unique listserv group that included all full-time students, staff, and faculty on the Uptown campus. The survey, which was developed using Qualtrics, was disseminated to approximately 26,000 students, and 8,700 faculty and staff via email. The survey will continue to be administered every two years to the entire student body, and results will continue to be tracked to use first-and second-year student responses as "pre-test" results, and upper-class student responses as "post-test" results.


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

The percentage of correct answers for the environmental literacy questions each went down a couple of points from 2017 to 2019. For example, one questions asked “Which of the following is a greenhouse gas?” Carbon dioxide was the correct answer and in 2017, 96.13% of the responses were correct and in 2019 only 94.76% of the responses were correct. For more detailed analysis of results, see attachment.


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

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