Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.41
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date March 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Boulder
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Marianne Martin
Associate Director
Environmental Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

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 sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:
A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

The original literacy assessment was developed in 2009 with an assessment professional and Environmental Center staff for incoming students. Some of the questions were directly related to evaluating the effect of information sharing at orientation modules. The 2017 version was modified and updated. Other literacy assessments were reviewed for best practices.

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

1- Spring 2017 literacy assessment distributed to 1200 currently enrolled students who had also participated in incoming student survey in 2014. 2- Fall 2017 literacy assessment distributed to a representative sample of all undergrad and grad students (sample size 3500) and to a representative sample of faculty and staff (sample size 1000). Samples generated by office of Institutional Research. Assessments administered by Qualtrix.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Comparison of results of same cohort (Fall 2014 and Spring 2017 surveys) show a consistency in sustainability literacy. The question about corporate social responsibility and triple bottom line shows the most percentage movement. From 63% to 89% correct answer rate. The other question that showed significant percentage movement is the local economies question. From 50% to 71% correct answer rate. Overall, Sustainability Literacy among CU Boulder students is high (overall, fall 2017 survey of all students):
95% selected the correct definition of the term “carbon footprint”
90% correctly identified the purchasing behavior that “most effectively supports local economies”
87% selected the correct international definition of sustainable development
82% correctly identified “one of the predicted effects of climate change according to scientists”
73% selected the correct definition of the term “triple bottom line”
63% correctly identified the definition of “environmental justice”
Room for improvement:
64% did not know Colorado’s primary source of fuel for electricity (Coal).
69% did not know the largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (Electricity and heat production)
37% did not know the definition of environmental justice

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.