Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.78
Liaison Kimberly Reeves
Submission Date Jan. 28, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 David Havlick
Asst Professor/ Director Sustainable Development Minor
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defines sustainable curriculum as courses that meet one or all of the following criteria:
• Identify core concepts and critiques of sustainable development,
• Describe interconnections between community structures and influences on the environment,
• Examine environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability from multiple academic disciplines,
• Understand the disciplinary overlap of sustainability issues and approach holistic real-world problems from diverse perspectives,
• Critically read, evaluate, and discuss sustainable development literature,
• Demonstrate knowledge of the ever-increasing scholarship within the sustainable development literature.

These criteria have been adopted by the university and is used to determine courses that qualify for the sustainability minor. As sustainability topics continuously expand and change focus, the definitions provided by the STARS Manual have also proved helpful in identifying areas of study that can contribute toward the teaching of sustainability.

Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

The Director of the Sustainable Development minor sent a request via email to all UCCS faculty, asking them to self-report sustainability-related teaching and research.

It was clear from the responses received that only a fraction of faculty chose to self-report, and some of the courses identified did not fall within the time frames required by STARS.

We followed up the faculty communication by conducting a comprehensive inventory to assess which courses offered in the previous academic year were sustainability-focused or sustainability-related. Using a web-based list of all courses and sections held for the 2009-2010 school year (and only courses that were actually held), three students in the fall 2010 Sustainability Seminar evaluated the descriptions of approximately 4,500 courses. Each description was reviewed for relevance to sustainability overall or its components of environment, economics, or cultural awareness and diversity. The courses were then reviewed again and separated into focused or related courses.

Courses identified by faculty in the initial survey were also used in calculations, but were only included if they were held during the 2009-2010 term.

Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:

The website URL where the sustainability course inventory is posted:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.