Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.21
Liaison Jeannie Matheison
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Idaho
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Jeannie L. Matheison
Sustainability 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::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

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:

Literacy assessment questions begin on page 15 of the University of Idaho Campus Sustainability Survey 2018. The report is posted on the survey page of the Sustainability Center website, at:


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

The UI Campus Sustainability Survey is modeled on the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Project (SCIP) developed by the University of Michigan. The environmental literacy portion of the survey comes from the Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge developed by Ohio State University, courtesy of Adam Zwickle. We adjusted the questions to fit our campus, removed some of the items, and added a few of our own. In years prior, we conducted a separate transportation survey to calculate the commute modal split of students and employees, but this year we incorporated transportation questions into this cultural and environmental literacy assessment to reduce survey fatigue. We ended up with two surveys: one for students and one for employees. The employee survey is twenty questions in length. The student survey has ten additional environmental literacy questions for a total of thirty questions. We conducted cognitive interviews of the complete survey to identify and correct wording, question order, visual design, and navigation problems. Surveys were conducted in November 2017.

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

We distributed the survey to a representative sample of the Moscow campus by email (Appendix A); it was sent out by University Communications and Marketing in November 2017. As a matter of university policy, we were not permitted to send email reminders; as an alternative, we sent one reminder to each cohort by way of the Daily Register and the MyUidaho news feed. The response rate is 12% for students and 19% for employees. The resulting data is de-identified, which means the survey is anonymous.

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

In the environmental literacy portion of the survey, student respondents answered ten questions to evaluate their knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges such as climate change, conservation, and environmental justice. Students scored an average of 70%.

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.