Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.31 / 8.00 Emily Hightower
Sustainability Coordinator
Environmental Safety, Sustainability, and Risk
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:
Sustainability-supportive

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:
The University of Maryland offers a transformative General Education Program (GenEd) that will help students succeed in their careers and become engaged, global citizens. UMD's GenEd Program includes a goal that all undergraduates will be able to define the ethical imperatives necessary to create a just society in their own communities and in the larger world. Specifically, GenEd learning outcomes supporting sustainability specify that students will:
-- Advance their reasoning, problem solving, speaking and writing skills, and begin to use them in all aspects of their lives
-- Discover new knowledge about the natural world, the past, and human thought and action, which will further their understanding of our universe and empower them to meet its challenges

UMD’s GenEds are categorized by Fundamental Studies (basic skills in communication, analysis, and critical thinking); Distributive Studies (introduction to a variety of disciplines and topics); Diversity (investigation into the complexities of human difference and commonality); and I-Series (exploration of big questions of current and enduring significance).

The I-Series courses are the signature of UMD’s Gen Ed program, engaging students in consideration of topics and issues that spark imagination, demand intellect, and inspire innovation. These courses challenge students to wrestle with big questions, examine the ways different disciplines address them, and when feasible, provide opportunities for real-world implementation. I-Series courses are built around contemporary problems such as economic climacterics, disease pandemics, and state terrorism or enduring questions about matters including the nature of political authority and power, the sources of human creativity, diversity, and sustainability, or the meaning of freedom and equality.

Diversity courses investigate the complexities of human difference and commonality rather than affirm or celebrate difference. These courses emphasize the promises and problems of plural societies and challenges that must be addressed to achieve just, equitable, and productive societies. The requirement is divided into two categories: Understanding Plural Societies and Cultural Competence. The first requires students to recognize life in a globally competitive society of the 21st century requires an ability to comprehend both theoretical and practical dimensions of human difference. The second requires students to gain increased understanding of culture and cultural practices, while fostering thoughtful consideration of issues of equity and justice, critical thinking, self-reflection, empathy, engaged global citizenship, and the development of skills necessary to work effectively with individuals, groups, and teams from diverse identities and perspectives.

In summary:
I-Series: Courses engage students in broad, analytical thinking about contemporary problems and the enduring issues of human existence.
Diversity: Courses promote self-understanding and understanding of others, sharpen students’ awareness of the consequences, intended and unintended of previous generations’ decisions and, by doing so, alert them to the significance of their own choices.

Total number of graduates from degree programs:
11,658

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
4,817

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:
The University’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment reports on degrees awarded by major or concentration. The Office of Sustainability identified sustainability-related learning outcomes for Bachelors degrees and identified Masters and Doctorate programs with sustainability-related focuses, concentrations, or outcomes. The numbers reported represent all graduates from degree programs with sustainability content. A sustainability focus was used to analyze graduate degrees because learning outcomes for graduate programs as a matter of practice generally do not focus on specific concepts or content, but rather broad mastery of a discipline and demonstration of professional academic skills like publishing and teaching.

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
For a complete list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability, please review the attachment. Some examples of undergraduate level major learning outcomes are included below.

Agricultural and Resource Economics: Knowledge of policies and institutional arrangements relevant to agricultural, environmental, and resource economics

Aerospace Engineering: Understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, societal, environmental, and economic context

Bioengineering: An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.

Mechanical Engineering: An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.

Public and Community Health: Examine the socio-economic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities.

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation incorporates sustainability learning outcomes into all degrees. The division level learning outcome is students should demonstrate the ability to design projects that provide healthful environments while conserving resources for future generations. In addition, the School's mission is to educate Architects, Planners, Preservationists, Developers and the many allied stakeholders whose work and scholarship focuses on the quality of the built environment and promotes social justice, cultural value, resource conservation and economic opportunity.

Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:
One

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
41.32

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Other components of General Education Requirements at UMD also include sustainability-supportive learning outcomes as listed here:
-- Look at complex questions and identify the science and how it impacts and is impacted by political, social, economic, or ethical dimensions.
-- Explain how culture, social structure, diversity, or other key elements of historical context have an impact on individual perception, action, and values.
-- Explain how history or social science can be used to analyze contemporary issues and to develop policies for social change.
-- Collaborate in order to bring about a successful outcome.
-- Demonstrate understanding of the basis of human diversity and socially-driven constructions of difference: biological, cultural, historical, social, economic, or ideological.
-- Explicate the policies, social structures, ideologies or institutional structures that do or do not create inequalities based on notions of human difference.
-- Explain how cultural beliefs influence behaviors and practices at the individual, organizational or societal levels.
-- Reflect in depth about critical similarities, differences, and intersections between their own and others' cultures or sub-cultures so as to demonstrate a deepening or transformation of original perspectives.
-- Effectively use skills to negotiate cross-cultural situations or conflicts in interactions inside or outside the classroom.
Learn more at: https://gened.umd.edu/

Graduate Course Catalog: https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/graduate/
Undergraduate Course Catalog: https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/undergraduate/colleges-schools/

Other components of General Education Requirements at UMD also include sustainability-supportive learning outcomes as listed here:
-- Look at complex questions and identify the science and how it impacts and is impacted by political, social, economic, or ethical dimensions.
-- Explain how culture, social structure, diversity, or other key elements of historical context have an impact on individual perception, action, and values.
-- Explain how history or social science can be used to analyze contemporary issues and to develop policies for social change.
-- Collaborate in order to bring about a successful outcome.
-- Demonstrate understanding of the basis of human diversity and socially-driven constructions of difference: biological, cultural, historical, social, economic, or ideological.
-- Explicate the policies, social structures, ideologies or institutional structures that do or do not create inequalities based on notions of human difference.
-- Explain how cultural beliefs influence behaviors and practices at the individual, organizational or societal levels.
-- Reflect in depth about critical similarities, differences, and intersections between their own and others' cultures or sub-cultures so as to demonstrate a deepening or transformation of original perspectives.
-- Effectively use skills to negotiate cross-cultural situations or conflicts in interactions inside or outside the classroom.
Learn more at: https://gened.umd.edu/

Graduate Course Catalog: https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/graduate/
Undergraduate Course Catalog: https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/undergraduate/colleges-schools/

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.