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

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 1.00 Sally DeLeon
Acting Manager
Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk


Institution conducts an assessment of campus sustainability culture. The cultural assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors, and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives.

An assessment that covers a single sustainability topic (e.g., a transportation survey) does not count in the absence of a more comprehensive cultural assessment. Likewise, assessments that exclusively address sustainability literacy (i.e., knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges) are excluded. Literacy assessments are recognized in the Sustainability Literacy Assessment credit in Curriculum.

Participation by U.S. and Canadian institutions in the Sustainability Education Consortium (NSSE) qualifies as a cultural assessment.

An institution may use a single instrument that addresses sustainability literacy, culture, and/or engagement to meet the criteria for this credit if a substantive portion of the assessment (e.g., at least ten questions or a third of the assessment) focuses on sustainability values, behaviors, and/or beliefs.


This credit applies to all institutions.


An institution earns the maximum of 1 point available for this credit by administering a longitudinal assessment to the entire campus community, directly or by representative sample. Partial points are available based on the population assessed and whether or not the assessment is conducted longitudinally, as follows:

Attributes of the sustainability culture assessment (points awarded)

Points earned

An assessment of sustainability culture is:

  • Administered to the entire campus community directly or by representative sample (0.5 points)


  • Administered to a subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community. (0.25 points)


  • Administered longitudinally to measure change over time (i.e., with one or more follow-up assessments administered to the same cohort or representative samples of the same population).

× 2

Total points earned →

Up to 1




Report the most recent data available from assessments administered within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission. A structured longitudinal assessment for which an initial assessment has been conducted and one or more follow up assessments have been scheduled may count.

Sampling and Data Standards

An institution may choose to measure sustainability culture by administering a survey to a representative sample of the population being assessed or by surveying the entire population being assessed (e.g., by making the assessment mandatory).  

In conducting an assessment with a representative sample (e.g., an entire class or cohort of students), care should be taken so that participation in the assessment is not skewed toward individuals with an interest in sustainability, e.g., by employing appropriate sampling techniques or making the assessment mandatory. Recruiting students during a sustainability event or limiting the assessment to students enrolled in a sustainability course or program, for example, would not result in a representative sample.

An institution may report on a single assessment or on multiple assessments that target different groups (e.g., students enrolled in specific programs, or separate assessments for staff and students).

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.