Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.29
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.78 / 14.00 Darci Connor Maresca
Project Manager, Sustainability Programming
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 2,787 1,864
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 91 84
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 120 111

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :
For the two semesters of the academic year 2021-2022 we obtained from the registrar the complete listing of class offerings. The database obtained includes a separate record for every primary instructor, graduate teaching assistant and undergraduate classroom assistant for every section, discussion group, lab or colloquium of these courses. There were more than 12,000 records in total per semester. All courses were counted once, regardless of the number of sections or number of times the course was offered during the academic year. We choose not to include internships, practica or independent studies, even though UMass has many students enrolled in that type of sustainability immersive learning opportunity. Those opportunities are difficult to track or compare relative to the sustainability-focused and inclusive metrics, so we opted not to include them. After removing those courses, the remaining courses were inventoried to identify sustainability courses (“Sustainability Focused”) and courses that contain sustainability (“Sustainability Inclusive”) per the definitions provided in the STARS 2.2 Technical Manual.

We maintain a database of known sustainability faculty, updated annually, whose courses have in the past met the criteria of being either sustainability focused or sustainability inclusive, and address one or more UMass sustainability learning outcomes. To develop the sustainability course listing for a given academic year (in the case of this current submission, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022), we go through a three-step process to build our sustainability course list:

1. Identify the courses offered during the 2021/2022 academic year that are already on our "living inventory master list" of sustainability courses (sustainability courses offered at least once during the previous 3 academic years).
2. Extract all classes taught by sustainability faculty members from the remaining courses; not all of those courses automatically meet our criteria, so we then assess course-by-course whether they meet the sustainability focused or sustainability inclusive criteria. Those courses that meet the criteria are added to the course list.
3. Review the remaining courses—which may be taught by new faculty, or by existing faculty members who had not previously taught a sustainability course—and add any additional courses that meet the criteria.
4. For any courses in question, we reach out to the faculty directly to clarify whether the course is sustainability-focused, inclusive, or neither.

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted:

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
The data on courses for the academic year 2021/2022, we obtained from the university registrar.

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.