Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 13.64 / 14.00 Michael Vayda
Provost & Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost
"---" 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 1,301 784
Number of sustainability courses offered 48 42
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 206 102

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

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 determine the total number of courses offered and to identify sustainability course offerings, including the definitions used and the process for reviewing and/or validating the course inventory :

Definition of Sustainability Focused and Related Programs and Courses
For the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)'s STARS Course Review for Credit AC-1

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) is committed to environmental stewardship, sustainability, and climate neutrality as an institution. The university's mission is to provide an affordable and accessible education of high quality and to conduct programs of research and public service that advance knowledge, and improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the nation and the world.

UMass Lowell is dedicated to transformational education that fosters life long learning, global awareness and student success. Our academic and research programs span and interconnect the disciplines of business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. The university continues to build on its founding vision of innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships with industry and the community to address challenges facing the region and the world.

Public awareness, experiential learning and hands-on training are vital in preparing our students to work, lead and live in a more just and sustainable global society.

AASHE defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations. This review incorporates sustainability programs based on the following principles:

Sustainability focused programs and courses address the concept of sustainability, including its economic, environmental and social dimensions. The issues or topics critical to successful completion of the course are examined through a sustainability focused lens.

Sustainability related programs and courses are those that do not explicitly focus on sustainability. However, sustainability is discussed as distinct course component, unit, module, challenge or activity.

Once courses were evaluated on this criteria, they were evaluated against the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Courses that did not directly tie to any SDGs were removed from our listing.

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 (if different from the options outlined above):

Are the following course types included in the inventory? :
Yes (included) or No (not included)
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics No
Thesis / dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Using our 2016 STARS submission as a baseline, UMass Lowell's Office of Sustainability conducted a review of all course offerings at the university. Following this initial step, the Office of Sustainability worked with the Provost's office to exclude course types that were not relevant as detailed above.

The initial data was reviewed with UMass Lowell's Academic Sustainability Committee of the 2020 Strategic Plan. Following sign off from this committee, the course inventory findings were made publicly available on the UMass Lowell Office of Sustainability's website.

UMass Lowell's strength in hands-on, experiential learning is reflected in this course inventory with many courses addressing sustainability by using the City of Lowell and its diverse cultural, economic, environmental, and social offerings as a resource.

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.