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-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tyler Arrigo
Program Coordinator- Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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)?:
Yes

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::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

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:

The primary multiple-choice questions asked in the literacy assessment were:

1. According to UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) and other leading researchers across the globe, the effects of climate change include:

2. How much of the Earth's available water is fit for human consumption?

3. Sustainability is often defined as responsible action in which of the following sectors:

4. Which of the following is an example of environmental justice?

5. Current increasing use of fossil fuels by humans results in an annual ________ of greenhouse gas emissions.

6. Which of the following are considered to be renewable energy resources? (Select all that apply)

7. Which of the concepts listed below is described by the following scenario?
Warmer temperatures on Earth reduce the surface area of the Earth covered by snow. Then these exposed darker lands and water areas absorb more heat which, in turn, further increases rising temperatures and melts more snow and ice.

8. Which of the following university activities, if any, have no impact on UMass Lowell’s total emissions? (Select all that apply)

9. The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is measured in parts per million (ppm). As of March 2018, atmospheric CO2 was measured at approximately what level?

10. Select the response below that best completes the following statement:
Leading scientists consider a global temperature change of 2˚C to be _________________.

11. Which of the following are considered to be greenhouse gases? (Select all that apply)

12. The United Nations has developed a broad set of goals which aim to ensure an equitable, just, and environmentally friendly world. These goals are colloquially referred to as the 17 ________.

13. In many modern, post-industrial cities like Lowell, numerous properties remain polluted by prior industrial activity. These properties are known as:

14. What is the most common cause of pollution of waterways (e.g., streams, rivers)?

15. Ozone forms a protective layer in the earth's upper atmosphere. What does the ozone protect us from?

16. In the US, what do we currently do with the nuclear waste generated by nuclear power plants?

17. Which of the following would be considered the most environmentally sustainable?

18. If you were to arrange the following list of activities from largest environmental impact to smallest, which sequence listed below best represents the order you would choose:

A. Keeping a cell phone charger plugged into an electrical outlet for 12 hours
B. Producing one McDonald's quarter-pound hamburger
C. Producing one McDonald's chicken sandwich
D. Flying in a commercial airplane from Washington, DC to China

19. Which of the following is a technique used to assess the environmental impacts associated with all of the stages of a product's life from inception to obsolescence?

20. What is meant by the term "carbon footprint"?


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

The sustainability literacy assessment was developed through a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Center for Program Evaluation in the College of Education as a way to assess students views and awareness around sustainability and develop a set of action items to inform the university sustainability program. Key concepts in the Literacy Assessment were drawn from critical areas identified in our Freshman Sustainability Module we piloted with Manning School of Business freshmen last year.


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

The assessment was administered through, Qualtrics, an online survey management tool and sent to the entire campus community through email. A prize-drawing incentive was offered to student participants in both the pre- and post-survey.


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

The Sustainability Literacy Assessment was sent out the entire student population in November of 2018, this data is currently being analyzed and the post-survey was sent out to students in February 1, 2019. Following the post-survey all of the data will be collectively analyzed and a final report will be issued. The Center for Program Evaluation and Office of Sustainability are considering publishing a manuscript based on the process and data.

We are in the process of performing analysis on the pre- and post-survey data.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.