Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.97
Liaison Teddy Lhoutellier
Submission Date March 13, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Miami
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Teddy Lhoutellier
Sustainability Manager
Environmental Health and Safety
"---" 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)?:

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::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

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:

Q7 - The production of heat trapping Green House Gases in our atmosphere is the primary source of Global Warming. Which gas is NOT a Green House Gas?

Q15 - The "Holocene extinction" refers to the ongoing mass extinction of species mainly due to human activity. What is the first cause of this mass extinction?

Q18 - Which of those areas is NOT considered an energy intensive space?

Q20 - Producing meat and animal-derived products requires more resources and energy than crops, fruits or vegetables. More resource equals more carbon emissions. What solutions do we have to reverse that trend?

Q21 - Taxing what we want less of - like pollution - instead of what we want more of - like wages - would make sense. Internationally and in the US, several policies are making polluters pay for the cost of carbon pollution. Which one is not a carbon pricing policy?

Q30 - The image on ocean pollution above relates to what recent decision by the City of Coral Gables?

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

The assessment was developed by the Office of Sustainability in consultation with the Ecosystem Science and Policy Center and faculty members that sit on our Sustainability Committee. The questions came from some of their class material, some came from standardized tests on sustainability. We also wanted to add a local dimension to it, so we added questions related to our campus and our community environmental, social and economic challenges.

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

We agreed on dividing the questions in two: nearly half of the questions were global sustainability questions addressing most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the other half, local sustainable community or sustainability in the workplace questions.
352 individuals took the survey which was sent massively through our University Department of Communication outlets.

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

The survey was comprised of diverse questions covering the spectrum of international, national, local and workplace sustainability related topics.
Nearly 60% of surveys came from staff, nearly 30% from students and a very small portion from faculty members.

The observations made from the results are as follows:
- Answers to local sustainability related matters (5 questions) were mostly accurate (over 90%)
- Answers to workplace sustainability related best practices (7 questions) were also mostly accurate (over 90%)
- General questions for other topics like Water Conservation, Sustainable Food and Environmentally Preferred Products received an average of 70% accuracy (3 questions)
- Questions on international policies, climate science and sustainable development goals received a much lower score: 59% accuracy (8 questions)

The overall average of accurate answers to the survey was 73%.
We are planning to send a new survey every year to follow up on sustainability educational outreach impact on our campuses.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.