Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.84
Liaison Teddy Lhoutellier
Submission Date April 26, 2024

STARS v2.2

University of Miami
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Carlie Laughlin
Sustainability Analyst
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?:
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 list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:
1) What is the primary reason for increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? 2) Raw materials extraction has harmful effects on public health and the environment in many parts of the world, and thus personal action to reduce consumption, recycle, or reuse items reduces these harms. 3) Which of the following is the best example of environmental justice? 4) An area of land near a river used to be almost constantly flooded. After a dam was placed upstream, the flooding stopped, and the area of land is now mainly dry. If the conditions remain dry for several years, which of the following changes is most likely to happen? 5) How is climate change altering precipitation in the U.S.? 6) As of Summer 2021, the University of Miami procures close to 100% of its electricity through solar energy. This was made possible thanks to: 7) How do climate factors (temperature, precipitation, & humidity) relate to vector-borne disease? 8) The coffee served in UM dining halls is Fair Trade certified. What does Fair Trade certified mean? 9) Which of the following is the most commonly used definition of "sustainable development"? 10) What is the primary benefit of wetlands?

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:
The Office of Sustainability created a combined sustainability literacy (10 questions) and culture assessment (10 questions) that was administered to the entire campus community via representative sample. The survey was created by assessing questions from successful surveys showcased on the STARS webpage and reviewing what questions would best suit our programming needs.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :
A mass email was sent by the UM Communication Department to all staff, faculty and students. To reach additional students, we contacted faculty from different schools on our Coral Gables campus and asked them to administer pre- and post-course surveys to their classes. Results are evaluated through data analytics provided by our survey online tool.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):
These are a few of the main takeaways: 1) An overwhelming majority of students understand that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by human activities. 2) A majority of students got "social science" oriented questions correct. 3) When it came to natural sciences, students were more likely to be split between answers. For example, students were split 50/50 on question #4, between "The plants will die out until there are no plants left in the area," and "The types of plants will change to those plants better suited to drier conditions."

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about 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.