Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Andrew Horning
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Michigan
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Andrew Horning
Managing Director
Graham Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

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:

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

The Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) is designed to inform educational programs and campus operations at U-M and is an outgrowth of the Community Awareness goal area of the U-M Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment.

Building on information gleaned from focus groups, two questionnaires were designed
and have been administered to samples of university students, faculty, and staff in Fall
2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Winter 2018, and Fall 2021. The web surveys yield
responses from approximately 3,500 students and 1,500 faculty and staff members each
cycle. Questions cover travel and transportation, waste prevention and conservation, the
natural environment, climate change, food, and engagement, awareness, and ratings of
campus sustainability initiatives. Survey data are supplemented with geographic data
covering campus buildings where respondents live, work and study.  In 2021, a new set of
questions was added relating to U-M’s carbon neutrality efforts.

A representative sample as described below and on EN6, also received a 12 question sustainability literacy assessment. With the permission of the developers we included the Assessing Sustainability Knowledge (ASK) questions on the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program questionnaires. We chose to use the ASK questions as they have been rigorously tested and refined, and by using the same questions as other institutions we will also be able to do cross-institution comparisons. The results from the first round data collection are included below for the student cross-section and the student panel (which will serve as the post-assessment sample when the questions are next asked two years from now).

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

Based on guidelines provided by the Survey Research Operations unit of the U-M
Institute for Social Research, the selection of the sample of students is made by the U-M
Office of the Registrar. In order to be eligible for selection, two key sample parameters
were identified and defined the sampling frame: 1) a full-time undergraduate, graduate or
professional student, and 2) registered for the fall semester on the Ann Arbor campus.
In order to reach the targeted number of students from each undergraduate cohort and
from graduate students, names are selected from each group (strata) who are contacted
and invited to participate in the survey. The faculty and staff sample is drawn by the U-M
Human Resources Records and Information Services. To be eligible employees have to
meet two criteria: 1) be benefits eligible, and 2) employed on September 1, of the year of
the survey. In fall 2021 a total of 19,499 students, faculty, and staff were contacted with a
26.0% overall response rate. Additional information can be found in the SCIP
Methodology report found at: https://graham.umich.edu/index.php/scip/materials

Delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our survey administration plans. We
had originally planned to use our 2018 student panel for pre and post-assessment but
COVID delays ruled that out as all panel members have graduated. However, we can still
offer longitudinal insights based on the representative samples from 2018
and 2021.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

- Of the 12 ASK questions, five (1, 2, 3, 5, and 9) have slightly lower percentages of students (shaded in red) identifying the correct response than in 2018. However, these results fall within 1-3 percentage points.
- Of the 12 Ask questions, seven (4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12) have higher percentages of students (shaded
in green) identifying the correct response than in 2018. These results fall in the range of 2-25
percentage points. The environmental justice question saw the greatest increase – 62% correct to
87% correct, and the environmental impact question increased from 47% correct to 57% correct.
- As in 2018, more than 80% of respondents selected the correct answers for questions about the
ozone layer, wealth disparity, and which country is the largest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon
- In 2021, 9 of the 12 questions saw the majority of students selecting the correct response.
- As in 2018, the question with the lowest percentage of correct responses was about the depletion
of fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean (28% correct in 2018 and 30% correct in 2021).
- As in 2018, for all of the 12 questions the highest percentage of respondents selected the correct

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment 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.