Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn 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::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

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 list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:
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A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

A climate literacy team, consisting of two Student Eco-Reps and a representative from the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, developed and deployed Penn's first Climate Literacy Assessment during the 2020/2021 Academic year. This team conducted a literature review to gain an understanding of studies conducted at other universities, conducted informational interviews with Penn staff and faculty and staff at similar institutions, and drafted survey questions. Questions were reviewed by Penn Faculty and the Penn Sustainability Office. The survey was deployed to all undergraduate students through communications from the Undergraduate Assembly.


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

The survey was sent to the chairs of each of Penn's undergraduate departments for distribution to students in their departments. Data collected was not fully representative of the undergraduate student body due to the complexity of communicating with different departments. Penn's undergraduate population is about 10,000 students. 223 students completed the survey. First year students and nursing students were under represented.


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

Overall the survey revealed that students were moderately knowledgeable about some climate topics, such as policy, and uninformed about others, such as specifics about climate change.


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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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton Center has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.