Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.94
Liaison John Alejandro
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of San Diego
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.70 / 8.00 Michael Catanzaro
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Within the USD Core Curriculum, all undergraduates have specific science and technological learning outcomes. Learning Outcome #4 specifies that students should be able to: “Identify and use appropriate and sufficient scientific evidence to evaluate claims and explanations about the natural and designed world.” Per the Scientific and Technological Core Area Learning Outcome report, this outcome may be assessed through “An assignment that requires students to evaluate competing solutions to a design problem based on any one or combination of the following: scientific ideas and principles, empirical evidence, and logical arguments regarding relevant factors (e.g. economic, societal, environmental, ethical considerations).” The full list of science-based outcomes is available at: http://www.sandiego.edu/outcomes/documents/learning-outcomes/Science-and-Tech-Inq.pdf.

Further, almost one-third of our Institutional Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (Learning Outcomes #10, #11, #12, #13) focus on at least one of the aspects of sustainability in connection with several requirements of the Core Curriculum:

• LO #10 Diversity-Inclusion-Social Justice: Students will be able to become critically self-aware, recognize and respect difference, conceptualize and critically articulate the complexities of difference and experience and define difference through the work of social justice.

• LO #11 Civic Engagement: Students will be able to adjust personal perspectives by engaging diverse communities, connect fields of study to community life, develop a sense of civic identity, tailor communication in working with others to promote civic action, demonstrate team leadership through civic engagement activities and commit to work with communities to achieve a civic aim.

• LO #12, Integrated Learning, occurs both in the first year within Living Learning Communities (including one dedicated to Sustainability), and at the upper division with courses and research projects designed to incorporate interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability including the environmental, artistic, political, social, ethical and economic aspects of sustainability. Several courses within specific areas of inquiry in the Core (Theology & Religious Studies, History, Ethical, Social and Behavioral, Diversity and Social Justice, Scientific and Technological) are strongly focused on sustainability specifically (Please see http://www.sandiego.edu/outcomes/student-learning/learning-and-assessment/evidence-of-learning/).

• LO #13 Ethical Reasoning: Students will be able to acquire foundational knowledge about ethics; reason ethically through the application of theories and traditions; analyze contemporary issues; develop, articulate, and defend a well-reasoned ethical judgment; and reflect on and evaluate their own ethical decisions, actions, practices, and responsibilities.

Because all USD undergrads are expected to fulfill the obligations of the Core Curriculum, the combination of the above learning outcomes ensures that each is exposed to the key elements of sustainability (economic, societal, and environmental).

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

At the undergraduate level, the learning outcomes for majors and minors in Environmental and Ocean Sciences (http://www.sandiego.edu/cas/environmental-ocean-sciences/program/learning-outcomes) are the best example of the dedication to sustainability at the program level at USD. The first Learning Outcome is an understanding of the “fundamental principles in environmental studies, including (a) principles of natural sciences (ecology, earth sciences), social sciences (policy, economics, sociology) and the humanities (history, ethics); (b) the interconnectedness of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities in an environmental context; and (c) how human activities affect these connections.” Moreover, this department has created and is actively planning several integrated experiences for broader audiences supporting the Integrated Learning area of the Core Curriculum.

Sustainability-focused outcomes for the Environmental & Ocean Sciences (Marine Science) graduate program include:
• Scientific Data: Students will be able to analyze, critique, and interpret scientific data.
• Viewpoints: Students will be able to consider multiple, diverse viewpoints within the field of research.
• Integration: Students will be able to integrate information across content areas.
• Communication: Students will be able to communicate scientific information ethically and effectively.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

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

15-16 Graduation data used from IRP site.

The revised description of institutional learning outcomes increased the total number of students who qualify for this credit and raised the total count.

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.