Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.13
Liaison John Alejandro
Submission Date March 24, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of San Diego
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.84 / 8.00 Michel Boudrias
Associate Professor
Marine and Environmental Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:

A list of the institution 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).

Furthermore all undergraduate students are required to take one first year and one upper division Integration course and many of those bring in one or more of the sustainability principles. And we are offering more USD-led study abroad courses with sustainability-related material adding an international setting to our learning outcomes.

Total number of graduates from degree programs:

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:
There are five sustainability-focused programs at the University of San Diego: (1) Environmental and Ocean Sciences; (2) Biology; (3) General Engineering – Sustainability pathways; (4) Sustainable Supply Chain; and (5) Peace and Justice Studies. The total count of students graduating from these programs with either a major, minor, or graduate level degree were acquired from USD's Dept. of Institutional Research & Planning, as were the total number of graduates (including the Law School).

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:
As noted above, there are five sustainability-focused programs at the University of San Diego: (1) Environmental and Ocean Sciences; (2) Biology; (3) General Engineering – Sustainability pathways; (4) Sustainable Supply Chain; and (5) Peace and Justice Studies.

The learning outcomes for majors and minors in Environmental and Ocean Sciences (https://www.sandiego.edu/cas/environmental-ocean-sciences/curriculum/learning-outcomes.php) are perhaps 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 and ocean sciences, including (a) the principles and the interconnectedness of the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere and (b) how human interactions affect these spheres and 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:
1. Scientific Data: Students will be able to analyze, critique, and interpret scientific data.
2. Viewpoints: Students will be able to consider multiple, diverse viewpoints within the field of research.
3. Integration: Students will be able to integrate information across content areas.
4. Communication: Students will be able to communicate scientific information ethically and effectively.

The Department of Biology at USD is grounded in the liberal arts and “engages students in real-world ethical, social and environmental issues that can impact the life sciences.” It achieves this through several learning outcomes, including:
1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the foundational concepts of biology, including cellular, organismic, ecological and evolutionary biology.
2. Rigorously and ethically apply the scientific methods to questions in biology by formulating testable hypotheses and gathering and analyzing data to assess the degree to which they support the hypotheses.
3. Demonstrate information literacy by locating, critically analyzing and discussing primary literature.

The new Integrated Engineering Sustainability path has created course requirements both in Engineering and in Environmental and Ocean Sciences. Learning outcomes include:

1. Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors.
2. Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.
3. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.

The Supply Chain Management degrees (Major, Minor and Graduate) in the School of Business have a focus on sustainability. Graduates will
1. Learn how to meet regulatory and environmental demands for sustainability, and
2. Learn to increase the efficiency of your own supply chain.

Finally, the Kroc School of Peace Studies has an undergraduate minor and graduate degrees, which are rooted in the concepts of sustainability. The School states: “Peace means more than merely the absence of war. It requires creating the conditions for humans to flourish - access to food, clean water and shelter; education for all; freedom from harm and other human rights. Today's big problems require innovative solutions to improve people's well-being, security, access to justice, economic opportunities and participation in governance. The minor is designed around the study of violence, oppression and injustice as well as innovative strategies for peacebuilding, which enable students to become effective agents of positive social change.”

All minors are required to take PJS 101 – Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies, which provides historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature of conflict, the conditions of sustainable development, and strategies for global order. Students will explore the links among these issues as a means for understanding the obstacles to, and opportunities for, peace and justice.
The Master of Arts in Peace and Justice is an interdisciplinary program at the intersection of conflict analysis and resolution, human rights, development and human security. Students in the program have the opportunity to benefit from the multiple institutes of the School of Peace Studies: the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Trans-Border Institute and the Center for Peace and Commerce (in partnership with the School of Business).

The Master of Arts in Social Innovation is a multi-disciplinary program breaking down the silo mindset. This master's degree brings together the unique skills and expertise gained at a peace school in collaboration with leadership, humanities, science and business. Students take classes in several schools, including the School of Business, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences and the Kroc School. Our approach complements the cross-sectoral nature of social innovation with a pedagogical model centered on experiential learning in course settings, field-based practicums (domestic and international) and co-curricular opportunities (such as the Social Innovation Challenge, V2 Competition and numerous opportunities through the Changemaker Hub). Students pursuing the MA in Social Innovation look critically at the roots of social challenges and injustice, then seek to create real change through bold new responses to poverty, inequality, human rights abuses and humanitarian crises. Students will acquire the knowledge, personal skills and experience needed for careers involving the creation of social change in a wide range of organizational settings. The program offers a deep understanding of trends and opportunities in social innovation, as well as capabilities in key aspects of innovation, such as business model design, leadership, communication, creativity, community engagement, human-centered design and problem solving.

Sustainability-focused learning outcomes for the MA in Peace and Justice:
1. Knowledge - Students will develop knowledge of the roots and drivers of violence, oppression, and injustice, together with peacebuilding strategies and skills to address them.
2. Diverse Perspectives - Students will be able to appreciate and evaluate diverse points of view, conflicting positions, and varying belief systems and philosophical convictions.
3. Ethical Reasoning - Students will demonstrate moral and ethical awareness to address complex social problems and build positive peace.

Sustainability-focused learning outcomes for the MA in Social Innovation:
1. Knowledge - Students will gain knowledge needed to frame, interpret and solve complex social issues, through innovative, effective solutions.
2. Diverse Perspectives - Students will develop tools such as information literacy, problem framing, multi-perspective and systemic thinking for identifying, analyzing, and addressing social issues in a variety of contexts.
3. Critical Inquiry - Students will integrate knowledge and skills to ideate and design sustainable, innovative solutions to social issues across multiple contexts using trans-disciplinary frameworks.
4. Ethical Reasoning - Students will enhance their ethical awareness in efforts to produce positive social change by learning more about themselves, and in their relation to others.

Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
18-19 graduation data were obtained from the USD Institutional Research interactive data site.

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

There are close to 300 students in the four academic majors that are sustainability-focused, and more than 100 minors. Those students contribute the most to the proportion of students taking sustainability-focused courses.

In addition to those courses, all undergraduates are required to take at least one scientific inquiry course with laboratory to satisfy their science Core Curriculum requirement. More than 40% of all undergraduates take EOSC 104 -Natural Disasters, EOSC 110 - Introduction to Earth Sciences, EOSC 121 - Introduction to Marine Biology or EOSC 123 - Organisms and Ecosystems to satisfy their science requirement. The other courses that represent another significant proportion of sustainability-focused Core courses are: ENGR 110 – The Design of Coffee, Bio 112 - Ecology and Environmental Biology, and Bio 113 – Plants and
People. Furthermore, majors in Chemistry and in Behavioral Neurosciences take Bio 240 – Bioenergetics and Systems and Bio 242 - Genomes and Evolution. All these Core science courses have content that is sustainability-focused from a STEM perspective. There are several other Core Curricular courses that are sustainability-focused that attract large numbers of students including PHIL 338 - Environmental Ethics, Phil 344 - Environmental Justice, SOCI 473 – Environmental Inequality, and POLS 349 – Politics and the Environment, among others.

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.