Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.07
Liaison Matt Wolsfeld
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Saskatchewan
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.13 / 14.00 Matt Wolsfeld
Community Engagement Co-ordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 1,999 932
Number of sustainability courses offered 81 19
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 98 26

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to determine the total number of courses offered and to identify sustainability course offerings, including the definitions used and the process for reviewing and/or validating the course inventory :

2018-2019 Course Inventory Methodology
The aim of this inventory was to provide updated data on the number and types of sustainability, indigenization, and internationalization courses being offered at the University of Saskatchewan. This information can then be compared with previous inventories (in the case of sustainability courses), used to inform future course offerings and to promote these courses to interested students. Sustainability course information also contributes to the University’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) score. This inventory updated previous sustainability course inventories conducted in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016.
In 2018-2019, courses were also reviewed for Indigenization and Internationalization themes. This allowed for an efficient, systematic scan of all regular course offerings at the University on multiple areas of interest.

Definitions of Sustainability-focused and Sustainability-inclusive courses are from the STARS Technical Manual Version 2.2.
Sustainability-Focused Courses
To count as sustainability-focused, the course title or description must indicate a primary and explicit focus on sustainability. This includes:
• Foundational courses with a primary and explicit focus on sustainability (e.g., Introduction to Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainability Science).
• Courses with a primary and explicit focus on the application of sustainability within a field (e.g., Architecture for Sustainability, Green Chemistry, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Business). As sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic, such courses generally incorporate insights from multiple disciplines.
• Courses with a primary and explicit focus on a major sustainability challenge (e.g., Climate Change Science, Environmental Justice, Global Poverty and Development, Renewable Energy Policy). The focus of such courses might be on providing knowledge and understanding of the problems and/or the tools for solving them.

The course title or description does not have to use the term “sustainability” to count as sustainability-focused if the primary and explicit focus of the course is on the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems or a major sustainability challenge. If the course title and description do not unequivocally indicate such a focus, but it is evident from the course description or syllabus that the course incorporates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts in a prominent way, the course may qualify as sustainability-inclusive (see below).

Courses that Include Sustainability
Courses that are not explicitly focused on sustainability may contribute towards scoring if sustainability has clearly been incorporated into course content. To count as sustainability-inclusive, the course description or rationale provided in the course inventory must indicate that the course incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts throughout the course. While a foundational course such as chemistry or sociology might provide knowledge that is useful to practitioners of sustainability, it would not be considered “sustainability-inclusive” unless the concept of sustainability or sustainability challenges and issues are specifically integrated into the course. Likewise, although specific tools or practices such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or engineering can be applied towards sustainability, such courses would not count unless the description or rationale provided in the inventory clearly indicates that sustainability is integrated into the course.

The Usask Open CourseWare site was the main method for screening courses for inclusion in the inventory. Each department in each college was scanned for relevant undergraduate and graduate courses that might fall into one of the four categories of interest. Key terms in the course descriptions were considered as indicators that a course might be appropriate to include in the inventory. The list of terms is not exclusive and in all cases the course description, learning outcomes and syllabus was reviewed to verify the context of each term as it related to the course material. The previous two inventories were also used as a reference point for sustainability courses.
The level of information available through Open CourseWare was highly variable. In cases where a syllabus was publicly available, learning outcomes, reading lists, and course content were reviewed to better determine whether a course should be placed in the inventory based on the definitions below. In some cases, this information was not available or the course description was sufficient to warrant placing the course squarely into one or more of the inventory categories. In addition, this method allowed for efficiencies as several courses had the potential to belong to multiple categories in the inventory and could be categorized together at one time.

Sustainability terms:
Sustainable (sustainability)
Urban planning
Impact assessment
Climate change
Global warming
Greenhouse gas emissions
Ecological footprint
Carbon footprint
Social justice
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Courses not represented in this inventory include:
• most thesis, practicum, special project, and clinical courses
(ENVS Sustainability research courses are included)
• zero-credit courses or courses not for academic credit
• Special topics courses with irregular course numbers (i.e. 298, 898 course numbers)
• Courses not offered in the last three academic years, and courses not listed in Open CourseWare system

As an addition to our course inventory this year and in partnership with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Excellence, we added courses including Indigenization and Internationalization components to our internal inventory. These courses were not counted for this STARS submission, but rather were gathered for curriculum development purposes at the University of Saskatchewan.

Draft statement on Indigenization:
Learning outcomes tied to Indigenous knowledge and experience grounded in Indigenous worldviews.

Draft definition of an internationalized curricula:
The incorporation of an international or intercultural (in a global context) dimension(s) into the content, learning outcomes, teaching methods, learning experiences or assessment tasks of the curriculum intentionally employed/designed to develop student learning outcomes in intercultural awareness, different ways of knowing, or intercultural competence.

Course internationalization is “a process by which international elements are infused into course content, international resources are used in course readings and assignments, and instructional methodologies appropriate to a culturally diverse student population are implemented" (Schuerholz-Lehr et al., 2007, p. 70).

Indigenization terms:
First Nations

Internationalization terms:
Name of one or more countries
Comparisons of…
With the intent to compare…
Different ways of…
Different methods of…
Different perspectives
Multiple perspectives
Travel Abroad
Inter-culture or intercultural
Culture shock
Program in International Collaborative Teaching (PICT)

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):

Are the following course types included in the inventory? :
Yes (included) or No (not included)
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics No
Thesis / dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education Yes
Performance arts Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.