Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.23
Liaison Maria Dahmus
Submission Date June 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of St. Thomas
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Elise Amel
Faculty Fellow
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

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 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 literacy assessment was developed by faculty and staff in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives in March 2018, drawing from a variety of established sources ranging from fellow AASHE institutions (University of New Hampshire and The Ohio State University) to the US Department of Energy and waterfootprint.org. Our 10-question assessment included key constructs of general sustainability, energy, water, food, consumption, population, and climate change. It was aimed at assessing general understanding of concepts rather than specific facts associated with time and place.

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

The assessment plan is to administer surveys using a pre- and post- approach for the same cohort of students and representative samples of faculty and staff in both pre-test and post-test. The pre- assessment was administered in April of 2018 with plans to administer a post- assessment in 2020. The assessment was structured in a way that enables longitudinal tracking of several different cohorts.

The pre- assessment survey was sent to all 1,955 employees (faculty and staff) and 9,436 students. For employees, the response rate was 42% (n=822) and completion rate was 39.3% (n=768). For students the response rate was 19% (n=1789) and completion rate was 15.8% (1,488).

Among those completing the survey, full time staff were slightly overrepresented (+14.5%) and adjunct faculty were slightly underrepresented (-10%). Among students, the male/female split of respondents was 38.4%/61.5% while the population is roughly evenly split (50.8%/49.1%); graduate students (-4.1%) and freshmen (-3.5%) were slightly underrepresented; white respondents were slightly overrepresented (+5%).

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

The range of possible scores is 0 to 10. The average score obtained in Spring 2018 for students is 6.9 and the average score for employees is 7.7.

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.