Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.21
Liaison Gary Cocke
Submission Date Sept. 11, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The University of Texas at Dallas
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Gary Cocke
Associate Director for Sustainability and Energy Conservation
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Community Engaged Learning,University Assessment, and Sustainability Learning Outcomes

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

UT Dallas assesses student learning according to requirements from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through the Comets to the Core Program, and UT Dallas has developed an innovative approach that utilizes sustainabilty as the lens through which the assessment can be performed. All incoming freshmen are required to participate in collaborative projects that cultivate critical thinking, oral communication, written communication, problem solving, teamwork, social responsibility, and personal responsibility. In 2018, students focused these projects on the water crisis, and in 2019 students are focused on childhood poverty, and Comets to the Core has adopted an additional learning outcome to directly assess sustainability knowledge that the program provides; "All students should be able to identify the social, political, environmental, and economic compoonents of a complex world problem, and provide a solution that addresses sustainability in each of these areas."

The Comets to the Core Assessment has served as a bridge for sustainability, which reports to the Facilities and Economic Development Department, into academics and the Provost Office. The Assessment Director that oversees the Comets to the Core Program was designated as the liaison to the Sustainability Office and assisted greatly as AASHE STARS data collection began, and collaboration continued to expand sustainability partnerships.

In February 2019 UT Dallas was officially recognized as the co-founder of the North Texas Regional Centre for Expertise (RCE) for Education on Sustainable Development through United Nations University. The Provost's Office has demonstrated enthusiasm for the RCE and the Provost Liaison chairs 2 committees within the RCE.

By leveraging the RCE support from the Provost's Office, and partnering with the Quantum Leap grant to facilitate community engaged learning - UT Dallas has developed a course titled, "Sustainability Leadership and Global Impact" that presents real world sustainability issues provided from RCE member organizations to students in order for them to provide a proposed solution. This format allows students to learn about sustainability development in a classroom setting while also advancing sustainability in the region. In Spring 2019, the course will be used to allow students that excel during their Comets to the Core project in the fall to take a deeper dive and develop a project to address an issue related to poverty that is provided from an RCE member.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.