Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.79
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Victoria
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 12.46 / 14.00 Susan Kerr
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus Planning and 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 1,945 749
Number of sustainability courses offered 249 55
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 155 62

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
19.34

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
48

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
34

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
70.83

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?:
One

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 :

During the completion of STARS 2.0 (in 2014), the University of Victoria Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability initiated a committee that included three faculty members of differing departments, and one staff member who represented the Faculty of Business. The committee (through the consultation of the AVP Academic and Provost) created a definition for sustainability in curriculum and research based as a supplement to the definition of sustainability found in UVic's Sustainability Policy. For 2016 (v.2.1), UVic still adheres to the criteria of the definition, which is as follows:

- Sustainability research examines forces affecting local and global ecological, economic, social, health and cultural challenges. It helps societies flourish without compromising the future. Sustainability research is typically but not exclusively focused on solutions.

- Sustainability courses focus on ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability and may integrate several perspectives including social justice, ecological balance, public health and well-being, prosperity and the construction of sustainable livelihoods, to foster an understanding of an interconnected world.

- Courses that include Sustainability (or related courses) contain a section, chapter, module, case study, or other component that focuses on sustainability, as defined above.

Based upon the definitions the committee constructed, the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability identified possible sustainability courses from a list of all courses in the UVic course catalogue using a keyword search of the course titles (criteria:"env," "eco," "soc," "food," "glob," "sust," "publ," "heal," "bio," "clim"). Additionally, newly offered courses were examined individually based on the title and course description to determine whether or not they were sustainability-related or focused.

The courses identified were then reviewed serially, the course description added and reviewed, and coded as sustainability focused courses, sustainability related courses, or non-sustainability courses. Courses listed as directed studies, theses, and most topics courses were removed for the purpose of course and department counts shown above.

An additional review step was taken for departments that contained a significant number of courses, such as Business and Environmental Studies, where by an email was sent to the administrator requesting that the faculty review the list of identified courses in relation to the definition of sustainability shown above.


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):
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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 No

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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UVic commits a significant amount of resources to it sustainability curriculum and several programs that focus on sustainability. Programs include an undergraduate major and minor, MA, MSc, and PhD programs in Environmental Studies, all of which are sustainability focused programs. The Business faculty, which uses its Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation (http://www.uvic.ca/gustavson/cssi/) to offer an array of resources that help students, faculty and staff incorporate all kinds of sustainability into their studies, careers and lives. Other areas of the university with a sustainability focus include a breadth of indigenous studies, the Department of Geography, whose courses cover human geography, and environment and sustainability, and the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, which provides education in Earth System Science. There is also a wide representation of sustainability focused and related courses across many other departments at UVic.

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.