Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.68
Liaison John Gardner
Submission Date May 31, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.09 / 14.00 John Gardner
Sustainability Planning & Policy Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 5,397 2,210
Number of sustainability courses offered 52 24
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 311 124

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

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

Number of years covered by the data:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):

The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

UW-Milwaukee used several methods to complete the course inventory. A definition of sustainability as well as sustainability-related and sustainability-focused courses was agreed upon by an ad-hoc group of faculty and staff in 2012 for our initial STARS v1.2 Submission (terminology was updated to be inline with STARS Version 2 definitions for the current submission in 2016----as the definitions were materially similar--see notes). The UWM Office of Assessment and Institutional Research provided a list of possible course offerings for FY2016, which Sustainability Office staff then went through and added all Special Topics Courses text and syllabi where possible, determined whether courses were offered, and assessed whether the course would count to the total number of classes (no independent classification courses included). Finally, Sustainability Office staff went through each department course listing to determine inclusion (based on course summary and syllabi where possible).

How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
Each offering or section of a course was counted as an individual course

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

Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics Yes
Thesis/dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts Yes

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

Interdisciplinary courses were not counted toward any departmental totals, but included in overall numbers of sustainability courses. Below find definitions.
Sustainability in the Curriculum
The material below is assembled for assessment purposes only as part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s submission to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS).
Sustainability is defined as the commitment to make decisions today that benefit our quality of life without compromising the long-term health of communities and citizens, biodiversity, climate, and food and water systems. Sustainability addresses needs and growth that weigh how environmentally sound, socially just, and economically viable a practice or process develops and is implemented.
Within the above definition, sustainability rests upon two key assumptions:
1. Nature's capacity to deal with anthropogenic forces has limitations which must be embraced.
2. We as individuals, campuses, and local communities are not isolated, but rather, interconnected with local, national, and global human activity across social, economic, and environmental boundaries.

Sustainability Courses and Courses that Include Sustainability
To guide sustainability course identification, sustainability courses and courses that include sustainability are defined as:

Sustainability courses meet the general criteria and must either:

• Focus explicitly on sustainability as an integrated concept, including all three characteristics (environmentally sound, socially just, economically viable)

• Discipline-specific courses that focus explicitly on examining issues or topics using sustainability as a lens.

Courses should contribute to a students’ understanding of sustainability as an integrated concept and present them with knowledge, work, and challenges in order to analyze specific topics from all three characteristics.

Courses that include sustainability meet the general criteria and are consistent with at least one of these approaches:

• Discipline-specific courses which focus significantly on the intersection of at least two characteristics of sustainability;

• Focus principally on one dimension of sustainability but explicitly and regularly relate this characteristic to the other characteristics;

• Focus a significant sub-theme, major course assignment, significant project, or service-learning experience connected to the concept of addressing sustainability challenges.

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.