Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.00
Liaison Cora Kenfield
Submission Date March 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vassar College
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.32 / 8.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies is multidisciplinary in focus, involving the natural and social sciences, as well as the arts and humanities. It explores the relationships between people and the totality of their environments—natural, built, and social. As part of that exploration, environmental studies concerns itself with the description and analysis of natural systems; with interspecies and species-environment relationships and the institutions, policies and laws that affect those relationships; with aesthetic portrayals of nature and how those affect human perceptions and behavior toward it; and with ethical issues raised by the human presence in the environment.
Demonstrate a multidisciplinary perspective on the natural environment including human interactions with and impacts on it.
Synthesize diverse multidisciplinary knowledge to develop and implement research or other major projects.
Communicate multidisciplinary knowledge through synthetic conclusions in reports that are accessible to specialists and/or non-specialists in both written and oral forms.

Earth Science & Geography
Earth Science introduces majors & non-majors to the ways in which scientists approach problem solving and investigation in areas such as geohazards, oceanography, landscape and history, environmental justice, earth resource challenges, and the earth around us.
By graduation, earth science majors will demonstrate an understanding of the magnitude of geologic (deep) time and the significance of rates of geologic change; the inter-relationships between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, pedosphere, and biosphere; the behaviors of earth materials – minerals, rocks, soils, water, and atmospheric gases; the assessment of risk associated with geologic hazards; the application of Earth Science to important issues facing society.
Majors will also demonstrate proficiency using a variety of laboratory and field measurement techniques and instrumentation; and, analyzing data in a manner appropriate to the nature of the data.
Non-major students will have an appreciation for the role that earth sciences and geologic time have in informing discussions of important issues facing society

Geography emphasizes the spatial study of society from a variety of theoretical perspectives and analytical scales, ranging from local places to larger regions and global systems. For example, geographers examine the allocation and use of world resources, the spatial dynamics of metropolitan areas, political geographies of social problems and human rights, or the roles of political borders in contemporary global affairs. Topical courses offer systematic perspectives on issues such as urban geography, the conservation of natural resources, and economic geography.
Geography majors will demonstrate in written and oral work an understanding of the dynamic and complex nature of linkages among humans, other life forms, and the environment, while doing so in regard to variations in space, time and social relations.
Geography majors will develop and exhibit by graduation a proficiency in the theory and practice of one of more topic areas of the discipline, such as cartography, political geography, economic geography, urban geography, and environmental conservation.
Geography majors will demonstrate proficiency in careful writing, centered around a clear research question, and substantiated by an argument supported through evidence. Such work will manifest strong analytical skills vis-à-vis spatial forms and representations (e.g. maps), geographic patters, landscape analysis, qualitative and quantitative data, photographic and visual depiction, and/or archival documentation of historical geography.
Non-major students and Geography correlates will exhibit an ability to examine and explain the role that geography plays in relation to important issues facing society on various spatial scales—e.g. the local, national, and global.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

Per the Sustainable Course Inventory provided for AC-1, the following majors have identified sustainability courses as part of their graduation requirements:

Descriptions for each of these 'sustainability courses' can be found in the AC-1 Course inventory.

Environmental Studies:
ENST 124, ENST 125, either ENST 260 or ENST 270, and ENST 301

Earth Science and Geography:
ESCI 151

GEOG 102 or ECI 151, GEOG 304

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The Departments for Urban Studies, Biology and Science, Technology & Science also have number of sustainability values however per the credit criteria have not yet codified learning outcomes for sustainability.

On the course level, these 3 departments also include a broad selection of 'courses that include sustainability' and 'sustainability course' however none of them are specifically required for graduation.

We hope to work with Departments and Faculty to develop sustainability learning outcomes in these 3 programs and beyond.

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.