Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Emily Vollmer
Submission Date May 16, 2024

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 14.00 / 14.00 Emily Vollmer
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of 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 3,156 2,023
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 303 185
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 346 220

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

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?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :
Step 1: Read through Virginia Tech’s definition of sustainability, sustainability vision, and sustainability mission statement found in the Climate Action Commitment
Climate Action Commitment: https://svpcbo.vt.edu/content/dam/svpoa_vt_edu/vtcac/VT%202020%20Climate%20Action%20Committee%20Executive%20Report-FIN-111020.pdf
Sustainability definition: The simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social justice and equity, through action, education, and engagement to address current needs without compromising the capacity and needs of future generations.
Sustainability vision: In the spirit of Ut Prosim, Virginia Tech will be a leader in climate action in service to our community, the Commonwealth, and the world.
Sustainability mission: The mission of the Virginia Tech 2020 Climate Action Commitment is to achieve carbon neutrality by changing our physical infrastructure, collective and individual behaviors, and educational mission; to engage everyone in creating a culture of sustainability; and to achieve these objectives through just and equitable means.
Step 2: Find the three most recent undergraduate and graduate course catalogs, also known as Governance Action Reports. The three newest ones are used to ensure data accuracy as opposed to only using the most recent data. These documents list all new, revised, and discontinued courses that are up to date with current university offerings.
From this link, click "Governance Yearly Action Reports", select year, and then choose graduate or undergraduate
Step 3: Go through the new courses and determine if they are sustainability-related or sustainability-focused for both undergraduate and graduate courses based on the sustainability definitions provided under step one. If a course fell within the bounds of the definitions of these terms, it was determined to be either sustainability-related or sustainability-focused based on whether or not the description of the course only had portions related to sustainability or was solely focused on sustainability. It is important to note that a graduate assistant provided all initial data in 2017 by going through all of Virginia Tech’s courses and creating the list that we now build off of every year using the new courses found in the Registrar’s Governance Action Reports.
Step 4: Go through the revised and discontinued courses and make the appropriate changes. If a course is now sustainability-related or -focused, be sure to add it into the spreadsheet. Be sure to include the most up-to-date course description in the spreadsheet. If it is no longer available or applicable to sustainability, remove it.
Step 5: After determining a course is sustainability-related and/or -focused, find the appropriate location to insert the class into the spreadsheet. Be sure to include the catalog code, course title, whether the course is sustainability-related or sustainability-focused, and a description of the course.
Step 6: After examining all three Governance Action Reports, fill in the new number of courses that are sustainable on the STARS reporting tool under section AC-1 based on the numbers provided on the bottom of both the undergraduate and graduate sections of the spreadsheet.
Step 7: For the “departments” tab, go through the most recent checksheets and use this website (https://udc.vt.edu/irdata/data/students/degree_conferred/index#college) for the most updated information on departments and majors offered and the numbers of graduates for each major and put it in the spreadsheet.

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:

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
One of our most sustainably-focused colleges is the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE). In the last ten years, the CNRE has only become more impressive. The College, under the guidance of Dean Paul Winistorfer, has doubled undergraduate enrollment, built a research aviary, and has been ranked the best place in the nation to study natural resources and conservation. CNRE's packaging degree program has a near 100% placement rate upon graduation. Areas of study for future degree programs are currently being researched and developed. More information about the impressive College can be found at this link: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/11/cnre-winistorfer-bov.html?utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsDailyCMP_112020-fs

Three members of the College of Natural Resources and Environment community have recently (December 2020) received national recognition for work promoting educational outreach and research efforts in geography and forestry. More information is available at this link: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/12/cnre-campbell-gagnon-downing-awards.html?utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsDailyCMP_121720-fs

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.