Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.40
Liaison Jennifer Bodine
Submission Date April 25, 2022

STARS v2.2

Weber State University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alice Mulder
SPARC Director, Professor
Geography
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students and employees) directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

The WSU Sustainability Survey was developed under the lead of the director of the Sustainability Practices and Research Center, predominantly during 2019, through a process of reviewing other institution's surveys, literature on assessing sustainability literacy and culture, and discussion/review with the WSU sustainability team (staff) and members of the faculty Environmental Initiatives Committee.

The survey has been designed and adopted with the intent of its being a longitudinal survey given to a representative sample of students, faculty and staff every 3-4 years. It is designed to assess sustainability literacy and culture through questions on sustainability knowledge, attitudes, behavior, as well as awareness of and engagement with campus sustainability initiatives, programs, events and courses. Thus, this same survey is also the source of data for AC 6 (Sustainability Literacy Assessment).

The survey received approval by the Institutional Review Board prior to being used. It was first used in AY 2019-2020 (January 2020) and is scheduled with the office of Institutional Effectiveness to be given again in Fall 2022.

The survey has a total of 50 questions (2 are multi-sectioned). Parts 2-4 are oriented to sustainability culture (attitudes, behaviors, and awareness of and engagement with sustainability at the institution), a total of 24 questions (six more are to do with demographics).

Sustainability attitudes are assessed using the Sustainability Attitudes Scale (SAS) developed by Zwickle and Jones, (2018). Attitude questions related to climate change are also included and come from the Six-Americas Super Short Survey (SASSY) on global warming/climate change attitudes (4 questions) (Chryst, et al., 2018). Questions on behavior, awareness and engagement were developed for this survey.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

Note on the attached WSU Sustainability Survey 2020 - Blocks 2-4 get at sustainability culture: Block 2 is focused on sustainability attitudes, Block 3 on sustainability-oriented behaviors, Block 4 on Awareness of and engagement with sustainability at Weber State University.

The final block collects demographic data.


A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

A representative sample of students, faculty and staff was requested from and provided by the Director of Academic Analytics in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. A total of 2498 emails were provided, which included 1498 students and 1000 faculty and staff.

The survey was administered via Qualtrics and recruitment of participants was via a personalized email invitation to those pulled as the representative sample, followed by three reminders to non-respondents. The response rate was quite good at 36% with 700 complete surveys (some questions have 820 responses), 271 students, 179 faculty, and 249 staff. All colleges and divisions of campus were represented in the survey, with slightly more coming from the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Health Professions.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Not surprisingly the survey revealed that the percentages regarding attitudes in agreement with sustainability-oriented statements are higher than those related to sustainability-oriented behaviors. The gap between attitude and behavior is well known.

Attitudes -- Composite results of the SAS questions, which include 11 statements and a five point scale for responses from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree" showed the following percentage of respondents in each group agree or strongly agree with the statements (e.g., "Clean air is part of a good life") - students 83% (n=271), faculty 90.6% (n=178), staff 88.4% (n=247).

Behaviors
The aggregate responses regarding sustainability-oriented behaviors (10 were asked about - e.g., bring a reusable bag when shopping, and take civic/political action) were that 44% of students, 54.6% of faculty and 48.6% of staff indicated that they usually or always engage in these behaviors. Recycling was the most common, while engaging in civic/political action and carpooling or using public/alternative transit were the least common.

Awareness
The survey indicated that staff and faculty are generally more aware than students of the university's sustainability units, initiatives, and programs, suggesting a better outreach and education campaign to students about these things. Aggregate results showed that 35% of students, 65% of faculty and 68% of staff were aware of the 15 items in this set of questions. Awareness of the energy-related efforts, the climate commitment, and the free Ed-pass for transit were the highest.

Engagement
About 34% of faculty and staff indicated they had participated in one of the campus's sustainability-oriented community programs (e.g., residential solar, LED light bulb exchange), while 13% of students indicated they had participated.

Over 80% of faculty and staff indicated that their departments participated in the Green Department program.

About 17% of students reported they had attended a sustainability-related event in the previous year (that they could remember), while 46% and 43% of faculty and staff, respectively, indicated that they had.

With respect to courses covering any of the sustainability topics covered in the survey, about 58% of students indicated they had taken one or more such courses, while 41% of faculty respondents indicated that they taught one or more such courses. (Information on sustainability courses will be better measured through the data that is available in conjunction with the SUS (sustainability) designated courses.)


Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Sustainability attitudes are assessed using the Sustainability Attitudes Scale (SAS) developed by Zwickle and Jones, (2018). Attitude questions related to climate change are also included and come from the Six-Americas Super Short Survey (SASSY) on global warming/climate change attitudes (4 questions) (Chryst, et al., 2018). Questions on behavior, awareness and engagement were developed for this survey.

References:
Chryst, Breanne, Jennifer Marlon, Sander van der Linden, Anthony Leiserowitz, Edward Maibach & Connie Roser-Renouf, 2018. Global Warming’s “Six Americas Short Survey”: Audience Segmentation of Climate Change Views Using a Four Question Instrument, Environmental Communication, Vol.12, No. 8, 1109-1122.

Zwickle A., Jones K., 2018. Sustainability Knowledge and Attitudes—Assessing Latent Constructs. In: Leal Filho W., Marans R., Callewaert J. (eds) Handbook of Sustainability and Social Science Research. World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham.

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