Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.54 / 8.00 Leslie North
Director of Sustainability
Geography and Geology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:

In Fall 2014, WKU implemented a new general education model called the Colonnade Program. The Colonnade Program is now the core academic program at WKU. These general education requirements are an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum that both complement and support the student's preparation in their specific field.

WKU requires that all undergraduate degree-seeking students successfully complete a general education curriculum that represents a substantial component of each degree program (15 hours for associates degrees and 39 hours for baccalaureate degrees).

Courses in the Colonnade Program teach students to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively. Through these courses, students are encouraged to explore the connections among different areas of study in order to understand their roles as students and citizens. In short, the Colonnade Program is intended to promote intellectual curiosity and to instill a love of learning.

The student learning outcomes (SLOs) are as follows:
1. Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, including:
a. An informed acquaintance with major achievements in the arts and the humanities
b. An appreciation of the complexity and variety of the world's cultures;
c. An understanding of the scientific method and a knowledge of natural science and its relevance in our lives;
d. A historical perspective and an understanding of connections between past and present.
2. Intellectual and practical skills, including:
a. The capacity for critical and logical thinking;
b. Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking;
c. The ability to understand and apply mathematical skills and concepts.
3. Personal and social responsibility, including:
a. An understanding of society and human behavior;
b. An understanding of factors that enhance health, well-being, and quality of life.
4. Integrative Learning, including:
a. Synthesis and advanced accomplishments across general and specialized studies.

Additionally, the following Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are unique to the WKU Colonnade General Education Program – "WKU Connections". These courses are intended to instill "understanding individual and social responsibility."

Social to Cultural
• Analyze the development of self in relation to others an society.
• Examine diverse values that form civically engaged and informed members of society.
• Evaluate solutions to real-world social and cultural problems.

Local to Global
• Analyze issues on local and global scales.
• Examine the local and global interrelationships of one or more issues.
• Evaluate the consequences of decision-making on local and global scales.

• Analyze how systems evolve.
• Compare the study of individual components to the analysis of entire systems.
• Evaluate how system-level thinking informs decision-making, public policy, and/or the sustainability of the system itself.

International Experience (added as a requirement of Colonnade Connections in 2019). As part of this category students "will leave the USA to immerse themselves in different cultural experiences that broaden their cultural competencies and understanding of global complexities." Learning outcomes of these courses are:
• Articulate the relationship between ideas, experiences, and place.
• Develop tools to engage with diverse people in the local cultures.
• Explore other peoples' values and clarify their own.

More information can be found at:

Total number of graduates from degree programs:

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:

WKU maintains a data analytics system, which allows the Office of Institutional Research to select per-identified majors (supplied by the Office of Sustainability) and calculate the number of graduates from those degree programs. We are reporting the number of graduates from programs identified as sustainability-focused (#1), which includes 17 degree programs.

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

WKU has a number of program level sustainability-focused programs (17 in total). A few examples include:

Geography and Environmental Studies Bachelors of Science

Geoscience Masters

Geographic Information Systems Bachelors of Science

Science and Mathematics Education Bachelors

Geographic Information Systems Graduate certificate

Geology Bachelors of Science

Geographic Information Systems Undergraduate certificate

Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities Masters

MBA program Graduate certificate for Business Sustainability

Environmental Health and Safety Graduate Certificate

Global Pathways to Sustainability Graduate Certificate

Agriculture and Food Science Bachelors of Science

Biology Bachelors of Science

Recreation Administration Bachelors of Arts

Emergency Management and Disaster Science certificate

Floodplain Management certificate

Environmental and Occupation Health Science Masters

Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):

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

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.