Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.15
Liaison Ashley Woolman
Submission Date April 8, 2022

STARS v2.2

Western Colorado University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.06 / 14.00 Ashley Woolman
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" 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 2,786 609
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 30 30
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 45 13

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
3.48

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:
10

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
7

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
70

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?:
Three

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :

A questionnaire was sent to all faculty in the spring of 2022. The questionnaire asked 1. Do you teach any courses that are sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive? 2. What is the Course #? 3. What is the course title? 4. What is the course description? 5. Is this course Sustainability Focused or Inclusive?

The following text was included at the beginning of the questionnaire:
Note that the STARS process is looking for a differentiate between courses that are fully FOCUSED on sustainability versus those that are INCLUSIVE of sustainability. These two categories are mutually exclusive. Courses that are sustainability-FOCUSED are frame primarily around topics related to the environment and sustainability throughout the entire course. Sustainability-INCLUSIVE courses, on the other hand, may have a few lessons on sustainability-related topics, but it isn't the primary focus of the course. These details are further described in each of those sections.

A course may be sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive; no course should be identified as both.

If you teach courses multiple times a year (once in the fall and again in the spring, or two sessions in the spring), please only count the course once in the three year period May 2019 - May 2022.

If you teach a course that is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, please count the course for both.

SUSTAINABILITY-FOCUSED
(AKA "Sustainability Courses")
To count as sustainability-focused, the course title or description must indicate a primary and explicit focus on sustainability. This includes:
* Foundational courses with a primary and explicit focus on sustainability (e.g., Introduction to Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainability Science).
*Courses with a primary and explicit focus on the application of sustainability within a field (e.g., Architecture for Sustainability, Green Chemistry, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Business). As sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic, such courses generally incorporate insights from multiple disciplines.
*Courses with a primary and explicit focus on a major sustainability challenge (e.g., Climate Change Science, Environmental Justice, Global Poverty and Development, Renewable Energy Policy). The focus of such courses might be on providing knowledge and understanding of the problems and/or the tools for solving them.

The course title or description does not have to use the term “sustainability” to count as sustainability- focused if the primary and explicit focus of the course is on the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems or a major sustainability challenge. If the course title and description do not unequivocally indicate such a focus, but it is evident from the course description or syllabus that the course incorporates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts in a prominent way, the course may qualify as sustainability-inclusive course.

SUSTAINABILITY-INCLUSIVE
To count as sustainability-inclusive, the course description or rationale provided in the course inventory must indicate that the course incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts throughout the course.

While a foundational course such as chemistry or sociology might provide knowledge that is useful to practitioners of sustainability, it would not be considered “sustainability-inclusive” unless the concept of sustainability or sustainability challenges and issues are specifically integrated into the course. Likewise, although specific tools or practices such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or engineering can be applied towards sustainability, such courses would not count unless the description or rationale provided in the inventory clearly indicates that sustainability is integrated into the course.

REMINDERS:
A course may be sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive; no course should be identified as both.

If you teach courses multiple times a year (once in the fall and again in the spring, or two sessions in the spring), please only count the course once.

If you teach a course that is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, please count the course for both.


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:

Undergraduate courses counted 1x no matter how many sections were offered. For example, ROE 351 is offered 2x/year, but was only counted once.

Graduate courses were counted for each offering. For example, MEM 620 & 625 have multiple sections with VERY different curriculum (e.g., Social License vs Sustainability Consulting and Leadership Development); hence, each section was counted.


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