Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 John Orr
Liberal Arts & Computer Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

Please see the attached file for a complete list of the questions.

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

The survey was developed based on discussions with representatives from universities with such surveys (Boston University in particular) and on presentations at AASHE conferences. One of our student sustainability interns developed the initial version and after review regarding the suitability of the questions a final version for this initial administration was produced.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

For this initial administration we had access to the complete email list of our graduate students and to an email list of facutly and staff that is reasonably representative. We did not have access to the complete email list of undergraduate students so that portion of the survey is not representative of the undergraduate student body as a whole. This shortcoming will be addressed in future surveys.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Please see the summary file for an analysis of the survey results. Here are the conclusions:
Additional analysis is underway, but preliminary conclusions include the following:
• Overall student understanding of the environmental aspects of sustainability is high, but the understanding of the social aspects is rather low.
• In general, the students support and agree with the scientific consensus regarding climate change.
• Education is needed regarding the availability of recycling and other sustainability initiatives on campus.
• More can be done to communicate the significance of the social aspects of sustainability. Many aspects are already integral to our educational mission. But more effective communication is needed.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.