STARS Information:

  • Credit Rationale: This credit recognizes institutions that are assessing the sustainability literacy of their students.
  • Environmental Benefits: Such an assessment helps institutions evaluate the success of their sustainability education initiatives and develop insight into how these initiatives could be improved.
  • Scoring: Institutions earn either 1 or 2 points based on the criteria outlined below:
    • Part 1:Institution conducts an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students. The sustainability literacy assessment focuses on knowledge of sustainability topics, not values or beliefs.
    • Part 2: Institution conducts a follow-up assessment of the same cohort group using the same instrument.

Going Green

CSU Channel Islands Summary:

Sustainability Literacy Assessment:

CSU Channel Islands currently does meet the criteria for Part 1, but does not meet the criteria for Part 2.

CSU Channel Islands is committed to developing curriculum based on sustainability that serves students when they enter the workforce and the local community. From this necessity and the review of several programs that were established elsewhere throughout the world, CI carefully created a protocol that can be administered to track progression of a student's attitude toward a sustainable future.

The survey contains four parts that evaluated students based on demographic information, knowledge of environmental sustainability, sustainable behavior and environmental sustainability on campus. The survey was administered online to reduce waste via the CI web portal. This survey will be administered once every spring semester.

A total of 349 CI students took the “Measuring Student Attitudes Toward Sustainability” sustainability literacy assessment during the spring 2011 semester. 346 students responded. Out of the total responses, the majors with the most respondents were Business, Biology, and Environmental Science and Resource Management. The majors with the least number of respondents were Chicano Studies, Spanish, and Applied Physics.

The major that best identified the definition of sustainability when presented a list of different definitions was Chemistry (95%). Communication and Psychology majors come in second and third with 91.67% and 88.46% respectively. Out of 4 different grade levels, the junior class best understood the definition of sustainability, whereas understandably the freshman class understood this concept the least.

Students responded the most sustainable behaviors were practiced among Spanish, Early Childhood Studies, and Psychology majors. The sophomore class indicated the most responses toward implementing sustainable behaviors into their lifestyles, whereas the senior class as a whole indicated they practice the least amount of sustainable behaviors compared to other grade levels.

Results indicate that certain majors or grade levels have a greater understanding of the definition of sustainability or practice highly sustainable behaviors. Data from this report does not fully represent the CI student body since it represents responses from 9% of undergraduate students during the spring 2011 semester.

Information Received From:

Donald Rodriguez: Associate Professor and Chair, Environmental Science and Resource Management

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Examples of Sustainability Literacy Assessments at other STARS rated institutions: