Sustainability Literacy and Cultural Assessments
As campus sustainability initiatives have expanded over the past decade, related efforts to assess the progress and impact of those initiatives have also developed. These assessments generally fall into two distinct categories, those focused on the assessment of student learning regarding sustainability and those focused on the assessment of campus culture—the sustainability values, behaviors, and awareness of students, faculty and staff. This paper provides an overview of leading examples of these two types of assessments—the Assessment of Student Knowledge (ASK) and the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP). Next, using self-reported assessment data from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS—a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) an analysis is provided on the number of institutions which are using such assessments. Results indicate that very few institutions are using these assessments and only a very small number are claiming the full STARS credit for this work. Finally, recommendations are provided on strategies for developing assessments and disseminating results which can best drive progress towards advancing campus sustainability.
KeywordsCampus sustainability Literacy Cultural assessment
Many thanks to Drake Johnson and Niyati Kellenberg Callewaert for their assistance in reviewing the institutional STARS data and in reviewing assessment instruments.
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