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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.11
Liaison Corey Hawkey
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Arizona State University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Corey Hawkey
Assistant Director
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
Yes

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

Arizona State University offers a number of programs and initiatives that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses. As a result, sustainability education has grown and expanded tremendously across the university over the past three years.

The School of Sustainability as an academic unit serves as a program that helps facilitate the development of sustainability curriculum across the university. The school has multiple positions that help support faculty across the university in the development of sustainability courses and programs. The community-university liaison helps faculty develop hands-on sustainability projects into their courses. Some examples of work this individual has led and assisted with over the past three years include:
• The coordination of a partnership between cities and SOS 321: Policy and Governance in Sustainability.
• Providing assistance with the development of a sustainability study abroad program to the Netherlands.
• The continued development of SustainabilityConnect, an online tool that provides a list of sustainability opportunities and allows students to connect with those opportunities (many times for credit and as part of a course).
• A partnership with Leuphana University in Germany to offer a first of its kind dual degree program, which allows students to earn a masters degree in sustainability science. This sustainability program started out as a "global classroom" collaboration involving professors and students from both institutions and across diverse disciplines.
• The advancement of sustainability education beyond ASU through a partnership with the Institute of Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University to offer workshops and manuals for AASHE members on how to design and scale applied learning for sustainability outcomes across the university and into the community.

The school’s curriculum developer along with administrators have facilitated the incorporation of sustainability courses into other academic programs. This helps expand sustainability education to students in other academic programs. Some examples of this over the past three years include:
• The development of a concurrent degree between the BA in Sustainability and the BS in Supply Chain Management, which share sustainability courses.
• The development of a concurrent degree between the Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) and the Master of Legal Studies (MLS), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Programs (MPP), Master of Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP), and the Master of Mass Communication (MMC), which share sustainability courses.
• The development of a Certificate in Energy and Sustainability and a Food System Sustainability Certificate which engaged faculty in a number of different units and resulted in the development of new courses.

ASU departments have also participated in Pro-Mod, a project-based, modular learning approach to education, which is supported by a Department of Education First in the World grant. A number of the projects are sustainability related and allow students to work on a sustainability related projects that is also tied to other general studies classes students are taking (e.g., math, statistics, and English). Projects include:
• Business – Sustainable Citizenry
• Community Resources and Development – Community Development
• Engineering – Clean Water Design
• Sustainability – Local Food Systems and Schools (Freshmen) and Local Food Deserts and Systems (Sophomores)

The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative’s Global Sustainability Studies Program incentivizes faculty to develop study abroad experiences that incorporate sustainability.

Additionally, ASU’s Sustainability Scientists and Scholars program incentivizes faculty from across the university to conduct sustainability research and teach sustainability courses.

The President of Arizona State University also rewards innovative and socially embedded teaching techniques fostering sustainability competencies with the “President’s Award for Sustainability”. In the past, this award has been given to faculty for their development of sustainability courses that have had a positive impact on not only students in the course, but the community.
• The winner of the 2015 award went to those that developed the Sustainability Science for Teachers course which is required for all students that are studying to be K-8 teachers.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty that work for or with the School of Sustainability receive assistance with the development of their courses. In addition to the two positions mentioned above (the community-university liaison and the curriculum developer), the school also has instructional designers, a sustainability project coordinator, and a course scheduler to help with the development of courses and cross-listing of courses between departments.

Faculty that are assisting with the development of projects and courses related to the ProMod program have access to support services and funding through the grant. For example, the grant helped fund a graduate student to assist in the development and coordination of the food to farm project freshmen students worked on within the School of Sustainability.

Faculty that develop Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative’s Global Sustainability Studies Programs have the incentive to receive additional pay to run spring break and summer study abroad programs, but most of the time they opt out of this benefit to make the programs more affordable to students. Faculty also appreciate the opportunity to continue work in their area of research through these programs.

ASU faculty that teach sustainability courses at ASU receive a Sustainability Scientists or Scholar designation, which means they can add the designation to their title and have access to concierge services, office space, proposal expertise, seed funding, facilities reservations, networking events, events assistance, professional communications, and technical assistance. The Sustainability Scientist and Scholar designations are valued titles and faculty appreciate that they are part of the listing of these scientists and scholars in addition to their home department listing(s).

Recipients of the President’s Award for Sustainability are recognized by President Michael Crow at a reception and awards ceremony. Each team receives a team award, and each team member receives an award certificate. The team’s accomplishments are also publicized on the web and in ASU News.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.