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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.62
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Auburn University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.47 / 14.00 Nanette Chadwick
Director, Academic Sustainability Programs
Biological Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 2,046 1,536
Number of sustainability courses offered 110 62
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 174 90

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of years covered by the data:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):

See the file attached, which is also posted on our website below.

The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
+ Date Revised: March 10, 2016

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

Starting in October 2015, and using the online Schedule of Courses for each semester, staff members in Academic Sustainability Programs compiled lists of all courses offered by each department on campus during Spring 2013-Fall 2015 (3 full years). Then, we removed all courses that were online-only, outreach courses that were not taught in person on campus (= courses ending in 06), and laboratory-only courses (ending in 01) that must be taken together with lecture courses, so that linked laboratory and lecture courses were counted together as one course each. We also excluded courses in which students did not meet as a group formally with instructors, such as independent study and individual senior capstone project courses. We were left with all courses taught in person on campus in which instructors met formally with groups of students for regular instruction. In November, faculty representatives from each college then examined the course lists, communicated with other faculty in their colleges about course content, and determined which courses were sustainability-focused and sustainability-related, using the Auburn University definitions for these course types. We added notes concerning course content to these lists, to explain what types of content justified the inclusion of each course in each of these 2 categories. Finally, in November we sent an all-professors email notice, to ask all faculty for any updates or corrections to the draft lists that were posted online. In December, we added in these course updates and corrections.
Then the total number and percent of sustainability courses of both types were calculated for each department, and the finalized course lists with the content notes and calculations were posted online.

How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
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 (if different from the options outlined above):

Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics Yes
Thesis/dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts No

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

We included special topics courses that stated a specific topic focus in the course title. These types of courses often include new courses that do not have permanent course numbers yet. If the course title and content clearly related to sustainability, we included them as sustainability courses, or as courses that included sustainability, based on the above definitions.

Note: In our inventories, Sustainability Courses are listed as Sustainability-Focussed Courses, and Courses that Include Sustainability are listed as Sustainability-Related Courses.

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.