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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 Silver
Overall Score 51.92
Liaison Jonathan Lantz-Trissel
Submission Date July 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Mennonite University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Jim Yoder
Professor
Biology Dept.
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

The cultural assessment was developed as part of EMU's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Peace with Creation. It was first developed during the spring of 2010 and administered every fall to first-year students and every spring to seniors between 2010 and 2015.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

See attached file


A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

All first-year students were given a writing prompt early in their introductory writing class. The prompt included several questions regarding their current concept of sustainability, how it connected with their beliefs, how it related to three news items included in the prompt (one each related to ecological, social and economic aspects of sustainability), and how their concept of sustainably would impact their choices while at EMU. A sample of seniors was also given the same writing prompt (sample sizes ranged from 40-80% of the senior class each year, selected randomly). Each student was given 40 minutes to complete the essay and each essay was scored with a rubric measuring two criteria: 1) how well the student defined sustainability in accordance with the Peace with Creation framework and 2) demonstration of incorporating sustainability into their value system.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Over the five years of the project, for the definition criteria, 41-50% of first-year students met or exceed expectations (meaning they included at least two components in their definition of sustainability), whereas 80-92% of seniors met or exceeded this expectation. When assessing value systems, 50-63% of first-year students met or exceeded exceptions, whereas 91-100% of seniors met or exceeded expectations. These results demonstrate learning gains from freshman to senior year.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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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.