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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 Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lisa Benton-Short
Director of the Sustainability Academic Program
Department of Geography
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Does the institution have an ongoing incentives program or programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The GW Sustainability Collaborative offers five to six Curriculum Support Grants each year for developing or revising courses to meet the the GW "GreenLeaf" course designation. These grants are available to fund faculty efforts to revise courses or design new courses.

During Summer 2014, GW analyzed the degree to which sustainability permeated courses among STARS Gold and Silver schools. GW reached out to colleagues at the top 10 performing schools to gain insights on strategies to further sustainability course adoption. As a result, we have taken on additional efforts to enlarge our course offerings.

The Sustainability Collaborative participated in GW’s annual Teaching Day during the fall semester. Drawing from a variety of resources on sustainability education, we organized informational material for faculty on how sustainability could be integrated into any course: science, engineering, social science and humanities. We led a workshop on how to integrate sustainability into the curriculum and how to designate a course. We also staffed a booth that provided teaching resources on sustainability to the hundreds of GW faculty that attended the event.

In the spring of 2015, the Sustainability Collaborative will organize a workshop for faculty on how to integrate sustainability into their courses. Faculty will be selected by their Dean to participate in the workshop, and offered a small stipend to attend and develop a sustainability-focused or sustainability-related “Green Leaf” course. Our objective in this workshop is to identify departments that do not yet offer a “Green Leaf” course, and encourage 1-2 faculty in those departments to include sustainability in course redevelopment.

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

Individual faculty receive funding and additional funds are available for faculty teams. Funds are available for individual faculty members designing or revising their syllabi; hosting workshops for teams of faculty teaching sections of a course where they can collaborate on assignments and assessment; consulting with experts in the discipline who have designed innovative assignments and assessment techniques for introductory courses; and other activities. Faculty who attend the new faculty workshop and successfully adopt sustainability learning outcomes have a choice of receiving a small stipend or receiving graduate student assistance with their course development.

The website URL where information about the incentive program(s) is available:

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.