Log In

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 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
IN-1: Sustainability Course Designation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 joni newcomer
Mgr. Env. Policy and Sustainability
Facilities and Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution formally designate sustainability courses in its standard course catalog or listings?:

A brief description of the formal sustainability course designation program, including the methodology used to identify and approve courses for inclusion:

NMSU still uses the "Focused" and "Related" method to determine sustainability classes.

Sustainability-focused courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its socio-cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. To be considered sustainability-focused, the course should include three or more of the sustainability educational objectives listed below (please put the leaf in your course materials).

Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue. To be considered sustainability-related, a course should include one or more of the sustainability educational objectives listed below (please put the leaf in your department and course materials).

Sustainability Educational Objectives:

In order to determine whether or not a course has this goal in mind, it is useful to ask whether or not a given course will help students to achieve one or more of the following:

- Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability.
- Develop and use an ethical perspective in which they explain how sustainability relates to their lives and values, and how their actions impact issues of sustainability.
- Become aware of and explain how economy, society, culture, energy, and the environment are interrelated, making connections between their chosen course of study and sustainability.
- Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainable solutions.
- Explain the ways in which sustainable thinking and decision-making contributes to the process of creating solutions for current and emerging social, environmental, and economic crises.
- Apply concepts of sustainability locally (e.g. to change daily habits and consumption patterns) and globally by engaging in the challenges and solutions of sustainability in a world context.
- Synthesize understanding of the interconnections among social, cultural, economic, energy, and environmental systems and reason holistically

Sustainably-focused and Sustainability-related classes typically include one or more of the following topics:

- Technical: learning processes for sustainable actions (e.g., analytical tools, practical training, experimentation with energy systems and materials).
- Cultural and Human Ecology: learning about cultures around the world and connecting globally to benefit societies around the world (e.g., ethics; family systems and community organizations and their relationship to food production, water issues, and sustainable use of renewable and nonrenewable cultural and natural resources).
- Management: learning management skills related to sustainability (e.g., leadership skills, innovative technology and systems thinking)
- Integration of multiple skills: using interdisciplinary skills learned from various departments across the college (e.g., integrating natural and social sciences, analytical methods, and critical reasoning skills to evaluate renewable and nonrenewable resource issues)
- Economics and Sustainable Development: all layers of sustainability must include the economics of keeping environmental systems alive (e.g., theoretical environmental, ecological, and natural resource economics that teaches students cost-benefit and financial analysis including environmental impacts and issues in the analysis).
- Biological and Environmental Systems (e.g., development of models that explain maintenance and loss of biodiversity and using that knowledge for sustainable management and conservation).

Classes with a sustainability focused or related listing are signified by a green leaf next to the class in the online catalogue.

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.