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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 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
-- 0.00 / 8.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute

This credit was marked as Not Pursuing so Reporting Fields will not be displayed.

Penn State is in the process of identifying specific learning objectives for all of its academic programs. Until that process is complete and the information is available in a centralized location, we cannot feasibly conduct a comprehensive assessment of which programs have specific sustainability-related learning outcomes. We estimate that at least 31% of students graduate from programs that are sustainability-related, or that require at least one course with sustainability content. However because we lack data at a sufficient level of detail to meet the reporting requirements for this credit, we have elected "Not Pursuing".

A list of degree programs that are sustainability-related was developed in the following manner:
(1) A survey was sent to all undergraduate and graduate program officers in 2011, asking them to identify academic programs that focus on sustainability, and programs that have specific sustainability learning outcomes. Programs that met either or both of these criteria were included on the list.
(2) This initial list was reviewed and updated in 2014, and again in 2016, by searching though the online University Bulletin, which provides detailed descriptions of all Undergraduate and Graduate degree programs.

Our value for the number/ percentage of students graduating from sustainability-related programs is a conservative one for several reasons:
(1) Graduates of sustainability-related minor programs are not included, since this information was not readily available and, furthermore, their inclusion likely would result in some double-counting;
(2) Graduates of online degree programs - which include at least several sustainability-focused ones - could not be readily distinguished so they are not included;
(3) Some degree programs have specializations that would be considered sustainability-related even though the overall program is not, and we lacked data at that resolution to include these students.

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.