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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
EN-12: Continuing Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 5.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer continuing education courses that address sustainability?:
Yes

Total number of continuing education courses offered:
3,406

Number of continuing education courses offered that address sustainability:
1,033

Percentage of continuing education courses that address sustainability:
30.33

A copy of the list and brief description of the continuing education courses that address sustainability:
A list and brief description of the continuing education courses that address sustainability:

See attached list.

The list includes non-credit courses offered through Extension, and through Outreach and Online Education. The latter includes offerings by Conferences & Institutes, OLLI, Penn TAP, and Shaver's Creek.

Continuing Education at Penn State's University Park campus collaborates with the academic colleges to deliver for-credit courses, primarily during the evening hours. For this reason, Continuing Education courses are not included here.

All Extension courses, regardless of where they are delivered, are connected to research and programming developed centrally at University Park. These "courses" represent a mix of many types of educational events.

For the purpose of this credit, each individual section or repeat offering of a course was counted separately; this counting method was the same for both sustainability-related and non-sustainability courses.

See Notes section for more details on the variety of non-traditional (vs non-credit) sustainability educational opportunities at Penn State.


Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:
One

Does the institution have at least one sustainability-themed certificate program through its continuing education or extension department?:
No

A brief description of the certificate program(s), including the year the program was created:

Penn State's University Park campus offers very few non-credit certificate programs of any sort through its continuing education or extension departments; no sustainability-themed certificate programs appear to be among the few that are offered.

All certificate programs consist of for-credit courses and are typically offered in conjunction with an academic unit. According to the Registrar's Office, non-degree students are eligible to enroll in certificate programs. However these programs still consist of for-credit courses.

The following for-credit certificate programs related to sustainability are offered through Penn State's on-line World Campus:
- Undergraduate Certificate in Earth Sustainability: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-earth-sustainability-certificate/overview
- Graduate Certificate in Bioenergy: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/bioenergy-certificate/overview
- Graduate Certificate in Geodesign: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/geodesign-certificate/overview
- Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/solar-energy-certificate/overview
- Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Management and Policy: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/sustainability-management-policy-certificate/overview
- Graduate Certificate in Wind Energy: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/sustainability-management-policy-certificate/overview


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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Below is a sampling of Penn State sustainability-related educational opportunities, both non-credit and for-credit, offered in a non-traditional format (i.e., online) or targeted to non-traditional students and the general public.

As noted previously, Continuing Education (Outreach) primarily offers for-credit courses and academic programs targeted to adults seeking a career change, professional development, and degree completion. None of these for-credit academic programs are in areas directly relevant to sustainability.

Penn State Extension in the College of Agricultural Sciences offers a variety of non-credit educational opportunities in the areas of agriculture, natural resources, food and health, and youth and family.

Penn State's World Campus offers a wide variety of for-credit online courses, degrees and certificate programs, including some in the sustainability realm. Some of these offerings are available exclusively online, while others provide an alternative format to residential courses and programs.

A small number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been developed by Penn State faculty thus far. One of these - entitled "Energy, the Environment, and our Future", taught by Geosciences professor Richard Alley - has a strong sustainability theme.

There are a number of other centers and programs at Penn State with an educational focus that offer sustainability-related education that is not for academic credit. For example:
The Small Business Development Center and the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program both offer training and advice in areas that include energy and the environment.
Shaver's Creek Environmental Center offers educational programs for children and adults.

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.