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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 Silver
Overall Score 58.08
Liaison Kristi Wiedemann
Submission Date March 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Princeton University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.84 / 4.00 Shana Weber
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):

The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :

When you think about the concept of sustainability, which of the following factors do you think sustainability includes? Check all that apply.
-Social factors
-Economic factors
-Environmental factors
-Other factors (please explain)

Please rate the frequency with which you did the following during your last year in high school:
(Scale: Rarely or Never, Occasionally, Often, Very Often, Most of the Time)
-I took showers that were 10 minutes or less
-I chose to eat vegetables, fruits and/or grains instead of eating meat
-I bought used clothing
-I bought natural or organic personal care products
-I shut off the faucet when brushing my teeth
-I separated my recyclables from regular trash
-I unplugged my electronics when not using them
-I used the washing machine only when I had a full load of laundry
-I used a reusable water bottle
-I took the stairs instead of the elevator
-I turned off the lights when leaving an empty room
-Other actions (please explain)

Did sustainability have an impact on your selection of Princeton?

Do you believe increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century are due more to:
-The effects of pollution from human activities
-Natural changes in the environment that are not due to human activities

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:

Research on sustainability assessments was conducted to determine how to best approach the survey questions. As a result, the decision was made to include both awareness and behavioral aspects related to sustainability. The specific questions were advanced by the Office of Sustainability.

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:

Every year, Princeton University administers a survey to all incoming freshman and graduating seniors. Beginning with the Class of 2012 and the Class of 2017, questions that address sustainability were added to the survey and will be included in subsequent years. Beginning with the class of 2012, changes in responses will be tracked as this will be the first class of students to respond to the same questions upon graduation.

A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):

In terms of sustainability awareness, the majority of Princeton students correctly indicated that sustainability is comprised of economic, social and environmental factors. In terms of sustainability behaviors, answers vary widely. Lastly, the majority of incoming freshmen understand that increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century are due to the effects of pollution from human activities. (Seniors were not asked this question due to space constraints on their survey.)

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

Assessments were conducted during AY '13 and AY '14.

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.