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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 Silver
Overall Score 57.03
Liaison Heather Lynch
Submission Date Oct. 4, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Saint Michael's College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Heather Lynch
Director of Sustainability
Academic Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

See attached document


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

Environmental Studies student (and student worker in the Office of Sustainability), Allie Novak '17, developed the assessment as part of her honors project. This project assessed the sustainability literacy of Saint Michael’s students, adopted during the 2016-2017 school year. First, research was conducted on the importance and meaning of sustainability literacy. This helped to develop a survey on sustainability literacy. An existing sustainability literacy test co-created by Ohio State University and the University of Maryland at College Park were examined to use as a model. In addition, previous versions of AP Environmental Science Exams created by College Board were used for guidance in structuring questions about the environment. Finally, various governmental websites such as the US EPA and UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were utilized, to verify the content of our sustainability literacy survey


A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

The survey was administered online and a link was sent/available to all students. The student in charge of the assessment reached out to various professors and staff to help advertise, as well as tabled in the college's dining hall with laptops.


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

The most significant trend was that environmental-focused, life-science, social science, and Spanish majors all performed well on the test. However, majors without sustainability components, such as Mathematics and Humanities, under-performed. Data, observations, conclusions, and recommendations will be sent to Heather Lynch, the school’s sustainability director. This information will be used to discern ways to improve sustainability literacy among students in coming years.


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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Since this past spring was the first time the assessment was conducted, we have not been able to conduct follow-up assessments. In the upcoming year, the Office of Sustainability hope to connect with students to fine-tune the current assessment and develop a plan for post-assessment.

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.