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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 74.63
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.74 / 14.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 2,113 2,594
Number of sustainability courses offered 77 105
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 127 178

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
60

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
87

Number of years covered by the data:
One

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):

n/a -- please see uploaded list


The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

For many years, the Earth Systems Program within Stanford's School of Earth Sciences has compiled and published a list of environmental courses (http://pangea.stanford.edu/programs/esys/academics/undergraduate-program/undergrad-courses). This list served as the starting point for the sustainability course inventory, and staff began the inventory process by reviewing this list and designating classes as sustainability classes, classes that include sustainability, or neither. However, since Stanford offers such a vast array of classes that fluctuate significantly year to year, Stanford staff and faculty felt it was important to re-evaluate the full list of Stanford class offerings in the 2012-2013 academic year in order to compile a truly complete list of Stanford's sustainability classes and classes that include sustainability.

To accomplish this, staff audited the entire 2012-2013 course bulletin and identified (based on course descriptions), whether or not courses should be included in the sustainability course inventory. Staff also worked closely with the university's Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) team to determine the number of individual/independent study classes, classes with enrollment of 4 or fewer, and 1 unit classes, in addition to reviewing the total number of classes with and without sections. With the support of the IRDS, staff decided that individual/independent study classes and classes with enrollment of 4 or fewer should be removed from both the total number of classes and the sustainability course inventory. One-unit classes were kept in the inventory because these classes are often extremely substantive despite only being worth one unit of course credit. This detailed analytic process was performed very carefully and with the input of many campus stakeholders, including Stanford faculty, in order to ensure utmost accuracy.

After this decision-making and calculation process and consultation with Stanford faculty, staff generated a final list of sustainability courses and courses that include sustainability based on all of the above criteria. Th new list has been uploaded to the Sustainable Stanford website and has been disseminated to several interested parties, including the Haas Center for Public Service and the School of Earth Sciences. Based on this thorough process, Stanford feels confident that it generated the most accurate and complete list possible of sustainability courses and courses that include sustainability at the university.


How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):
---

Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics No
Thesis/dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education Yes
Performance arts Yes

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:
No

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:
No

All courses where any section of the course had enrollment of 4 or fewer students have been removed, both from the list of sustainability courses and courses that include sustainability and from the total number of courses. Courses that were deemed as independent/individual study by the University's Institutional Research and Decision Support team have also been removed from both lists.

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.