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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 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ben Kalscheur
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

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:

The literacy assessment was created by Office of Sustainability staff. We looked at similar assessments done by STARS peers as a starting point and then integrated our own specific TAMU questions. We combined the assessment of culture and literacy into one survey instrument.

We completed our first survey of the campus community during the Fall 2016 semester. This is an annual survey and we completed our first follow-up assessment during the Fall 2017 semester.


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

We worked with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation (experts in designing and deploying surveys for our campus community) to design and administer the survey. They used email to randomly sample a representative portion of the entire students population. The survey was sent as a qualtrics link to randomly selected campus members.


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

Results of the study are evaluated by Office of Sustainability Staff and are used to better understand areas of both strength and weakness in regards to sustainability literacy acquired during students time at the university.

Highlights from the 2016 survey include: In regards to defining sustainability and it's three core areas, 70.45% of students correctly identified social sustainability, 80.68% were able to identify economic sustainability, and 97.73% were able to identify environmental sustainability. 86.36% of our students identified green house gases correctly, and 68.94% of our students were able to correctly identify ways in which a person's carbon footprint could increase.

Highlights from the 2017 survey include: In regards to defining sustainability and it's three core areas, 49.36% of students correctly identified social sustainability, 74.36% were able to identify economic sustainability, and 91.67% were able to identify environmental sustainability. This shows a decline in understanding of sustainability from the 2016 survey. 81.41% of our students identified green house gases correctly, a decline from 2016. 70.09% of our students were able to correctly identify ways in which a person's carbon footprint could increase, which is higher than the 2016 results. 62.8% of students correctly identified steps to prepare for climate change. 79.29% of students correctly identified renewable sources of energy.


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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Not all participants who completed the survey answered all of the questions, which could lead to selection bias in some of the answers.

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.