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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 81.30
Liaison Sarah Munro
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.09 / 14.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 3,137 2,436
Number of sustainability courses offered 188 56
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 318 111

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:
12.08

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
139

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
68

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:
48.92

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:
One

A brief description of the methodology used to determine the total number of courses offered and to identify sustainability course offerings, including the definitions used and the process for reviewing and/or validating the course inventory :

To complete the course inventory, one of the OEP interns read through all of the course descriptions in the undergraduate and graduate catalogues, determining if the course met the definition of sustainability we use for this survey ("AASHE defines sustainability in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations. STARS attempts to translate this broad and inclusive view of sustainability to measurable objectives at the campus level. Thus, it includes credits related to an institution’s environmental, social, and economic performance." The Earth Charter (http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html) was also used as a framework in determining courses that were sustainability related and focused. Courses that were considered “focused” pertained mainly to the environment and dealt with sections from the Earth Charter such as “Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life” and “Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.” Sections considered to be “related” did not pertain directly to the environment and embodied excerpts from the Earth Charter such as “Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities and “Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.”

The definition that UConn specifically uses for sustainability is from the Academic Plan.
"...problems of environmental sustainability cannot be addressed solely by grasping the scientific principles that lead to technical solutions. Successful resolution also requires understanding their ethical, social, legal, economic, and cultural implications from a global perspective."

Other interns and sustainability coordinators from the OEP then went through all of the courses in the graduate and undergraduate catalogs eliminating internships, practicums, independent studies, special topics courses, thesis, dissertation, and capstone courses, clinical courses, physical education courses, and exclusively performance based courses (such as concert choir or marching band). All courses that are offered exclusively at one of the branch campuses (such as classes in Medical Science or Dental Science) were excluded as well, because those schools do not fall within the institutional boundary we report for this survey.


How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
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):

However, courses that were cross-listed across multiple departments (with a prefix for each department) were counted for each department. For example, if a class is cross listed between Human Rights and Political Science, it is counted twice. We applied this rule to both sustainability courses and to all courses.


Are the following course types included in the inventory? :
Yes (included) or No (not included)
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics No
Thesis / dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts No

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.