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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 51.12
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Florida
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.85 / 14.00 Liz Storn
Program Coordinator
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 3,663 3,828
Number of sustainability courses offered 43 28
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 122 85

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
34

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
166

Number of years covered by the data:
Three

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):

See attached file


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:

Office of Sustainability Staff perused all syllabi for courses initially identified as being sustainability focused and sustainability related. Initial selection was performed by a consulting company Sustainability Education Services (SES) employing NVivo(TM) a qualitative data analysis application especially effective for identifying thematically related content. From the initial lists, further refinements were made by reviewing the course syllabi, and additional courses that had not been initially selected but were known to be related to sustainability were added to the list.

The initial syllabi survey utilized the content analysis software, NVivo. Syllabi were collected by the Office of Sustainability from the internet, and then provided to the analyst. Maintaining departmental and college information as attributes, the data were uploaded to the software. Key word searches were run on the text of every document using the following sustainability related terms: air quality, appropriate technology, community development, earth charter, ecology, ecological economics, environment, environmental, environmental economics, environmental justice, environmental politics, green building, green business, green design, limits to growth, millennium development goals, new urbanism, our common future, resilience, social capital, social justice, social wellbeing, soil quality, soil science, sustainability, sustainable, sustainable development, waste, and water quality. This list of key words was derived from the analyst’s last five years of research and development within the sustainability education literature and sustainability curricula in higher education. From the original dataset of 5,666 these word frequencies narrowed the list of potentially relevant courses to 3,000. Those courses with only a single hit on any of the key words were next examined, and irrelevant courses were eliminated. The remaining courses were renamed to correspond with their course number and course title, and then examined and qualitatively assessed to be either sustainability focused, sustainability related, or unrelated. The sample was scanned three times during this process, searching for courses that were fully focused on sustainability. The resultant initial sample included 382 syllabi. Sixty three courses were identified as sustainability focused and 319 were identified as sustainability related


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

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:
Yes

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:
Yes

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.