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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 50.31
Liaison Jamie Greiner
Submission Date Sept. 29, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mount Union
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
"---" 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)?:

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:

University of Mount Union
Sustainability Questionnaire

Please circle the most appropriate response

A. General Sustainability Knowledge

1. What is meant by the term “carbon footprint”?
a. The amount of carbon released with each step taken
b. Greenhouse gasses released by burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, etc.
c. The amount of carbon we consume on the average day
d. I don’t know

2. “Sustainability” with regard to natural resources means:
a. Using natural resources as slowly as possible
b. Using only as much as is replaced by natural processes
c. Discovering new resources to allow maximum economic growth
d. I don’t know

3. Which of the following is a renewable resource?
a. Oil
b. Trees
c. Coal
d. All of the above

4. Living in a “sustainable” way implies a commitment to the following:
a. Environmental, social, and economic issues
b. Income, expenses, and consumer confidence
c. Worker wages, worker satisfaction, worker production
d. I don’t know

B. Personal Attitudes & Behaviors Regarding Sustainability

5. Which of the following statements best describes your level of interest in sustainability?
a. I have a passion for sustainability
b. I have considerable interest in sustainability
c. I am rather neutral about sustainability
d. I have little or no interest in sustainability

6. Do you recycle on a regular basis?
a. Yes, I try to do it as much as I can
b. Yes, when it’s convenient
c. No, I choose not to
d. No, I don’t know how

7. Which of the following would encourage you to walk or bike to campus most of the time (if you generally drive to campus)?
a. Nothing, I prefer to drive to campus
b. A more bike friendly campus (lanes on public streets, more bike racks, etc.)
c. More pedestrian-friendly routes to campus
d. Other (please specify)________________________________________________________

8. What best explains any personal motivation to become involved in sustainability-related behaviors? (Mark all that apply).
a. Personal concern and beliefs
b. Information I have received from a course or from another source
c. Saving money
d. Friend/Peer influence

9. On a scale of 1-7 (with 7 being most important), how important is it for Americans to reduce their personal use of energy? _______

10. Please indicate which of the following you have done or used in the last 30 days (Select all that apply)
a. Turned off water while brushing teeth/shaving
b. Recycled on campus
c. Attempted to reduce electricity usage (unplugged appliances to eliminate “ghost” power use, used a power save scheme on computer, turned off lights, used cold water to wash clothes, etc)
d. Walked or rode a bike to class instead of using a vehicle

11. Before taking this survey which did you know was an example of a sustainable practice?
a. Selecting double-sided printing
b. Conserving energy in any way you can
c. Using alternative transportation (walking, bikes, buses, etc.)
d. Powering down electrical devices when not using them for more than 15 minutes

C. Sustainability at Mount Union

12. What do you think is the largest contributor to UMU’s greenhouse gas emissions?
a. Electricity used in campus buildings
b. Natural gas used to heat campus buildings
c. Transportation emissions from vehicles used by faculty, staff, and students
d. Solar panels on the roof of the MAAC and Campus Center

13. On a scale of 1 – 5 (with 5 being most important), how important to you are the following sustainability issues at UMU:
a. Recycling and waste reduction _____
b. Energy consumption _____
c. Air pollution _____
d. Water quality_____
e. Water conservation_____

14. What resources would you find most beneficial to help you learn more about sustainability or environmental issues (circle all that apply)
a. Email communication
b. Courses on topics related to the environment or sustainability
c. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.)
d. On-campus signs and flyers

Thank you for participating in this survey. If you have questions or comments or would like to become more involved in campus sustainability please email: sustainability@mountunion.edu.

The University of Mount Union Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC)

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

The assessment was developed by the Education Sub-committee of our Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC) and then was reviewed by the committee at large.

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

All freshmen are required to take a First Year Seminar (FYS) across all disciplines. We asked that instructors of these seminars administer the questionnaires in their class. Because the classes are mixed and not organized by department or discipline the results were representative. The survey was first administered in Fall 2012 to all Freshman (graduation year 2016) and has continued to this day. In the Fall of 2015 this survey also began to be administered to all Seniors through their Senior Capstone class. Now the results received when these students were Freshman can be compared to their results as Seniors to gauge any shifts/changes over 4 years.

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

Students have a general idea about the meaning and breadth of sustainability but they are not yet fully committed to major lifestyle changes. The comparison of Freshman to Senior shows slightly more understanding about sustainability concepts, however, results are not statistically significant.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

All communication to FYS and Capstone Instructors is done by Jamie Greiner. All survey results are entered by Jamie Greiner. Information entered by Jamie Greiner.

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.