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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 65.89
Liaison Marian Brown
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wells College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Marian Brown
Director
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
"---" 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::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

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 the uploaded form.


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

Our sustainability literacy instrument is derived from those developed at other institutions, including Ohio State University's ASK (Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge), University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana, and University of Maryland.


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

In Fall 2016, the assessment was given at the start of the semester to all students taking the Introduction to Sustainability class and is given again at the end of the class. The cohort in the class was mixed: 26% business; 26% natural sciences; 21% social sciences, and several undeclared programs.

In Fall 2016 and Fall 2017, Psychology of Environmental Sustainability gave the assessment as a pre-test only. Many students from different disciplines take this popular Psychology class; the fall 2016 cohort included Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, with 36% Psychology majors, 27% natural science majors, 1 Sustainability major, 1 Business major, and one student not yet declaring a major.

In Fall 2016, the assessment was also delivered as a pre-test only to the first-year SC 101 class on EcoPsychology, the average of correct responses was 54%. This cohort of first year students was very mixed.


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

In Fall 2014, the first time the sustainability literacy assessment tool was administered (12 students), the percentage of correct answers was 59% - or slightly more than 17 questions answered correctly out of the 30 questions asked.

In Fall 2015, the second time the sustainability literacy assessment tool was administered (16 students), the percentage of correct answers was significantly higher, at 70% (over 20 out of 30 questions answered correctly).

In Fall 2016, the third time the assessment was delivered in the SUS 101 class, the

In Fall 2016, the first time the assessment was delivered in PSY 335 Psychology of Environmental Sustainability, the average of correct scores was 58%.

The respondent pool between the two assessments was completely different, so it is difficult to interpret whether other factors are at play in this improved sustainability literacy performance.

In Fall 2016, the SUS 101 Introduction to Sustainability class instructor assigned students to take the assessment as a pre-test, and required a follow-up post-test at the end of the course. In the pre-test cohort, the average of correct responses was 58%. In the post-test, the average of correct responses rose to 75%, a nearly 30% improvement.


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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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.