AC 4: Graduate Program – version 2.2
Frequently Asked Questions
How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 and 2.2?
Minor updates to definitions were made for consistency with other Academic credits. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.
Does the program being reported have to address all three pillars of sustainability?
To qualify as sustainability-focused, a program must have a primary and explicit focus on either the concept of sustainability or the interdependence of ecological systems and social/economic systems. The sustainability focus of such a program should be explicit in the program title or description; if the term “sustainability” is not used, both environmental and social/economic dimensions must be evident.
Our institution does not use the same nomenclature for degrees, minors, certifications and programs. How do we classify our programs?
- Programs that count under the “Major, degree program, or equivalent” section of the credit are typically areas of focus that students formally choose. Such programs are typically several months in duration or longer.
- Programs that count under the “Minor, concentration, or certificate” section are typically pursued in addition to a major or degree, and are typically shorter in duration.
Our institution’s graduate program is very small. Do we have to pursue this credit?
This credit applies to all institutions that offer at least 25 distinct graduate programs. Institutions that offer fewer than 25 distinct graduate programs have a choice of either pursuing this credit or marking it as Not Applicable.
- Arizona State University – Comprehensive and well-organized list of programs and a great reporting example for large institutions. All programs listed have clear relation to sustainability and/or the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems.
- College of Charleston – Both listed programs have a clear relation to sustainability and/or the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems. Additional support is provided via upload.
Common Issues Identified During Review
- Sustainability-focused programs are interdisciplinary academic programs that have a primary and explicit focus on the concept of sustainability or the interdependence of ecological systems and social/economic systems. The sustainability focus of such a program should be explicit in the program title or description.
- Valid URLs are required for each program.