In general, credits are structured so as to ensure that sufficient evidence is provided that someone who is not familiar with the institution (e.g., a reviewer, a prospective student or a member of the public) can be assured that the credit criteria have been met. Depending on the credit in question, this evidence might include one or more of the following:
- Uploaded documentation such as a published policy, a spreadsheet or a letter of affirmation
- A narrative that outlines in detail how the credit have been met or the methodology used to determine that the criteria have been met
- A website URL where information confirming that the criteria have been met is publicly available
In addition to required reporting fields, every credit in STARS includes two optional fields that participants are encouraged to use to provide evidence, explain discrepancies or disclose data limitations/exclusions:
- Additional documentation to support the submission (upload)
- Data source(s) and notes about the submission (narrative)
Providing clear and ample evidence helps streamline the review/assurance process, provides campus stakeholders with a greater sense of confidence in what is publicly reported, and minimizes reputational risks associated with inconsistent data quality.