Co-Curricular Activities (3.0)

Credit Language

EN 2: Co-Curricular Activities – version 3.0


  • 2.1. Student sustainability organization
  • 2.2. Sustainability-focused co-curricular activities
  • 2.3. Percentage of students that participate in sustainability activities


How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

  • Student organizations are now listed as a separate indicator (2.1).
  • Peer educator programs and other types of co-curricular activities have been consolidated into a single, less prescriptive qualitative indicator (2.2). Data on the number of hours worked by trained student educators are no longer required.
  • A new indicator (2.3) requires that the student participation rate be estimated or measured.
  • A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

What qualifies as a student-managed enterprise focused on sustainability (Indicator 2.2)?

Student-run enterprises are businesses managed by students that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes. Common examples include student-managed cafes, groceries, revenue-generating farms, consulting firms, thrift/reuse stores, apiaries, co-ops, bicycle repair shops, and similar enterprises.

How does an institution go about assessing and estimating the percentage of students that participate annually in sustainability activities (Indicator 2.3)?

Participation may be evidenced by joining a sustainability organization, attending an event sponsored by the sustainability office, engaging in a sustainability-focused co-curricular activity, or an equivalent action. Neither the passive consumption of information nor awareness of sustainability initiatives qualifies.

An institution may take one of three approaches in pursuing this indicator:

  • A. Survey or assessment results. Report the results of an institution-wide survey or sustainability culture assessment that includes one or more items on respondent awareness of the institution’s sustainability initiatives. 
  • B. Communications analytics. Report on the analytics associated with the sustainability-focused communications medium or platform that has the greatest reach (e.g., newsletter subscribers or social media group members). 
  • C. Conservative estimate based on mixed/limited data sources. Report on the most credible sources of data that are available, taking steps to minimize double-counting. For example, an institution may use the single best data source for students (e.g., membership in a student-focused social media group) and the single best data source for employees (e.g., staff newsletter subscribers) and/or adjust figures downward to account for the anticipated extent to which individuals may be counted more than once.

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Design upcoming sustainability engagement programs and activities with assessment in mind to facilitate reporting under Indicator 2.3.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Indicator 2.1. Student sustainability organization – To earn full points, documentation must be provided affirming one or more sustainability-focused student organizations (an organization with a primary and explicit focus on the integrated concept of “sustainability” or the interdependence of ecological and social/cultural/economic systems). 
  • Indicator 2.2. Sustainability-focused co-curricular activities – Affirmative responses must be supported by information provided in descriptive fields.
  • Indicator 2.3. If claiming that 50% or more of students participate annually in the institution’s sustainability activities, the descriptive response and documentation should affirm how a relatively high proportion of students participated. 

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