Sustainability Course Designation (3.0)

This is an optional Innovation & Leadership (IL) credit. IL credits recognize institutions that are seeking innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and demonstrating sustainability leadership in ways that are not otherwise captured in STARS. Scoring in the Innovation and Leadership section is capped at 10 bonus points total.

Credit Language

IL 4: Sustainability Course Designation – version 3.0

Questions & Answers

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

Minimal changes have been made to this bonus credit. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

What are some examples of ways that sustainability courses can be designated in a course catalog?

The designation might take the form of an identifying symbol or code to help students distinguish sustainability courses from other courses at the time of course enrollment and registration. 

  • For an online catalog, a sustainability “filter” is most commonly used to highlight courses with sustainability designations. 
  • For a printed catalog, a sustainability “tag” such as an image or abbreviation is displayed next to courses that are designated.

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your institution’s registrar’s office, academic affairs division, or similar to determine if a sustainability course designation is in place, and/or to consider implementing such a designation.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • The intent is to recognize institutions that go above and beyond the standard Curriculum credits by designating sustainability courses across multiple departments in their official course catalogs or listings. This generally involves an identifying symbol or code to help students distinguish sustainability courses from other courses (e.g., a sustainability “filter” in an online catalog or a sustainability “tag” in a printed catalog) during registration. 
  • Providing a website that lists sustainability courses or identifying courses offered by a sustainability-focused academic unit (e.g., a list of courses with a “SUST” prefix) is not sufficient in the absence of course-level designations across multiple academic departments in the official course catalog.

Did you find this article helpful?