Sustainability Course Inventory (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 3: Sustainability Course Inventory – version 3.0

Questions & Answers

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

This indicator replaces a standard 2.2 credit, and the inventory criteria are now less prescriptive. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

What is the difference between sustainability-focused courses and sustainability-inclusive courses?

  • Sustainability-focused courses have a primary and explicit focus on the integrated concept of sustainability and/or the interdependence of ecological and social/cultural/economic systems.
  • Sustainability-inclusive courses are primarily focused on something other than sustainability, but clearly incorporate sustainability content or address one or more sustainability challenges. 

Is a particular format or file type required for the comprehensive inventory?  

There is no required or recommended format. To qualify, the listings must include courses spanning multiple departments or fields of study, clearly distinguish sustainability courses from other course offerings, and be accessible to current and prospective students, either on the institution’s public website, through formal designation in the institution’s official course catalog, or in a standalone publication.

Resources, Templates & Tools

Suggestions for Institutions

  • If pursuing this bonus credit, be aware that it may take some time to complete a comprehensive course inventory. Consider getting started on this early in the data collection process.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Inventory is complete – The process used to complete the inventory must be inclusive of all academic course offerings or equivalent units of instruction. For each course, the inventory should include, at minimum, the title of each course and any corresponding sustainability challenges. 
  • Timeframe: There should be some indication that the course inventory was completed within the last three years.

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