Penn State launches University-wide assessment of sustainability curricula



Recently, President Spanier convened the leadership of the University to engage in a strategic planning exercise for sustainability at Penn State. An important part of future planning is an assessment of sustainability across all Penn State courses.

To date, colleges and universities have had no standardized, comprehensive way to compare their sustainability efforts across institutions. The growing demand for such a system has led to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS is a voluntary, self‐reporting framework for recognizing and gauging relative progress toward sustainability among institutions of higher education.

To all Penn State Faculty, Instructors, and Graduate Assistant Instructors: The PSU Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Sustainability Course Survey seeks to identify academic offerings in sustainability across Penn State\’s colleges and campus. In support of Penn State\’s current efforts to develop a strategic plan for sustainability, we seek your participation in this survey.

Please forward this request to all academic department heads and DAA\’s and encourage them to seek participation of full-time, part-time, adjunct, and graduate-student course instructors. It is important that all those who teach resident instruction courses at Penn State have an opportunity to respond to this assessment survey and share their efforts in education for sustainability.

The results of this assessment will provide us with a fuller inventory of current contributions to sustainability education at Penn State. It will allow us to assess the existing level of sustainability engagement among faculty and students, and to develop and implement plans to expand and enhance learning opportunities in sustainability. Importantly, this information will also support the broad awareness of learning opportunities in sustainability among academic advisors and Penn State students.