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Sustainability Knowledge Assessment

Project conducted by faculty members Ed Jackiewicz and Helen Cox (Geography Department)

Background and Purpose of the Study

Colleges and universities across the globe are increasingly focusing their efforts on campus sustainability and related educational curricula. In conjunction with the Institute for Sustainability and the university sustainability curriculum committee, California State University, Northridge has made steps in recent years to improve the sustainability-related course offerings available to undergraduate students. In particular, a minor in Sustainability was added in 2011 and a GE path in sustainability was added in 2012, which offer courses intended to bolster the sustainability understanding of students.

This study will assess the effectiveness of the Sustainability GE path and Sustainability minor by administering questionnaires to students. In particular, we plan to conduct a longitudinal assessment by administering a sustainability questionnaire to students at the beginning and end of semesters in which they take a SUST-designated course and annually to students enrolled in the GE Sustainability path while they are in the program.

Additionally, we plan to conduct a latitudinal assessment of the general student body by administering the same questionnaire to a representative sample of the student body. This will allow us to assess general sustainability knowledge among students at CSUN and the effectiveness of the sustainability curricula at increasing that knowledge. The questionnaire consists of 17 questions developed by The Ohio State University’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab, which have been analyzed through Item Response Theory, together with 8 questions generated by CSUN faculty.

The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. If you are a faculty member teaching a class which you would be willing to volunteer for this assessment, please contact Ed Jackiewicz. We appreciate your assistance with this project.

Student Consent Form
Human Subject Approval