Environmental Stewardship Learning Outcomes

JMU measures achievement of the following stewardship learning outcomes for JMU undergraduate students:

  1. understand the interdependence of human and natural systems;
  2. understand the health, socio-economic and ecological dimensions of environmental stewardship;
  3. understand how environmental problems are explored and how solutions are developed and implemented; and
  4. understand how environmental stewardship is and can be integrated into our lives.

Between 2013 and 2020, JMU implemented a comprehensive collection of student assessments and used the results to significantly advance sustainability efforts. Three question sets were, and continue to be, administered to students annually as part of university-wide processes, enabling analysis of students’ environmental stewardship reasoning and knowledge and campus sustainability culture over time. The questions are in the Environmental Stewardship Reasoning and Knowledge Assessment - ESRKA - which is administered as part of university-wide testing administered by the JMU Center for Assessment and Research Studies, and in parts of the Continuing Student Survey by the Office of Institutional Research and Perception Study by the Office of Residence Life. Two questionnaires, which are given every three years and administered only once thus far, provided insight into student sustainability education engagement and student perceptions of the extent to which the university is sustainable in seven critical areas of higher education. These were the National Survey of Student Engagement- Sustainability Education Engagement Consortium Questions and Sustainability Assessment Questionnaire, respectively. The tools and individual questions were carefully selected and coordinated so the collective results would inform strategic planning. Replacing anecdotes and impressions with data and results facilitated continuous improvement of the university’s sustainability efforts broadly. 

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