Evaluating the University of Georgia's environmental literacy requirement
Moody, Gwyneth Lane
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The University of Georgia is one of the few state universities in the United States that requires that every undergraduate student fulfill an environmental literacy requirement (ELR). In Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 semesters, we assessed a total of 7,268 students currently taking an ELR course and the 86 faculty teaching these courses, on their awareness, support, and satisfaction for the requirement. Although a majority of faculty (87 percent) was aware of the ELR, a majority of students (68 percent) were not. Both a majority of faculty (89 percent) and students (84 percent) supported the idea of an ELR. The ELR increased student knowledge (76 percent) and concern (65 percent) about environmental issues and changed some studentsÕ behavior (26 percent). Although there was widespread support and satisfaction with the requirement, creating an ELR coordinator position, publicizing the ELR, and evaluating the ELR periodically should improve the requirement.