Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geography and Environmental Resources

First Advisor

Duram, Leslie


This research investigates how the ASK (Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge) Scale, developed by Zwickle and Jones (2018), can be used to assess the current state of sustainability knowledge at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). The goal of this research is to identify an assessment process that is efficient and meaningful for SIUC in future planning and programming. To answer the research questions, students were surveyed online in Spring 2020 using the ASK Scale survey. The survey consisted of all 12 unaltered questions from the ASK Scale, in addition to questions about participant’s year in school and major. The questions from the survey were analyzed using Microsoft Excel to find the results. This study found that the average ASK score among students at SIUC is 8.61 (out of 12.00), which shows that students who took this survey do possess a relatively high sustainability literacy. The results show that students at SIUC have the highest understanding of the social domain of sustainability (average score 84.63%), followed by the environmental domain (average score 74.11%), while the economic domain was the lowest (average score 59.17%). This shows that SIUC has ample opportunity to integrate the concepts of economic sustainability into their curriculum and programming. The research also found that students at SIUC are experiencing an increase in sustainability knowledge as they move through their academic career. This research shows that the ASK Scale can be used as an effective tool for assessing students’ current sustainability literacy.




This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.