Since 2010, North Seattle Community College has been participating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). 

As a charter member of the STARS program, North earned a Bronze rating in 2011, making it the first campus in the Seattle Community College District to become an officially rated institution. After 2 years of hard work and effort by the school and our community, North received a STARS Silver rating at the beginning of the 2013 academic year. This achievement highlights our increasing effort and dedication to sustainability here at North Seattle Community College, and ranks us amongst the top tier of community colleges and other two-year institutions that have participated in the STARS program across North America.

STARS is a transparent, self-reporting tool for colleges and university to measure their sustainability progress. The program, the only one of its kind, is part of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The STARS system assesses environmental, economic and social indicators, in three categories: education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement. Innovation credits are then 

added to this average, determining the total STARS score.

At the time North submitted its self-assessment, its performance was the fifth highest among 30 community colleges participating in the program.


  • Provides a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
  • Enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
  • Creates incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
  • Facilitates information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
  • Builds a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

STARS is also a reporting process related to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which the College signed in 2008.