P155 Process Evaluation of a Sustainable Food Systems Course for First-Year College Students


      To describe process evaluation findings for a pilot sustainable food systems course.

      Use of Theory or Research

      The Value-Belief-Norm Theory, a pro-environmental behavior theory used to describe socially responsible behavior, was used. Process evaluation ensured theory-based learning outcomes were properly implemented and participants were reached.

      Target Audience

      Twelve first year college students (67% female) enrolled at a large southeastern US university. Most (67%) identified as non-Hispanic White.

      Course/Curriculum Description

      The curriculum was used for a pilot 12-week 1-credit hour exploratory course which included guest speakers from various food system sectors, case studies, documentary viewings, a cooking demonstration, and a culminating group project. The class met 1 evening per week and students were required to receive a satisfactory grade (70% or higher) to receive credit.

      Evaluation Methods

      Dose delivered was evaluated by curriculum implementation and instructor effectiveness. Student engagement and likability evaluated dose received. Class attendance assessed reach, and fidelity was evaluated by curriculum completion and course implementation alignment of the theoretical framework and learning outcomes. Context was assessed via situational factors.


      Dose delivered was high with 92.86% of the implementation checklist met. Dose received was adequate with a score of 3.80 ± 0.63 out of 5 for engagement and 4.13 ± 0.28 out of 5 for likability. Reach was high with a class mean attendance of 11.20 ± 0.68 students. Fidelity was considered high with 100% completion reported for the curriculum checklist and high alignment of the theoretical framework and learning outcomes. Context assessment revealed external barriers prohibited lessons to be taught chronologically but did not impact curriculum delivery.


      Well-developed food systems education may shape future sustainable food practices in college students. Process evaluation of this pilot course suggested overall adequate implementation and future scaled-up testing was deemed an appropriate next step.
      Funding: NIFA.

      Appendix. Supplementary data