Date of Conferral







Dr. Richard C. Thompson


Research has shown that green schools and sustainability education (SE) can improve learning, health, attitudes, and behaviors. They can also model the necessary community, societal, and global changes needed for sustainable living. However, most students do not attend green schools or receive adequate SE. Limited peer-reviewed studies have also examined the sustainability knowledge, attitude, and behavior differences between green and non-green university student populations. The theoretical foundation of the study was based on the theories of planned behavior and social identity theory. In order to fill the research gap, 606 undergraduates and graduates from 265 U.S. accredited green and non-green colleges and universities were invited to complete an online sustainability survey in this quantitative study. The results of the three-way MANOVA showed that the main effects of knowledge, attitude, and behavior were significant for university type, SE, and gender. There were also significant interaction effects between university type and SE. Significant knowledge and attitude differences were also found between green and non-green student populations. SE also had a significant impact on behavior, whereas gender had a significant impact on knowledge. A multiple regression further revealed that sustainability attitudes were significantly predicted by sustainability knowledge, behavior, gender, and university type. The implications of these findings suggest that green schools and SE can impact knowledge, attitudes, and behavior which may lead to positive social change. Therefore, this study may be of interest to organizations, academic communities, researchers, curriculum developers, and policy leaders.