The use of Sustainability Indicators (SIs) originated to address complex problems by bringing together data points across human, economic, and social systems in order to guide decisions about sustainable development at different scales, including the sustainable development of businesses, towns, regions, and even human society at large (Hardi & Zdan, 1997).

Even though WAC programs themselves are not complex systems, we value the SI method for WAC programs because they engender a slow, deliberate, and strategic approach to program development that includes coming to a deep understanding of campus culture and context, the use of mission and goals to guide development, the inclusion of stakeholders in determining program mission and activities, and ongoing formative assessment of program sustainability through the use of sustainability indicators.