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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.07
Liaison Kathy Johnson
Submission Date April 21, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Black Hills State University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Petrika Peters
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Biodiesel with Pangea Design

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership supports at least one, but not all three, dimensions of sustainability

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

BHSU's Dining services, A'viands, reserves used fryer oil to Pangea Design Group. Jared Capp, owner of Pangea Design, utilizes it to make biodiesel which he uses in a business vehicle. It is mutually beneficial partnership since we are able to divert that waste from the landfill or drain and he is able to re-purpose it for fuel. There are no other businesses producing biodiesel in Spearfish. The project has been formally ongoing for over five years with agreement between Pangea Design and A'viands. It has continued through two changes in leadership at A'viands.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Gardens for Schools

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

BHSU works with an elementary school and two preschools to provide materials, training and ongoing education for on-site gardens. We worked with Creekside Elementary to provide materials for raised beds (compost, soil) and held weekly gardening classes throughout the growing season. We work with two preschools to provide raised beds, seeds, hoses, and guidance.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Center for American Indian Studies

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

The Center for American Indian Studies formally partners with local high schools, tribal governments, and local nonprofits to organize and implement programs to benefit Native students working toward a college degree.

The Center for American Indian Studies was established at Black Hills State University by an act of the South Dakota Legislature in 1972. The mandate of the Center is to:
• Serve as the administrative unit for academic programs in American Indian Studies.
• To act as a coordinating and liaison facility for issues and programs dealing with Indian students
• To promote awareness of American Indian cultures, value systems, and social problems among both Indian people themselves and members of the larger society
• To assist the University in both recruiting and retaining students of American Indian ancestry
• To act as a liaison with tribal governments, tribal educational facilities, and American Indian organizations in the Northern Plains region when so requested
• To support, encourage, and seek funding for research and publication pertaining to all areas of American Indian culture, language, and heritage

Since its launch, the Center has thrived and grown into a long-standing program within the University. An Advisory Board governs the Center through planning, decision-making, implementation, and review and a mission to lead and guide efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate American Indian Students. Members of the Advisory Board include representatives from Academic Affairs, Institutional Research, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dean of Students, American Indian Studies Faculty, current students, representative from Sanford Underground Lab, and community members. BHSU supports the Center with two full-time staff and a campus office and meeting space.

The Center actively supports two student-led organizations, Lakota Omniciye (“a gathering, assembly”) and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Lakota Omniciye’s purpose is to develop and augment the Black Hills State University educational system to meet and specialize in the unique needs of American Indian students. This organization promotes fellowship among Indian and non-Indian students, and organizes an annual Cultural Awareness Week and Wacipi (pow-wow) in early April that is now in its 31st year. The Wacipi has attracted as many as 3,500 persons, making it one of the larger pow-wows in the state. This event is part of American Indian Awareness Week, a time dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture, featuring daily speakers and a variety of events at Black Hills State University. 2014’s American Indian Awareness Week featured the theme "The Earth is Sacred; Honor Our Mother" and brought speakers to campus to explore a wide variety of environmental topics relevant to rural South Dakota and the local Native American population.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national non-profit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional native values. The ultimate goal of AISES is to be a catalyst for the advancement of American Indians and Native Alaskans as they seek to become self-reliant members of society. AISES assists and supports Indian students who are preparing for careers in the areas of science, engineering, and technology.

The Center for American Indian Studies has a formal partnership with six other South Dakota Universities, including a tribal college, on the Jump Start program in fifty high schools across the state. High School students can contact a Jump Start Advisor to set up a personal visit. The Jump Start Advisor works with Jump Start students to make sure they successfully navigate everything from registering for Summer Bridge classes, to participating in orientation and campuses transition programming in the Living Learning Communities to connecting students with faculty, staff and other campus resources. The Center for American Indian Studies hosts The Bridge Program, held in late August, an early move-in and expanded orientation program for American Indian freshmen students at Black Hills State University. The Bridge Program helps students transition from high school to college by addressing academic, professional, cultural and social issues that first-time Native college students may face. By attending the Bridge Program, students will become used to campus life at BHSU, gain access to student services and campus resources and learn effective academic skills. Students will build a sense of community and develop an early network of peers by moving into their campus residence halls a week before the general student body. Bridge Program participants will meet BHSU faculty, staff and upperclassmen student mentors. The six-day Bridge Program is free and includes college preparation workshops, cultural mapping sessions, social events and student life activities. The program in made possible with a formal community partnership between the fifty participating high schools and six other universities.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

We work with the community non-profit, Hills Horizon, to support their sustainability initiatives. We provide materials, support and assistance on an on-going basis. They reach out to their networks, helping us to reach beyond our campus.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.