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  • AASHE-STARS

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 61.96
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Briar Schoon
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Associated Students of Portland Community College have designated sustainability coordinators at each campus who organize green teams, sustainability events and initiatives, and oversee the Green Initiative Fund. These programs are student-focused.

Additionally, we have other student groups that focus on sustainability, including Green Teams, an Organic Gardening Club, an Environmental Club, and Bike Commuter Clubs. These are student-run and host various events and partake in sustainability initiatives throughout the district.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

At the Sylvania campus, we have a learning garden that our Biology and Gerontology departments use, as well as the on-campus Environmental Center. The garden features a hand-made cob bench covered by an eco-roof. The garden is currently developing a rainwater catchment system and new vermiculture facilities.

The Rock Creek campus's Learning Garden ​grows​ vegetables, flowers, and fruit on 3.6 acres and is managed by Nora Lindsey. Within this space, there are 35 raised beds for farmstand and cafeteria production, 16 community beds, and ~1 acre in row cropping. The garden features ​an orchard, beehives, ​compost bins, an earthen oven, worm nursery, and a sustainably designed cob tool shed. Food harvested from the garden is sold at our weekly farm stand​ and​ ​donations are also made to the Rock Creek cafeteria and Women's Resource Center Canteen.​ Volunteers are encouraged to take food home through the volunteer rewards program.

The Southeast campus has a new organic 'Garden of Peace' that manages stormwater runoff sustainably. The Southeast campus also has a master plan for a garden that began construction in 2016. Our LEED Platinum Net Zero Newberg building is in the beginning stages of developing a learning garden at the center for students, staff, and community members.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Rock Creek Campus's learning garden includes a weekly farmstand at which fresh produce from the garden is sold the day it is picked and then sold to help fund the garden. Volunteers can receive a discount if they help with harvesting.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Green Initiative Fund is a fund comprised of monies from the Student Activity Fee, administered by a governing board made up primarily of students and is applicable to faculty, staff and students. Projects receive funding based on their carbon footprint reduction, waste reduction and/or supporting PCC's Climate Action Plan and other sustainability initiatives.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Each campus hosts Earth Week events every year, which often host speakers with students as the intended audience. Student groups and sustainability staff host a variety of events during other times of the year, including up-cycle fairs, waste audits, bike commuter challenges, etc. We also host annual symposiums for the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN).


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

Many events, especially during Earth Week, connect cultural/social arts to sustainability. For example, last Earth Week we hosted an eco-spirtual artist to host a discussion and art exhibit around spiritual sustainability concepts.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Faculty at Sylvania host the Sylvania Habitat Restoration Team, a group of individuals dedicated to keeping our natural areas, around PCC Sylvania, as close to natural as humanly possible. We're students, instructors, neighbors, local businesses, volunteers, and anyone who cares about working to keep our green spaces...green.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

N/A


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Our Environmental Center and sustainability office host events around sustainable life choices, up-cycling, gardening, biking, etc. We also have classes dedicated to sustainable life skills such as our Personal Sustainability class and community ed classes that teach gardening, naturopathic medicine, disaster preparedness, DIY courses, etc.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Associated Students of PCC employ at least one student sustainability coordinator at each campus. We also have several student work-study positions focused on sustainability, including learning garden ambassadors, compost interns, sustainability outreach intern, sustainability assistant, and environmental coordinator. Work study, internships, & casual positions are available through the Sustainability Office & learning gardens.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

N/A


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Alternative Building Technology and Landscape Tech work closely with sustainability staff and students to educate students on sustainable building practices and sustainable landscape management.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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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.