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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Portland State University
ER-1: Student Sustainability Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Heather Spalding
Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator
PSU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
28,000

Program name (1st program):
Sustainability Leadership Center

Number of students served by the program (1st program):
28,000

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):

Students apply for one of eight current student positions in the Sustainability Leadership Center (SLC). Students submit resumes and cover letters and are selected by a committee of students and staff.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

Student educators receive leadership and professional trainings and support on skills such as proposal writing, leadership, goal-setting, and budgeting. The student educators then set goals for projects that engage other students in sustainability initiatives on campus. These goals are set with their supervisor, and students and staff meet regularly to make sure these goals are being met. Projects include a Community Design Session for planning the University Eco-Block, a Permaculture Garden, the Student Sustainability Advisory Council, a Sustainability Leadership Workshop, and various sustainability forums and workshops.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

This program employs one full-time staff person, the Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator. In its pilot year, the SLC was budgeted $94,000 from the university.


The website URL for 1st Program:
Program name (2nd program):
EcoReps Program and Res Life Initiatives

Number of students served by the program (2nd program):
2,044

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

Any student living on campus is eligible to become an EcoRep. Reps are selected at the beginning of the academic year, and additional reps can be taken on throughout the year.

To apply, students submit two paragraphs describing why they are interested in participating. The applications are reviewed by a committee of students, the Coordinator of the Sustainability Leadership Center, and a staff representative from Residence Life.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):

The EcoReps receive four weeks of discussion courses from the Northwest Earth Institute. These one hour meetings are facilitated by capstone students as part of a class, and a student staff from the Sustainability Leadership Center also attends. The trainings themes are usually "Voluntary Simplicity" and "Choices for Sustainable Living". A full list of courses we can choose from each term can be found here: http://nwei.org/discussion_courses/course-offerings/course-offerings.

After the one hour discussion course, students receive a campus-specific training. These include a campus sustainability tour by the sustainability ambassador, an interactive presentation on recycling, a sustainability leadership training, an overview of campus sustainability, and a container gardening workshop.

Each week, the EcoReps also complete a task. For the first term, the tasks are chosen by the coordinators of the program. After the first term, the Reps have more say in choosing sustainability actions for the residence halls. Actions include putting up sustainability information in halls, distributing recycling magnets to rooms, and planning sustainability movie nights.

Each year, a community team building event happens where Reps can meet other involved students and gain leadership skills.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):

The institution provides financial support for the student Residence Life Liaison who manages the EcoReps. The Liaison receives a small budget to run the program (about $500 a year). The Sustainability Leadership Outreach Coordinator is a full time staff who spends some time each week managing the Liaison, networking with Res Life, and providing administrative support.


The website URL for 2nd program:
Program name (3rd program):
Sustainability Volunteer Program

Number of students served by the program (3rd program):
100

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):

Students submit applications online. Twenty volunteers are selected per term and participate in one of 5 task forces who do volunteer projects on campus.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):

The mission of this program is to create a formalized structure for sustainability volunteer opportunities on campus. By committing to a term, students learn about campus sustainability initiatives and will be trained in the various volunteer positions. The program is designed to benefit both students who are new to sustainability and those who are currently involved. Volunteers will be provided with a foundation of knowledge and experience for seeking further leadership opportunities at Portland State and beyond.

Students are required to participate in 2-4 hours a week of service in one or more of the volunteer positions during the duration of the 10-week term including bi-weekly group meetings. Additionally, students will be asked to attend a mandatory in-service day for training in the first Friday of the term. Furthermore, students attend and review at least one Portland State sustainability event during the term. Lastly, all students schedule a 1/2 hour appointment at the beginning and end of the term for group feedback sessions with either volunteer coordinators from PSU Recycles! or the Sustainability Leadership Center. Total required commitment for student's service are between 28-48 hours a term.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):

The institution provides financial support for two student Volunteer Coordinators to manages the Sustainability Volunteer Program. The Coordinators receives a small budget to run the program (about $500 a year).

The Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator is a full time staff who spends some time each week managing the Volunteer Coordinator, networking, and providing administrative support. PSU Recycles manages the other coordinator.


The website URL for 3rd program:
Program name (All other programs):
Student Leaders for Service, PSU Recycles

Number of students served by the program (All other programs):
28,000

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (All other programs):

Student Leaders for Service - Through SLS, 25 students make a commitment to serve 10 hours a week during the academic year at a local organization where they provide direct service to address community needs. Chosen via hiring committee.

Sustainability Ambassador - nominated by faculty and hired by committee


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (All other programs):

SLS - Currently, SLS serves as an entry point for community-based organizations to partner with the University and provides resources and opportunities for students interested in community engagement. Partners and students create year-long student leadership work plans. Specific plans vary depending on student interests and community organizational needs, but all students act as liaisons between the community organization and PSU.

Sustainability Ambassador - receive group training, along with 12 other ambassadors, to give campus sustainability tours, attend high profile sustainability events as a representative of PSU, and manage the Ambassador Green Team. The ambassador also works closely with the Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator and university staff to add sustainability features to the campus tour and train the other ambassadors to teach sustainability.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (All other programs):

Student Leaders for Service - pays for 10 students to receive stipends each year, along with a full time Coordinator.

Ambassador - The Sustainability Leadership Center funds the Sustainability Ambassador ($250/month) as well as the Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator who co-manages the student along with the Coordinator of the ambassador program.


The website URL for all other programs:

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.