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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 Gold
Overall Score 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ben Kalscheur
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
63,149

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
63,149

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the student educators program:
Office of Sustainability Student Internship Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
63,149

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

The goal of the Office of Sustainability’s Internship Program is to bring people from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives together to create a dynamic team that works to create a culture of sustainability at Texas A&M University. The team focuses on increasing the sustainability of practices such as energy and water use, transportation, food services, construction and built environment, purchasing, recycling, and social justice through the development of programs, outreach initiatives, and event coordination.

For example, they table at various events and create engaging, interactive activities for these events. The interns give campus-wide presentations and workshops. They create engaging and educational videos. The interns engage students through our social media platforms and generate digital and print graphic design content. They catch people doing something sustainable on our Sustainability Cam. The Sustainability Cam is a tool interns use to take pictures of our campus communities sustainable actions and then post them on our social media accounts. They encourage students to sign up for our Sustainability Pledge.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Interns submit an online application that assesses their relevant coursework, computer skills, experience, campus and community activities, extracurricular activities, and skills (photoshop, public speaking, etc). The application gauges why they are interested in working with the Office of Sustainability and the goals they have for the internship. After applications are reviewed, the Office of Sustainability invites the top scorers to an in-person interview. At the interview we ask directed questions specifically about sustainability, their knowledge of, and interest in the program.

In addition, we greatly value social sustainability and ask questions in both the online application and in-person interview to gauge their understanding and openness to issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

We look for applicants who are good at working on teams, possess time management skills, and evaluate whether they are self-starters or need direction. After these interviews, the office staff selects the applicants that fit the projects we have slated for that semester and interview as strong team players. We also work hard to select a team that is diverse and representative of the student body in terms of race, ethnicity, academic background, and gender.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

We schedule an “Orientation Week” for all interns. During which, everyone gets to know each other and learn about the goals, mission, and history of the Office of Sustainability.

The general agenda is below:
1. Learn a little bit about everyone – names, degree, year, favorite movie/color/something fun and anything else they want to share, why they signed up, what they hope to accomplish, etc.
2. Provide introduction about the office, office history, internship history, and goals for the future to motivate the interns (and share previous achievements like past outreach campaigns created by previous intern teams.)
4. Go over a few basic terms to familiarize the team with basic definitions and jargon.
5. Review responsibilities of the interns, introduce office programs, disseminate team schedules and first outreach assignment.
6. Have all interns fill out any other paperwork that is needed.
7. Take the Sustainability Pledge.
8. Read all relevant office literature and familiarize with our online/social media presence.
9. Read TAMU STARS Report
10. Sign up for Brown’s Green School listserv and an AASHE account.
11. Answer any questions they have about their assigned duties.
12. Teambuilding activities - these activities stretch beyond the first week.

After the orientation day, the interns are given a schedule and formal team meetings are held once a week where they receive additional training.

Time is scheduled throughout the semester to brainstorm outreach activities and practice before the activities go live.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination):

The program is coordinated and run by the Office of Sustainability. It is funded through our office budget as well as grants from the Aggie Green Fund. The program is managed directly by the Sustainability Assistant Manager, with support from the Office of Sustainability staff.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Aggie Eco-Representatives (Residence Life Peer Educators)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
11,680

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

The Aggie Eco-Representative Program is an organization in which students educate their peers about how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Eco-Reps educate their fellow students by hosting informational lectures in the residence halls, participating in campus wide events such as Texas Recycles Day and Earth Day, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle by living as an example for fellow students. The Eco-Reps promote sustainable practices by encouraging students to make small changes in the way they live, from turning electronics off when not in use, using a reusable water bottle, reducing food waste, taking advantage of alternative transportation, to recycling bottles and cans on campus. The Aggie Eco-Rep mission statement is “Providing students with the education and opportunity to promote and continue sustainability, ” and, as a grassroots movement here at Texas A&M University, the Eco-Reps are making progress every day.


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

In conjunction with the Residential Housing Association (student self-governance), students are invited to apply to the Aggie Eco-Reps program. Additionally, we have elected Eco-Reps for each residence hall community at Texas A&M during our annual election cycle in September. All applications are screened and interviews are be conducted. Once selected, students are placed in one of three different committees, the Campus Events Committee (Responsible for all outreach activities by the Aggie Eco-Reps to the campus community), the Membership Committee (Responsible for fundraising, training, and development activities for all current Aggie Eco-Reps), or the Education Committee (Responsible for creating and facilitating our signature educational programs in the residence hall communities at Texas A&M).


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

At the beginning of each semester, the Aggie Eco-Reps are required to attend an all-day conference where several different training topics are discussed. The Eco-Reps are trained on effective facilitation skills, since they are responsible for leading programming efforts in our residence halls. They are also trained on each one of our signature programs ("Life of a Water Bottle," "Carbon Footprint Investigators," "Enough is Enough Foodwaste," and "Time for a Change (Economic Sustainability)."), so that they are able to appropriately share relevant information about each pillar of sustainability we cover in our programs. Finally, they are given a presentation and manual that discusses the three pillars of sustainability (Social, Environmental, and Economic) and the intersectionality that exists on-campus in our residence hall communities.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

This program is fully sponsored by the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University, with an annual student fee allocated budget. Additionally, the Department of Residence Life has earmarked annual funding for two Aggie Eco-Reps to attend the AASHE Conference.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):
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A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):
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A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:
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Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.