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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 71.76
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
ER-1: Student Sustainability Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.00 / 5.00 Kerstyn Lane
Program Manager
Sustain SU: The Student Sustainability Service
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
39,312

Program name (1st program):
Rethink

Number of students served by the program to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (1st program):
39,312

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

Operated by Sustain SU: The Student Sustainability Service, with support from the Office of Sustainability, Rethink is an education and awareness project, that provides a forum for volunteers to explore ways to raise public awareness and discourse of sustainability, and to enhance sustainability on campus. Campus Sustainability Volunteers working on this project create short sustainability-oriented videos that are posted to YouTube, write fun facts on visible whiteboards around campus, and deliver workshops to the campus community.

The main workshop delivered is Sustainability 101. Designed to teach students about key sustainability facts and issues and introduce them to the three-pillared sustainability approach, this program consists of an hour-long interactive sustainability presentation. The program also includes a “One Simple Act on Campus” component where students commit to adopting a sustainable practice and incorporating it into their daily lives. Sustainability 101 sessions have been delivered to many groups in residence, as well as student organizations around campus.

Two workshops were delivered in the 2013-2014 academic year. Below are two examples of the educational videos produced by this program:

Sustain-A-Bill Webseries:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGdgbtEk7MI

Reusable Dish Program Promotional Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUzegAKX0IQ


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

Student educators are selected in two different ways. Students that lead the majority of workshops and educational outreach work for Rethink and SUSTAINexchange projects are Senior Volunteers. They are required to submit a letter of intent and attend an in-person interview with the Sustain SU Director Program Manager.

These Senior Volunteers train several Campus Sustainability Volunteers (CSV) who then are dually responsible to both the Office of Sustainability and Sustain SU and support the delivery of all our programs. The selection process for CSV’s occurs twice a year and includes an online application which is then reviewed by Sustain SU and Office of Sustainability staff members, followed by an in-person interview.


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

All volunteers are required to attend one-day training session that provides information about the Students’ Union, University of Alberta and their role as volunteers.

Our Senior Volunteers are trained by Sustain SU staff one-on-one to deliver the sessions, in addition to CSV training. The training that Senior Volunteers and CSV’s undergo is similar. The project-specific training includes reviewing the Sustainability 101 presentation, addressing strategies for effective delivery, and addressing volunteer questions. Volunteers have the opportunity to practice delivering the workshop themselves, and a facilitation guide is provided to all student educators as a reference.


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

The University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability provides in-kind and financial support directly to Sustain SU and their programs. The Office of Sustainability’s support for Sustain SU programming is explored and approved annually via sponsorship and collaboration agreements.

The Office of Sustainability also co-coordinates the Campus Sustainability Volunteer program meaning that the student educators listed above are recruited, trained and supervised jointly. As for in-kind support, the Office of Sustainability staff are available as professional resources for ideas, activities and have even attended the sessions as presenters. They also support broad-scale promotions to encourage attendance at the events within networks and social media.


The website URL for 1st Program:
Program name (2nd program):
SUSTAINexchange

Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (2nd program):
39,281

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

Operated by Sustain SU: The Student Sustainability Service with support from the Office of Sustainability, SUSTAINexchanges are educational sessions will generally include a brief presentation, centered on a guided discussion of specific issues regarding the larger main topic. Previous topics included global sustainability initiatives, local economies, the oil/tar sands, climate change and provincial politics. The goal of these sessions is not only to provide a place for education and awareness about the issues, but also to allow for the sharing of ideas and fostering of community amongst both students and staff. Volunteers are encouraged to bring along friends, and any members of the campus community are welcome, and encouraged, to attend.

There are five SUSTAINexchanges hosted every academic year, examples of topics including:

“Shaping Society-The Role of Public Attitude in Policy” held in October 2014. Public perception plays a large role in the decisions our governments make. Join us to find out what factors influence public opinion and how environmental sociology can reveal our relationship with the environment.

“Contemporary Issues Within Our Food System: Is organic really better?” held in January 2014. How does agricultural production effect economies? These questions and more will be explored as we touch on issues related to food trade, ethical food consumption, aquaculture, permaculture, and the disconnect between consumers and food sources.


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

Student educators are selected in two different ways. Students that lead the majority of workshops and educational outreach work the SUSTAINexchanges project are Senior Volunteers. They are required to submit a letter of intent and attend an in-person interview with the Sustain SU Program Manager.

These Senior Volunteers train several Campus Sustainability Volunteers (CSV) who then are dually responsible to both the Office of Sustainability and Sustain SU and support the delivery of all our programs. The selection process for CSV’s occurs twice a year and includes an online application which is then reviewed by Sustain SU and Office of Sustainability staff members, followed by an in-person interview.


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

All volunteers are required to attend one-day training session that provides information about the Students’ Union, University of Alberta and their role as volunteers.

Our Senior Volunteers are trained by Sustain SU staff one-on-one to deliver the sessions themselves, in addition to their CSV training. CSV’s are supported in their development and delivery of bias-balanced presentations and receive additional training on facilitating discussions.


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

The University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability provides in-kind and financial support directly to Sustain SU and their programs. In the 2012/13 academic year, the UAlberta's Office of Sustainability provided $3,000 to support the promotions, hosting and administrative costs of the SUSTAINexchanges (formerly known as Green Sessions). The Office of Sustainability’s support for Sustain SU programming is explored and approved annually via sponsorship and collaboration agreements.

The Office of Sustainability also co-coordinates the Campus Sustainability Volunteer program meaning that the student educators listed above are recruited, trained and supervised jointly. As for in-kind support, the Office of Sustainability staff are available as professional resources for ideas, activities and have even attended the sessions as presenters. They also support broad-scale promotions to encourage attendance at the events within networks and social media.


The website URL for 2nd program:
Program name (3rd program):
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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (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 (3rd program):
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A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):
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The website URL for 3rd program:
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Program name (All other programs):
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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (All other programs):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (All other programs):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (All other programs):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (All other programs):
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A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (All other programs):
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The website URL for all other programs:
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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.