Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Bethany Taylor
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability Office
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Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
1,816

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):
1,816

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

Name of the student educators program:
Eco Reps and Sustainability Assistants

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
1,816

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

Eco Reps are hired as peer-to-peer sustainability educators, with a special focus on that work within their residence hall but all Eco Reps do outreach to the entire campus through programming in public spaces such as the student union and the dining halls. Sustainability Assistants are hired by the Sustainability Office for a variety of research and campus-facing programs. Each type of student worker works 2-4 hours a week and has a consistent work time or a weekly meeting with office staff to discuss challenges, brainstorm ideas for programs, and work on executing those plans. Peer-to-peer outreach by Eco Reps and Sustainability Assistants has included: social media projects educating Bowdoin community about green initiatives at Bowdoin, coordination of panel discussions on aspects of environmentalism, raffles of sustainability/conservation prizes for participation in interactive educational programs, showing of films, creation and coordination of eco events (such as an Arctic Scavenger Hunt with the Arctic Museum for International Polar Bear Day), clothing/stuff swaps, research into climate action plans, Sustainability website maintenance, Earth Week Celebrations, mindfulness workshops, Carbon Food Print evenings in the Dining Halls to educate diners about the carbon foot prints of different foods, and numerous others. Typically, the more years a student is employed by the Sustainability Office, the more they are encouraged to devise their own programming, or to determine a particular type of research they are interested in that is useful to the Office. Except for very few and specific programs designed exclusively for one residence hall by their Eco Rep, all Bowdoin students are welcome and encouraged to participate in all Eco Rep and Sustainability Assistant programs.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Students apply for the Eco Rep and Sustainability Assistant positions through the Bowdoin Student Employment website. All but the eight first-year Eco Rep positions (one for each of the eight first-year residence halls) are hired in the Spring before the Fall they will begin work. This allows for all students to begin their outreach work immediately upon the start of the school year. All applicants are interviewed by the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator and selected based on a variety of qualities including past experience, knowledge of sustainability issues, particular interests within sustainability, willingness to prioritize the work, creative thinking skills, enthusiasm/ability to share their knowledge with others. The goal is to hire students who will both serve the Sustainability Office well, and who will benefit from the workplace experience, mentoring, and leadership opportunities that the job provides. A significant effort is made to hire students who are required to have a campus job as part of their financial aid package, and to, overall, hire students of diverse backgrounds, experiences, majors, and interests.


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

Prior to the first meetings with Eco Reps, or the first work shift for Sustainability Assistants, the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator creates a resource manual for all student employees. In the first meeting, these manuals are distributed, with students required to review the material and bring their thoughts and questions to the next meeting. A manual, obviously, does not cover all that is required by these jobs, and additional topics are covered as work evolves. The idea is to provide the student employees with enough background information to begin work, but not so much all at once that they feel immobilized by the training. As student projects develop, students are trained on the job how to book rooms, coordinate with other departments, create posters, speak effectively in public, etc. As student curiosity drives the work, training in how renewable energy credits work, where recycling goes, what the scopes of emissions are, etc. is also provided as necessary. Training is interactive and individual, tailored to student need, interest, and job duties.


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):

For the 2018-2019 school year, all Eco Reps and Sustainability Assistants earn $11.25/hr. Each student works between 2 and 4 hours a week, for approximately 24 weeks over the two semesters. This funding comes out of the Sustainability Office budget. Additionally, the majority of the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator's time is spent supporting the Eco Rep program and mentoring the individual Eco Reps/Sustainability Assistants. The Sustainability Office also provides financial support for outreach programming through the purchase of raffle prizes for programs, food for events, campus vehicle rental and gas for trips as necessary and an end of year dinner for Eco Reps/Sustainability Assistants.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd 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) (2nd program):
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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):
2,400

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data based on 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 student employee work, hours, programs and training processes.

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.