Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.54
Liaison Alex Miller
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Carleton College
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alexandra Miller
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Energy and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
STA Mentoring Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Sustainability Assistants (STAs) are student employees in the Sustainability Office. As the number of STAs grew, so did the time it took for hiring, onboarding, and training each of them to be independent employees in the office. Our philosophy is that these STAs are not just "student workers" but really our team of employees that help us to advance sustainability across campus. They are essential to us getting things done.

With the number of students increasing and our philosophy toward our students as employees, we need to re-think how we hired, onboarded, and trained our students.

Starting with hiring, we treat hiring as we would any professional job that a student may apply for after graduation. The Sustainability Program Coordinator manages the application process, but an STA, student-led committee takes it from there. With the assistance and guidance from staff, students learn first hand what makes a qualified candidate, what a good interview looks like, how to be fair and equitable when rating their peers and friends applying for this job. Students select the STAs who will replace them and they find great ownership in this process.

For onboarding, we creating a mentorship program. Students are paired up with a seasoned STA as they start their first year. This person is their go-to for anything related to the office. Our current STAs are encouraged to take the new STA out to a meal and help the new STA create a workplan for their first term. They also help with simple questions like printing, where supplies are, and who to ask questions of. This gives current STAs an opportunity to train someone and share their knowledge for succession planning as well as gives the new STA someone to turn to since staff are often not in the office.

For training, we have partnered with 10 other offices in all divisions of campus in a group called "Peer Leaders." This has allowed us to streamline our training and network with other offices across campus. We cover items jointly- like office basics, diversity and equity, facilitating meetings, etc.

These three approaches to hiring, onboarding, and training have helped developed our STA programs to be one of the most competitive jobs on campus. Students graduate with work experience they are proud of and they leave feeling like they accomplished something in their four years on campus.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Coordination & Planning
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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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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