Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.42
Liaison Darcy Everett
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

College of Charleston
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A P Brian Fisher
CSO/Executive Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
College of Charleston Quality Enhancement Plan

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

In 2017, the College of Charleston confirmed its institutional mandate and mission to expand and invest in sustainability literacy education. Developed to support the university's reaccreditation, our current and active Quality Enhancement Plan is titled "Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st-Century Problems" and shepherded by the Center for Sustainable Development.

Our QEP aims to add to the storied history of the College and prepare students to graduate and serve as passionate advocates and stewards of a planet and future that will be increasingly shaped by social, economic and environmental challenges. Collectively, College leadership and the Center for Sustainable Development are working toward this mission through sustainability literacy.

We provide dynamic and thoughtful student learning opportunities that emphasize critical thinking, interdisciplinary study, creative problem solving, analytical reasoning and a common understanding of sustainability. We teach the Triple Bottom Line and develop within students the necessary tools and resources to then advocate for modern-day solutions to address issues like climate change, food insecurity, poverty and institutional racism.

Developing empowered citizens who can think critically and innovate to solve challenges is central to the mission, purpose and strategic planning of the College. This is seen most clearly in the third goal of the College's Strategic Plan, which is to "provide students the global and interdisciplinary perspectives necessary to address the social, economic, environmental, ethical, scientific and political issues of the 21st-century."

In order to achieve this institutional mission, five key goals and seven student learning outcomes structure the QEP and are advanced through curricular and co-curricular activities and new institutional opportunities for student, faculty and staff engagement. The five key goals of the QEP are to: teach the Triple Bottom Line, cultivate sustainability literacy, develop a culture of conscious consumerism, support applied learning and problem solving, and empower student advocates.

To date, more than 3,600 students have enrolled in 159 sustainability-focused and related courses. More than 4,500 people have attended 145 sustainability events and 100 percent of first-year students have received foundational education in sustainability literacy.

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-1 Academic Courses, AC-2 Learning Outcomes, AC-6 Sustainability Literacy Assessment

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Center for Sustainable Development Internship Program

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

The Center for Sustainable Development organizes and leads a robust and dynamic student internship program that provides students with opportunities to gain a holistic education in sustainability literacy through experiential learning, research, public engagement, operational management and targeted professional development. Each semester, students lead projects focused on a broad range of sustainability issues, including energy, climate action, waste management, diversity and inclusion, community outreach and engagement, sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship and transportation.

The Center hosts about 35 students annually, and staff members serve as mentors and educators. Interns typically complete between 8-15 hours of work each week toward their unique mission and report out successes and developments at weekly meetings. Students work with peers across disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives to individually and collectively spearhead projects and campaigns that support the university's sustainability goals, research and policies. Students also have the chance to earn academic credit or compensation for their work with the Center.

You can learn more about the diverse and powerful program and review previous examples of intern work at sustainability.cofc.edu/internships/index/php.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
EN-3 Student Life, EN-5 Outreach Campaign, EN-10 Community Partnerships

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Stone Soup Collective - College of Charleston Chapter

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Charleston has been named the No. 1 city in the U.S. ... seven years in a row.

The historic southern city is often at the top of global lists, too, and its food and culinary scene are primary drivers of this recognition. Still, in 2017, a survey conducted by the College’s Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities found that 30 percent of Cougar students reported suffering from food insecurity.

Launched in 2018, the student chapter of Stone Soup Collective echoes its local parent organization's efforts to combat food insecurity and food waste on campus. Students incorporate vegetables grown in campus gardens and surplus produce from local food hubs like GrowFood Carolina to make and distribute healthy, plant-based soup to Cougar students every week. This represents a growing effort to build a creative, closed-loop, sustainable agriculture system by using food grown on our campus to nourish underrepresented Cougar students and members of our campus community who are in need.

Stone Soup partners include local activists, churches and campus institutions like Cougar Food Pantry. The Center for Sustainable Development is home to the production and distribution of the soup and provides institutional and community outreach support to the program and its student leaders.

You can read more about the program in the university publication The College Today at https://today.cofc.edu/2019/01/17/student-does-it-all-for-goodness-sake/ or The Rival student publication at https://cofc.therival.online/content/stone-soup-collective-making-soup-sustainable. You can also view new updates and photos on its Instagram, @stonesoupcofc and watch a video to learn more about its Charleston parent organization at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1465144386858671.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Food & Dining
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
EN-10 Community Partnerships

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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.