Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.36
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date June 8, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Bruce Coriell
Chaplain's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Sense of Place

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

In fall of 2014 Sense of Place programming was added to the existing New Student Orientation (NSO) programming organized by Outdoor Education at Colorado College. The Sense of Place programming was built to familiarize new students to the unique ecology, community, and cultural history of Colorado Springs while fostering the spirit of sustainability that Colorado College aims to embody. The presentation introduced students to plant, bird, and animal species within the area as well as the food, energy, and waste disposal systems that support Colorado Springs and Colorado College. In the fall of 2014, the sense of place program included videos and live speakers on various subjects and developed a field guide to supplement discussions that were organized by trip leaders during the service trip component of NSO. The program now also has a website that is open to the public (http://senseofplacecoloradocollege.wordpress.com).

The Outdoor Education department and the Office of Sustainability are broadening the use of the program themes to underpin all outdoor education activities as well as to design new co-curricular field trips and to build relevance around the concept to all students as they begin or continue their career at Colorado College. Sense of place is a fundamental aspect in fostering students’ unique and personal connections to their communities. Many students are displaced when they begin college, starting in an entirely unfamiliar place ecologically, socially, geologically, and politically. Promoting a sense of place ethic in all outdoor education activities fosters a knowledge of the environment and place-specific environmental issues in Colorado and the greater fabric of the American west. Any ethic of sustainability at Colorado College must be informed by the history and character of the area in order to be effective. The Sense of Place program hopes to instill a feeling of responsibility and stewardship to all students and members of the Colorado College community.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

As each new incoming class goes through New Student Orientation (NSO), the Sense of Place program will become part of every Colorado College student's experience. The Sense of Place program is now progressing to become a key theme underpinning NSO and is underpinning several of the Outdoor Education pursuits as well as becoming a centralized theme for co-curricular field trips to help students, faculty, and staff learn more of the unique aspects of this region and identify those which resonate with their values.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services Yes
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.