Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.54
Liaison Elaine Durr
Submission Date Feb. 19, 2020

STARS v2.2

Elon University
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Kelly Harer
Assistant Director of Sustainability for Education and Outreach
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Forest Classroom

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:

Elon University offers the only forest classroom at a university in the United States used to prepare future teachers and environmental educators. Forest classrooms encourage outdoor learning, and research has shown that being outside has many psychological and health benefits for students, such as improved immune systems, fewer symptoms of anxiety, and lower levels of stress. Elon’s forest classroom is the primary meeting location for two undergraduate courses, Nature Awareness and Environmental Education. It is also a site for training sessions for local K-12 teachers to integrate outdoor learning into their own curriculum and pedagogy. Two such training sessions were held in 2019, and all the participants agreed or strongly agreed that they will be able to use the information/knowledge/skills from the session in their own work. In the forest classroom, Elon students learn how to teach all academic content areas in outdoor learning spaces, as well as develop skills like tree identification, fire-building and safety, and knot tying. In 2019, 12 additional classes were hosted in the forest classroom to encourage Elon faculty and staff to integrate outdoor learning into their own curriculum.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Public Engagement

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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.