Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.45
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Oct. 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Green Mountain College
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.72 / 4.00 Aaron Witham
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution coordinate one or more ongoing student, peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

Number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
795

Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Green Job Corps Program and RA Sustainability Training

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (1st program):
540

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

Green Job Corps training sessions are held every year during the fall semester for all work study students that are part of the Green Job Corps program. The director of sustainability and the sustainability office student manager run the training sessions in collaboration with other departments to educate the students about the College's sustainability initiatives, how to engage in those initiatives, and how to educate their peers about the initiatives. Resident assistants attend this training and also receive additional training over the summer that is specifically designed for RAs.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):

All students who are hired as work study students in departments participating in the Green Job Corps program are required to attend the fall training sessions. Participating departments are diverse, including Admissions, the Learning Center, Sustainability, Student Involvement, Green Map, Cerridwen Farm, Residence Life and others. Workers are hired based on skill sets that meet the traditional job responsibilities outlined by their department as well as innovative job responsibilities required of the Green Job Corps, including the ability to promote and improve social, financial, and environmental systems on campus. Many of the job descriptions outline all of the job duties within the triple-bottom line categories and place a Green Job Corps logo on the document so that students know the job they are applying to is included in the program, and should be viewed in the context of sustainability.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

The primary way student educators are trained through this program is through the fall training sessions. During these sessions, which last two and a half hours, students first listen to a presentation on “sustainability 101,” which familiarizes them with all of the College’s current, major sustainability initiatives and gives them an opportunity to ask questions about these initiatives. This trains participants to be a first line of defense for spreading information about sustainability efforts on campus and dispelling myths that oversell or undersell the impact of the programs. Students are then asked to list all the ways they’ve personally and professionally helped advance sustainability goals on campus. This list is used as an impetus for small groups to begin making lists of departmental goals for the year. Groups are then provided with poster paper and asked to develop a wheel-and-cogs model for creating inter-departmental goals. One representative for each department stays at each table, while the other participants walk around to different tables adding goals to other posters. Students pledge to share these goals with their supervisors and institutionalize them into their official duties for the year. Finally, students are taught how to incorporate Green Job Corps goals into their resumes when they succeed at accomplishing them. Similar training is also provided to staff supervisors and follow-up communication directs students and staff to incorporate goals into their official duties and use them as benchmarks for official work evaluations.

Resident Assistants receive additional training before the fall training sessions in order to be prepared to educate new residents about sustainability. This preemptive training takes place in August before the new students arrive on campus. Training covers the existing sustainability systems and sustainability goals so that RAs can help new students participate in these systems and feel motivated to help the College reach its goals. The training also includes sustainability ideas that can be incorporated into their floor programs that they carry-out for residents. Examples of past sustainability-related floor programs have included sewing and patching, local food sampling, sustainable holiday planning, floor-wide clothing swapping, recycling, sustainable living, and paper-making. Finally the session also covers one topic in-depth. In 2013, the topic was knowing your bioregion. RAs were taught why it's important to be able to name a handful of plant and animal species in your region. If you have a close relationship with a few species, then you can notice even the slightest changes to their population sizes and habitats. It's a way of keeping track locally of large abstract phenomena such as global climate change or loss of biodiversity. RAs are encouraged to find ways to communicate the main lesson of the training session to their residents.


A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

The director of sustainability, the sustainability office manager, and several key staff members in the Provost’s Office and Career Services work closely to develop the major Green Job Corp training sessions. The Sustainability Office provides a free meal during the training for all participants, as well as follow-up consultation and guidance throughout the year. This follow-up guidance includes copies of the presentation, copies of the goals the students created, and tips on how to make the most of out of the Green Job Corps experience.

The Sustainability Office also develops the preemptive training for the RAs, which is supported by Residence Life. Residence Life gives RAs $40 each month for floor programming, but it is not required that they spend this money on sustainability-related programming, even though they often do. The Sustainability Office also provides every RA with a "cheat sheet" outlining major sustainability initiatives and facts that they can share with their residents. Throughout the year, the Sustainability Office provides additional guidance and consultation upon request.


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 (2nd program):
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A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (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 (3rd program):
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A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):
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Name(s) of the student educator program(s) (all other programs):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by all other student educator programs:
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A brief description of the program(s), including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (all other programs):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (all other programs):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (all other programs):
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A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (all other programs):
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Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
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The website URL for the peer-to-peer student outreach and education program(s):

The performance year for this credit is FY 2013.

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.