Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Cary Gaunt
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Julia Yates
Sustainability Associate
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Keene State College offers numerous immersive programs. Six examples focused primarily on sustainability include:
1) The Environmental Studies Program offers an immersive experience with a regional land trust and conservation center through its partnership with the Harris Center. Under the guidance of Harris Center staff and KSC faculty, four interns gain specialized training and firsthand experience with many facets of the Harris Center’s diverse work each summer, with a special focus on ecological inventory. https://harriscenter.org/conservation-research/undergraduate-research
2) The Architecture Department's Collaborative Architectural Project is another example of immersive hands-on design and architectural practice experiences for students. This project centered has students conduct architectural projects in the local community for a specific client and site. https://www.keene.edu/news/stories/detail/1524764407492/
3) The college also offers an interdisciplinary course in Outdoor Recreational Leadership. The course explores outdoor recreational leadership qualities, styles, and group dynamics from multiple perspectives (physical education/communication) through a field-based immersive experience. Focus is placed on experiential learning and examinations of selected program activities. Students develop, lead, and evaluate activities based on varying participant requirements, and earn a Leave No Trace certification. (https://www.keene.edu/catalog/courses/detail/IIHP311/)
4) The Community Service Office sponsors several alternative break trips each year during college break times. The Alternative break Program consists of both domestic and international service based trips where students help to address unmet community needs, gain awareness of critical social issues, learn about sustainability and environmental topics, enhance their individual growth, and prepare for lives of active citizenship. One popular program, for example, includes immersion at an Eco-Village (See: https://www.keene.edu/life/si/programs/community-service/alternative-break/)
5) The Global Engagement Honors course is a study of a country outside of the United State where students analyze artistic, social, political, and/or environmental issues facing their host country. At the end of the semester long course, students travel to their country of study to experience the culture. Although the country of study changes, there is a Nepal trip offered every other year that is specifically a sustainability focused course. During their two-week trip, Students stay at the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation (KRMEF), the foundations mission is to create eco-friendly programs that encourage community development. Students help out at the foundation by gardening, building sustainable, earthquake proof homes, and working on other projects at the foundation. They also conduct research on a topic of their choice that allows them to take a deeper dive into Nepalese culture. (https://www.keene.edu/catalog/courses/detail/HNRS301/)
6) Internships with the Office of Sustainability: In partnership with the Environmental Studies Department, students interested in a career in sustainability related work are able to take an internship class that provides a semester's immersion with the Office of Sustainability doing hand-on work with the professional staff related to policy, planning, and/or outreach.


Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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