Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.79
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

Lehigh University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Katharine Targett Gross
Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

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

The Lehigh in Costa Rica Program has operated study abroad courses for over 20 years. The close association developed between Lehigh’s faculty and a variety of Costa Rican NGOs (non-government organizations) has allowed us to expand our program to include two additional initiatives: 1) A 7-week summer internship program in tropical forest conservation and sustainable development, and 2) A summer environmentally-oriented “summer serve” project.

The goal of program is to augment classroom education currently available to students in environmental science or environmental studies with practical on-the-ground experience in sustainable development projects. Students will work on projects related to conservation, particularly in the area of building and/or maintaining biological corridors. The sustainability and integrity of Costa Rica’s environment is crucial to the ecotourism strategy of sustainable. Students in Costa Rica:Lehigh University Summer Environmental Internship development for which Costa Rica is well known. These programs are designed to address the following educational goals:

- Allow students who lack the time or financial resources for a semester-long study abroad program to participate in international learning experiences.

-Create international opportunities specifically tailored to students with an academic background or general interest in the environment and/or international development.

-Demonstrate the inherent interdisciplinary character of “sustainable development” studies by emphasizing the connections among environmental conservation, economic development, and social/economic equity.

-Provide students with an appreciation for the environmental aspects of sustainable development in rural Latin America and expose students to issues related to conservation and preservation of biotic and ecosystem diversity.

-Expose students to Latin American culture and reinforce Lehigh’s connection with various NGOs in Costa Rica.

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

The EI-STEPS summer internship program provides opportunities for students to work on research and projects with a faculty mentor. Some of these paid internships are in the area of sustainability and sustainable development. Please see the link below for a detailed list of the opportunities available.


Sustainability study programs offered were not impacted by COVID-19 and therefore are representative of a normal year.

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.