Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.79
Liaison Katharine Gross
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

Lehigh University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Adrienne McNeil
AVP, Community and Regional Affairs
Community and Regional Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Community Schools

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

Lehigh is partnering with the Bethlehem Area School District in two Elementary and one Middle Schools as a lead partner in a Community School initiative. Lehigh employs 1 individual at each school to manage after-school enrichment programs in collaboration with the academic programs. Parental programs (ESL, financial basics, computer classed, etc.) are also sponsored. Both schools are located in a low income area where 90% of students are on a free or reduced-cost lunch program. Lehigh students volunteer thousands of hours annually for such activities as: tutoring, mentoring, homework clubs, enrichment programs, physical activities with the students at these schools. Activities are overseen by the Community Service Office.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO)

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

Lehigh University funds several partnerships through the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO). The Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ)- a series of tax credit incentives to support start up companies investing in SouthSide Bethlehem. The Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) was established in 2004 and is now in its 15th year of operation. The KIZ has had a profound impact on innovation and entrepreneurship in Bethlehem by offering critical financial resources and assistance to early-stage startup companies. To date, the KIZ has invested over $7 million dollars in 90 companies since the program’s inception.
website: http://www.southsidebethlehemkiz.com/

The SouthSide Ambassadors- The ambassadors pick up litter, remove graffiti, empty trash receptacles and remove weeds to keep the downtown clean. Safety patrols work directly with the local police to serve as a highly visible presence throughout strategic areas of the district. All of our SouthSide ambassadors provide energetic and personal hospitality to visitors with friendly greetings, directions, recommendations and assistance.
website: http://blockbyblock.com/program/southside-bethlehem

The SouthSide Arts District- The SouthSide Arts District (SSAD) is a downtown revitalization program that works to improve economic conditions for businesses and institutions located in the core business district of south Bethlehem, PA. Following the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Main Street Four Point Approach”®, SSAD staff and volunteers are focused on the four points of Organization,Promotion, Design, and Economic Vitality. The SSAD organization focuses its efforts in the core commercial business district (depicted in the map below as the “SSAD Main Street Program
Area”) within the larger SouthSide Arts District.

The SSAD revitalization program was formally organized in 2015 as an initiative of the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO), joining several other similarly organized programs including Bethlehem’s Keystone Innovation Zone, Pi: Partnership for Innovation business incubator, and the SouthSide Ambassadors program. Initial seed funding for the staffing, administration, and implementation of the program was provided primarily by Lehigh University, whose current funding commitment runs through the end of 2018.
website: http://www.southsideartsdistrict.com/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
The Fowler Community Wellness Center

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

Vision: The vision for our Fowler Community Wellness Center is to break the cycle of poverty by working closely with our partners to co-locate services and offer programs that get more resources into the hands of our community members as they continue their journey to self-sufficiency.

It is located in the Hispanic Center.

See upload for a complete description of the programming.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Lehigh's Office of Community and Regional Affairs supports 4 pillars:
1. Supporting public education
2. Neighborhood revitalization
3. Economic vitality
4. Clean and safe
These four pillars touch on all three facets of sustainability - environmental stewardship, economic prosperity, and social equity.

Lehigh University also has a representative participating in the process that the City of Bethlehem's Council initiated in February 2017 to develop a Climate Action Plan. This will be a multi-year process that will likely continue into 2020.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

Community partnerships 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.