Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.23
Liaison Michael Chapman
Submission Date Dec. 8, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Nova Scotia Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Martha MacGowan
Project Assistant- Sustainability
Facilities & Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes No
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences No
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives No

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

Each of our 13 NSCC campuses are required to have Sustainability Committee and each committee is required to have student members on the committee. These committees run various activities and programs throughout the school year involving sustainability. These committees are not student governed but encourages student participation.

Our Strait Area Campus has a Green Team solely run by the students (student governed) in the Natural Resources Environmental Technology program. The students do various activities including planting trees and assisting in the annual waste audits.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

Waterfront Campus Green roof: The NSCC Waterfront Campus has a green roof that is a combination of extensive and intensive. An intensive green roof is also called a “rooftop garden”. The planting mediums have a greater depth than an extensive green roof (which is mainly grasses or sedums). The deeper soil allows intensive roofs to accommodate large plants. It also incorporates pathways through the gardens to allow visitors to interact with the natural surroundings. The green roof at the NSCC uses a variety of green products that includes: mats, plant baskets, grasses in thin soil and plants in thick soil. The roof houses a built-in irrigation system that is supplied by rain water and it does not just have sedums but has tall grasses and bushes. The garden is easily accessible to students so they can benefit educationally from it; it has a path running through the centre for easy observation and is attached to a penthouse classroom.

Burridge Campus Greenhouses: The NSCC Burridge campus currently has an environmental committee consisting of 18 staff and students. This committee has built compost bins and green houses. All of the food waste from the cafeteria is composted on site. In turn, the compost is used to grow vegetables in the greenhouses which is used for the cafeteria. The students assisted in the building of the greenhouses and the planters and also assist in the gardening. It is a great environment for students and staff to learn how garden and compost organically.

Our Akerley, IT and Kingstec campuses also have community gardens onsite and students are encourage to participate in weeding and tending the gardens throughout the year.

All programs listed above are not student-governed.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
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A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

All 13 of our NSCC Sustainability Committees receive funding every academic year to encourage the committee to conduct sustainability events and programs to educate fellow students throughout the year.

The campus sustainability committees are institutionally governed.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Each year the Festival of Learning is organized by a team of employees and students who volunteer their time and expertise as participants, presenters and event volunteers. This truly is a community-led event and owes its success to each participating member of our community. Topics such as sustainability are discussed in many forms such as luncheons, learning markets, showcases, college portfolios, and chats. In these sessions, participants share their unique learning experiences within the NSCC Community and knowledge and expertise is shared.

The program listed above is institutionally governed.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
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A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Our Akerley campus' sustainability committee recently had a copper man statue built out of recycled construction materials from recent renovations. It is displayed in the Library and a contest was conducted for the students to name him. This is art installation is a reminder of what can be created with recycled materials and will used to promote further student competition for artwork out of recycled materials.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
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A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Environmental Engineering Technology program's Geology Field School course has been offered for 30 years and in that time frame, faculty and students have noticed many changes to the coastal rock exposures. The degree of coastal erosion is attributed in part to climate change, as the frequency and intensity of storms has increased. The other component contributing to the coastal erosion is the geology and geomorphology of the coastal environment. Some attempts to mitigate the process of coastal erosion have been implemented, which only provides temporary relief, as relative sea level continues to rise. The students get to assess the benefits. The students are instructed on safety in the field. Rock hammer use is limited to looking at beach rock only, not rock in place, in order to minimize the impact on the rock outcrops for future generations. Students carry out all garbage (Pack It In, Pack It Out), as part of following the philosophy of “Leave No Trace”.
Paul Batson, Faculty

NSCC Gittens Lodge
In 1969, Prof. Ted Gittens and Dr. Verl Short, faculty members from Nova Scotia Teachers College, looked for land to establish an Environmental Science Centre. They found their land with Scott Paper, who leased the College a 600-acre block of land at Manganese Mines.
Gittens Lodge construction began in 1971 and was completed in 1973. All the lumber used in construction was supplied by Scott Paper. Most of the supplies and labour were donated by local companies and organizations.
Renovations and upgrades have been performed through the years drawing on resources from Scott Paper (now Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation), the Department of Public Works and Transportation, Nova Scotia Teachers College, Nova Scotia Community College and the local community.
In 1993 an evaluation of the woodlands surrounding the Lodge was conducted and 23 ecological study sites were documented and mapped. In an average year, approximately 1500 children and 150 adults make use of NSCC's Gittens Lodge and surrounding property.

One such NSCC program group is the School of Health & Human Services Child and Youth Care (CYC) program. This group uses Gittens Lodge as a location to facilitate a variety of learning experiences during the year.

We introduce Gittens in September during orientation & program introduction activities, usually facilitated by recent alumni of the program. We talk about Gittens as a location – some of its history and the partnerships that ensure its continuation.

Environmental sustainability and Leave No Trace are a key piece of our discussions – both as they relate to our use of Gittens and to opportunities for the youth that we will be working with once they graduate and are employed.

We do an overnight at Gittens during the winter semester during which time CYC students have the opportunity to demonstrate outcomes associated with group process and group functioning. They spend time doing outdoor education components (adjunct outcomes) and winter outdoor safety education. They are responsible for the meal preparation and grocery shopping as well as some activity facilitation while we are there.

It is quite possible that it is the ancillary outcomes that are the most meaningful (transformative). Anecdotally, learners identify the significance of their outdoor experience as the key point of the weekend. Kelly Shaw, Faculty

School of Health & Human Services, Recreation Leadership Program
The Lodge is used when facilitating Introduction to Outdoor Recreation or Advanced Outdoor Recreation. The facility is the setting for seasonal activities including but not limited to canoeing, hiking, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and wilderness survival workshops. The group practices 'Leave No Trace' principles. Students have the option of receiving certification through the No Trace workshop. Dawn D-Arcy, Faculty

The above programs are institutionally governed.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

At the Annapolis Valley Campus the Pilikan House was constructed. The name represents a new way of thinking about healthy, sustainable residential development.
This house is a "living lab" and demonstration site where the next generation of residential construction professionals can learn how to incorporate sustainability into their work. It is designed to be an affordable and practical home to show home-owners how sustainable design and energy-efficient options can be within their reach.
Pilikan is a hands-on learning tool for the students in NSCC's Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology (ESET) program, as well as a research tool with 30 monitoring and control points to track energy consumption. The house is often open for tours to the public and students so they too can learn about sustainable living.

Our Central Facilities Management office conducts waste audits at all 13 campuses twice every academic year. When the audits are conducted invitations are extended to all staff and students to assist. Many students from different campuses participate and this allows them to obtain hands on learning experience in proper waste management. It demonstrates how the campus is doing for waste sorting and gives them take home experience of better practices at home.

The Pilikan house and waste audits are institutionally governed.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Each summer our central facilities management office extends casual work-terms for students. The manager of Sustainability and Infrastructure often hires students to assist in various sustainability projects for the college all over the province.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
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A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.