Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.07
Liaison Michael Chapman
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Nova Scotia Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Martha MacGowan
Project Assistant- Sustainability
Facilities & Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
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 greenhouses and students assist with the gardening/upkeep of greenhouses and planters. All of the food waste from the cafeteria is composted on site in the greenhouses where vegetables are grown for the cafeteria. Through this process, students and staff to learn how to garden and compost organically.

Our Akerley, IT and Kingstec campuses also have community gardens onsite and students are encouraged to participate in weeding and tending the gardens throughout the year. The gardens at the Akerley and Kingstec campuses are run by the culinary programs. The students and faculty in these programs tend the gardens and use vegetables grown in their culinary programs.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
The NSCC Akerley Campus' Culinary, Baking and Pastry Art, and Hospitality Management programs teach students the fundamental techniques of managing and running a restaurant. Throughout the academic year the students in these programs learn many techniques and skills related to sustainability. For example, the Culinary and Bakery students run the Fresh Café. To minimize food waste, everything that is made during class time is packaged and sold in this cafe to students and staff. The program strives to have as little food waste as possible and to benefit other NSCC students in the process.

The students also work together each year for themed projects. The Hospitality Management students work with the Culinary students for the Restaurant Showdown in our Fresh 21 Restaurant at campus. For this, students manage the restaurant, order the food, develop the menus and compete for the most successful service. The students will often choose themes related to sustainability, such as local menus. They have partnerships with many local wineries and breweries in Nova Scotia. Through these projects the students learn about local purchasing and sustainable dining. The dining room itself uses reusable dishware, cloth napkins, and paper straws. It does not serve bottled beverages. The students make their own sodas to serve. Still and sparkling water are served on tap, so completely eliminates the use of bottled water.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:
Each year our Annapolis Valley and Ivany campuses host Sustainability Days. This is an expo that staff and students participate in to showcase various sustainability events, topics and groups in their communities. There are many booths from the students themselves, live demonstrations of waste audits, local farms, efficiency NS, local environmental groups, and live demonstrations of how to plant a herb gardens. This event is done in the main common area of the campuses at lunchtime and is aimed at the students to showcase sustainability.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:
NSCC holds numerous cultural events at campuses across the province. For example, at many of our campuses we celebrate Mi'kmaq History Month. Throughout this month many activities celebrating diversity and Nova Scotia's First Nations are held. There is a Mi'kmaq craft show and a teepee raising ceremony that is displayed on campus grounds. There are numerous Mi'kmaq art installations at NSCC campuses as well.

Every campus also has established smudging rooms to embrace indigenous cultural practices at NSCC.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
Geology Field School Course:
The Environmental Engineering Technology program's Geology Field School course has been offered for 30 years. During this field school course students follow Leave No Trace principles. In order to minimize the impact from regular student visits on the rock outcrops, rock hammer use is limited for beach rock only. During the 30 years that this course has been running, faculty and students have noticed many changes to the coastal rock formations from erosion. The degree of coastal erosion is attributed in part to climate change, as the frequency and intensity of storms has increased and in part to the geology and geomorphology of the coastal environment. Some attempts to mitigate the process of coastal erosion have been implemented at the sites visited, providing temporary relief, as relative sea level continues to rise. The students get the opportunity to assess the benefits of these measures.

Gittens Lodge:
In an average year, approximately 1500 children and 150 adults make use of NSCC's Gittens Lodge and surrounding property. For example, the School of Health & Human Services - Child and Youth Care (CYC) program uses Gittens Lodge as a location to facilitate a variety of learning experiences during the year. Faculty of the NSCC CYC program introduce Gittens Lodge in September to students during orientation & program introduction activities, usually facilitated by recent alumni of the program. Gittens as a location is discussed and some of its history and the partnerships that ensure its continuation are mentioned. Environmental sustainability and Leave No Trace principles are a key piece of these discussions – both as they relate to NSCC's use of Gittens and to opportunities for the youth that students will be working with once they graduate and are employed.Students in the CYC program also complete an overnight stay at Gittens during the winter semester during which time 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. Anecdotally, learners identify the significance of their outdoor experience as the key point of the weekend.

The School of Health & Human Services, Recreation Leadership Program also use
the Lodge when facilitating "Introduction to Outdoor Recreation" or "Advanced Outdoor Recreation". The Lodge 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.

Regarding the history of Gittens Lodge, inn 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 to 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.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
The Pilikan Houseat the Annapolis Valley Campus represents a new way of thinking about healthy, sustainable residential development. This house was constructed as 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 allowing them to obtain hands on learning experience in proper waste management and auditing. The audits tracks each campus' performance in waste sorting and results are presented in the NSCC annual sustainability report.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
Each summer our Central Facilities Management office offers casual work-terms for students. The manager of Sustainability and Infrastructure hires students to assist in various sustainability projects for the College.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.