Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Sustainable Communities Collaborative

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :
The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is the University’s strategic platform and opportunity to develop innovative University/community-based collaborations that engage PSU faculty and students in existing courses from across the University through real world, community-identified sustainability projects. Through the SCC, Penn State is partnering with selected communities in Pennsylvania to meet their sustainability goals. These community entities may include government, business, schools, non-profits, and other organizations. Each project is a facilitated effort, involving interdisciplinary faculty expertise and students, co-led by a key community leader and the University’s SCC staff, to help develop and support thriving, healthy communities and advance student learning and the scholarship of sustainability. State College Borough served as the community partner for the initial year of the program. Examples of projects include: Evaluation of Borough's Residential Composting Program Focused on the evaluation of the borough residential composting program. Sustainable Asset Management: Proposed and implemented sustainable material management practices for inventory and surplus goods in the Borough. Biking in the Region: Looked into the barriers that prevent community members from the Centre Region, in all demographics, from bicycling for exercise, recreation and commuting and developed a health promotion campaign to reduce barriers to cycling. Way-finding in Community Design and Planning (Reducing Auto Emissions): Part 1 - Explore and develop a way-finding plan to more efficiently direct people to various parking options available in town so as to decrease auto emissions. Part 2 - Study bicycle and pedestrian linkages for design and planning of the West End to reduce auto dependency and increase cycling and pedestrian transportation modes.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):
This program has been enthusiastically received by both the State College Borough and Penn State administration, as documented in the news article attached below. It has provided students with experiential learning opportunities, faculty with class projects, and the Borough with fresh ideas and "person-power" that extends their capacity beyond existing employees.. Since this program is still in its infancy, documentation of positive outcomes is mostly anecdotal. Three assessments have been developed to formally evaluate the experiences of students, community, and faculty. Data have been collected for the first round of projects, and analysis and interpretation are underway.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research ---
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
The SCC program relates primarily to Curriculum and Public Engagement; however individual PROJECTS conducted under the SCC programmatic framework may relate to any of the other categories listed above.

The SCC program relates primarily to Curriculum and Public Engagement; however individual PROJECTS conducted under the SCC programmatic framework may relate to any of the other categories listed above.

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.