Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.82 / 4.00 Doug Goodstein
Assoc Director for Student Engagement
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit:
46,479

Total number of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
46,400

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
99.83

Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Penn State Eco-Reps Program

A brief description of the student educators program (1st program):

EcoReps are student educators for sustainability at Penn State’s University Park Campus. By focusing on educating first-year students in East and Pollock residence areas, we can communicate Penn State’s commitment to sustainability from students’ very first day on campus. The EcoReps program consists of frequent building outreach events by EcoRep groups and six large, team-wide events throughout the year. The program is a joint effort between the Sustainability Institute and Housing.

Before becoming an EcoRep, students participate in a 3-credit training class focused on developing and expanding their understanding of sustainability concepts, and peer education/behavior change techniques. Training includes two full day pre-semester retreats as well as monthly professional development programs.

A full-time Graduate Assistant in the Higher Education/Student Affairs programs oversees the day-to-day operations. This is co-sponsored by the Department of Residence Life, Sustainability Institute, and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.


A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (1st program):

The target audience is first-year students in East and Pollock residence areas. These residence hall complexes house the large majority of first year students.


Number of trained student educators (1st program):
74

Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (1st program):
30

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (1st program):
5.40

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (1st program):
11,988

Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (1st program):
Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Tailgate Ambassadors

A brief description of the student educators program (2nd program):

Building off of the success of STATERs (Students Taking Action to Encourage Recycling) which ran from 2005 through 2015, the Tailgate Ambassador program re-started this gameday tradition in 2017. The program is a partnership between the office of Physical Plant and Intercollegiate Athletics administered by the Sustainability Institute. The program connects committed volunteer student organizations to canvas all tailgate lots surrounding Beaver Stadium. Students serve as liaisons, enhancing fans' tailgate experiences, and promoting environmentally responsible tailgating practices, especially recycling and composting.

For each game, Tailgate Ambassadors partners with five campus recognized student organizations to bring ten people to volunteer for 4 hours. In return, organizations will receive $400 for every ten volunteers they provide. Each volunteer works for 4 hours on game day, wrapping-up to allow plenty of time for students with tickets to enter the student section. All student organizations that partner with Tailgate Ambassadors receive a packet of information the week before the gameday, for sharing at that organization’s meeting. They also receive a 30min pre-game training delivered by Sustainability Institute, Athletics, and Recycling Center staff.


A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (2nd program):

The target audience is students, alumni, and other visitors who participate in tailgating during home football games. In 2019 there were 7 home football games at Penn State. As an example, for one game, the students logged 31 tons of recycling, 80,000 fan interactions, and 3600 recycling/ trash bags distributed.


Number of trained student educators (2nd program):
50

Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (2nd program):
7

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (2nd program):
4

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (2nd program):
1,400

Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (2nd program):
Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
HealthWorks

A brief description of the student educators program (3rd program):

HealthWorks is a program in University Health Services that aims to promote health and wellness among Penn State students through peer-to-peer education/ outreach opportunities.

The mission of HealthWorks is to:
- Increase awareness and knowledge of health issues such as sexual health, nutrition and fitness, stress, sleep, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, body image and eating disorders, and wellness;
- Empower students to engage in healthy lifestyle choices;
- Provide health education programs, information, and materials to students;
- Provide one-on-one wellness services; and
- Advocate for a healthy Penn State community.

Training consists of a mandatory three-credit class that addresses health behavior theory, health promotion strategies, and health issues relevant to the college population. Health topics include alcohol and other drugs, nutrition, physical activity, sexual health, sleep, and stress. There will be two separate training classes for each group of peer educators. The classes will be offered through the Department of Biobehavioral Health during the fall semester. The program targets all students at Penn State's University Park campus.

In addition, there is a Green Health team within HealthWorks that focuses on the connection between sustainability and health. Yearly they organize and participate in a campus wide tobacco/trash clean up. HealthWorks also regularly engages in on-campus local-foods nights, where they commonly display comparing the amount of CO2 produced for one plate of the beef and broccoli with rice vs. tofu and broccoli with rice. Approximately 2000 students were targeted by this program.


A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (3rd program):

This program is available to all students who wish to participate.


Number of trained student educators (3rd program):
60

Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (3rd program):
30

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (3rd program):
3

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (3rd program):
5,400

Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (3rd program):
A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs:

Friday Night Lights Out: Volunteers walk around campus every Friday evening when classes are in session to turn off classroom lights. Without this effort, many classroom lights would be left on until Sunday evening when the custodial staff returns to work. Each week volunteer students from many of Penn State’s service clubs and organizations take turns participating in this project. Penn State's Housing and Food Services office donates pizza to the student volunteers each week.

FNLO has become a popular on-campus service project and has received national publicity through the Weather Channel and the Big Ten Network. The Council of Sustainable Leaders welcomes student organizations and other groups affiliated with the university to sign up and participate in the service project. The target is for 9 groups of volunteers to turn off lights in 16 academic buildings each Friday night. The ultimate goal of the project is to educate students about the importance of energy conservation through the simple notion of turning off lights when they leave a room. Although there is no training per se for the action of turning out lights, the program is overseen by the student-run Council of Sustainable Leaders, in coordination with the Office of Physical Plant.
https://www.pennstatecsl.com/friday-night-lights-out.html


Number of trained student educators (all other programs):
288

Number of weeks, on average, the student educators programs are active annually (all other programs):
30

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per student educator (all other programs) :
1

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (all other programs):
288

Grand total number of hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators (all programs):
19,076

Hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators per student served by a peer-to-peer program:
0.41

Website URL where information about the student sustainability educators programs is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Number of Students Served:
- Ecoreps: 8,700 (# students in target resident halls)
- Tailgate Ambassadors: 35,000 (assume that 75% of students attend at least one football game each season); 5 student orgs x 10 volunteers each x 4 hrs/ game x 7 games
- HealthWorks: open to all students; 45hrs/semester x 2 semesters/yr x 60 educators in 2018-19
- FNLO: 288 volunteers annually, each works one Friday night per year

100% of students are potentially reached by one or more of these programs. [Note that STARS gives an error message if 100% of students is input, therefore this number was reduced slightly.]

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.