Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.95
Liaison Daryl Pierson
Submission Date June 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Portland State University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Heather Spalding
Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution coordinate one or more ongoing student, peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:

Number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:

Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Student Sustainability Center

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (1st program):

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

The Student Sustainability Center's (SSC) mission is to connect sustainability with the student experience at PSU. The SSC provides the following opportunities:

EcoReps - Be a sustainability leader in our residence halls in this year-long program for students living on campus. Promote social justice and environmental responsibility by building community, sharing resources, and designing creative projects.

Sustainability Volunteer Program - Choose to participate in one of the following task forces for one term or more.

---> Bee Task Force - Create a bee friendly campus by maintaining hives, tending plants that support pollinators, and designing educational events and workshops.

---> Cultural Sustainability Task Force - Explore how culture can strengthen sustainability initiatives by maintaining the Cultural Sustainability Tour Map, developing events and resources, and advocating for accessibility on campus.

---> Garden Task Force - Care for PSU’s Oak Savanna, Community Orchard, Permaculture Garden, and other campus spaces through seasonal maintenance, designing workshops, and creative visioning.

---> Marketing and Social Media Task Force - Table at events and create innovative outreach projects that include the “Shades of Green” podcast on KPSU radio station, marketing materials, and social media.

---> Waste Reduction Task Force - Help host quarterly clothing exchanges, reuse fairs, and waste audits. You may also help maintain the PSU ReUse Room in Cramer Hall and Supply Studio in the Art Building.

Student Sustainability Leadership Council - Join this community of student leaders from organizations across campus to be a voice for sustainability at PSU. Council members gain leadership skills through hands-on activities and support sustainability efforts on campus.


Field trips - Join us to explore sustainable organizations in the Portland area each term.

Events - Attend a skill share, workshop, tour, film screening, or other meetup.

Professional development - Envision your future, refine your resume, build your network, and strengthen your skills.


Chinook Book mobile app - Over 60 free local coupons, plus sustainability resources.

Seed library - Free seeds to plant, grow, and harvest!

Campus gardens - Get maps, contact info, tips, and learning activities.

Self care - Strengthen your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Sustainability Leadership Toolkit - Tools and activities for changemakers.

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

Students may apply for a variety of opportunities in the SSC:

Student Staff (paid positions): Students apply for one of six student positions. Five of these positions are paid hourly, and one is a graduate assistant position with tuition remission. Positions are posted online and shared through campus networks. Interested applicants submit resumes and cover letters and are selected by a committee of students and staff.

Sustainability Volunteer Program (SVP) - Students apply for volunteer positions offered for fall, winter. Participants commit to 2-4 hours per week of service for at least one term in one of five task forces Applicants select a first and second choice of task force and are placed in a task force after attending orientation. Application link: https://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/sustainability-volunteer-program.

Student Sustainability Leadership Council - Students are selected to represent initiatives and organizations from across PSU. Examples of partners include: Campus Recreation, United Indian Students in Higher Education, Food Action Collective, EcoReps, Associated Students of PSU, the School of Education, Multicultural Center, Environmental Club, the Campus Sustainability Office, and Food Action Collective. Delegates attend one two hour meeting every other week to influence the direction of sustainability at PSU, network and share initiatives, connect with administration, practice leadership skills, and organize a quarterly student craft market. Link to online application: http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/sslc-application.

EcoReps - Student residents apply for one of up to 15 positions in fall term and commit to participating in EcoReps for fall, winter and spring term. EcoReps commit to 2-4 hours of service per week for the academic year. Link to online application: http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/ecoreps-application.

Interns - Intern selection gives preference to students who are current or past participants in SSC programs (SSLC, EcoReps, SVP). Position descriptions are distributed through the SSC newsletter which is sent to all program participants. Interns are selected by the SSC staff that will work with them.

Field Trips - Each term, one field trip is planned by the SLC Graduate Assistant. Current SLC program participants are given first priority registration, and then spots are opened to the general campus community. Students apply via RSVP to email invite. Past field trips have included visits and service at Mercy Corps, Portland Development Commission, Edible Portland, EcoTrust, Growing Gardens, The Rebuilding Center, Yoga on Yamhill, Awakenings Wellness Center, and Hopkins Demonstration Forest.

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

Prior to the start of the academic year, incoming SSC student staff participate a week-long training. The first day is co-facilitated by the past year's student staff and the SSC Coordinator. The second day of training allows outgoing and incoming student staff to discuss the prepared transition/legacy binder that has been created by the outgoing staff member. This day is also a time for the students to meet with key campus partners (ex: Housing staff, Dining Services, Waste Management Coordinator, faculty partners).

The rest of the week focuses on trainings that will help the students be successful in their positions. Topics include:

- Position expectations and goal setting
- Values, mission, and vision
- Organization charts for the university
- Partnerships
- Overview of programs
- Lessons learned by outgoing team
- What is sustainability to us?
- Leadership
- Supporting students in distress with Director of Counseling Services
- Facilitation with university faculty
- Cultural Competency and Anti-oppression Training with Womens Studies faculty
- Sexual Assault Awareness with director of Womens Resource Center
- Campus Sustainability Tour with SSC Coordinator
- Paperwork and organizational processes with support staff
- SSC learning outcomes

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

This program employs one full-time Coorinator, a 20 hour/week Graduate Assistant (out of the Leadership for Sustainability Education Graduate Program) and five additional hourly 10-15 hour/week student positions. The SSC is funded through a $180,000 recurring grant from the university through the James and Marion Miller Foundation grant which is administered through the Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Student Community Engagement Center (SCEC)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

SCEC is the center for service leadership and volunteerism at Portland State University. SCEC is most known for its group of 20 students that serve with community partners in Portland and work to connect the PSU community to volunteer opportunities. Additionally, SCEC also facilitates monthly and annual days of service, plans several alternative break trips, and coordinates the Alder Elementary mentor program.

Students have opportunities to participate in a variety of programs with various levels of commitment:

Short term/one day service opportunities:
- Portland State of Mind Service Day
- MLK Jr. Day of Service
- Earth Day of Service
- Serve Your City: Group Service Day!

Longer term/more than once a month:
- Alder Mentor Program
- Village Building Convergence
- Alternative Spring Break

Committed for the academic year:
- Student Leaders for Service Members
- Interfaith Leadership Team
- MAPS Mentors

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

Students are recruited through the following process:

- Positions are widely publicized to the entire university
- Online application - Student leaders must maintain a 2.5 undergrad/3.0 grad GPA and take at least 6 undergrad/5 grad credits.
- Interviews by Coordinator

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):

SCEC is designed to intentionally build students' leadership capacity and civic engagement skills by serving and learning with non-profit and community organizations in the Portland metropolitan region. SCEC members serve as a key link between the university and the community, making manifest PSU's motto: Let Knowledge Serve the City.

Trainings for student educators:
- Orientation and retreat at the beginning of the year
- Weekly meetings that incorporate a mixture of leadership development and skill building
- Leadership conference 1x/year

For the MAPS mentors:
- Orientation at the beginning of each term

Student Leaders for Service Member Learning Outcomes:
- Student participants will become increasingly self aware, reflective and ethical leaders that promote social change within their various communities.
- Students will critically reflect on engagement experiences
- Students will increase their understanding of issues underlying social problems; students will understand themselves as agents of social change
- Students will have a heightened understanding and value of personal difference and commonality
- Students will sharpen their abilities to solve problems creatively and work collaboratively
students will serve as leaders for increased community engagement with PSU students, faculty & staff

Student Leaders for Service Community Partner Outcomes
- SLS member placement and programming will assist Community Partners in having increased assistance to broaden delivery of existing services or to begin new ones
- SLS member will aid Community partners in having additional approaches to solving problems
- Community partners will have increased access to resources (be made aware of ways to partner with CBL courses, additional PSU volunteers, and get projects completed through service days)
- SLS member placement and programmatic involvement will assist in diversifying the community partner setting, therefore increasing appreciation for personal difference and commonality
- Day of Service Participant Outcomes
- All service learning programs/experiences are structured around best practices informed by service-learning theory.
- Students involved in a service-learning program will critically reflect on the community engagement process.
- Students involved in a service-learning experience will demonstrate increased awareness of social problems underlying our community.
- Students involved in a service learning experience will report increased awareness of and value in diversity
- Service-learning participants will collaborate with others.

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):

The office receives funding for a full time staff person, 2 student leads, 3 days of service, the orientations for the leadership programs and a small marketing budget and Oregon Campus Compact membership from Student Fees.

Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Campus Sustainability Tour Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

At Portland State University, we consider our campus a laboratory for sustainable practices and we’re eager to share what we’re up to by providing campus tours to groups interested in learning more about our green campus operations.

Students, as well as staff and community partners, may apply to take a tour by completing an online to request. Advance notice of at least two weeks prior to the date of the tour is preferred.

Tour specialties that can be chosen are:
- Green infrastructure: Focus on green buildings, district energy systems and other campus sustainability initiatives.
- Transportation: PSU is the city’s most active transit hub and a hive of bike commuters.
- Built envrionment: Tour LEED-certified buildings and learn about PSU’s green building strategy.
- Student initiatives and projects: Students at PSU often lead the way in sustainability. This tour focuses on some of their changemaking work
- Native plants and campus gardens: From the native plant gardens to a community orchard, PSU is proud of its green spaces.
- Cultural sustainability: Visit centers and spaces around campus that focus on the intersections of cultural, social and environmental issues.
- A little bit of everything: The general tour that touches on the many aspects of sustainability taking place at PSU.

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

Students work from within existing programs on campus to either lead sustainability tours or incorporate sustainability into existing campus tours. Full time staff also participate as tour guides.

Students who lead tours include:
- Orientation leaders
- Ambassadors
- Cultural Sustainability Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Garden Coordinator

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):

Students receive training for their positions prior to the start of the academic year that focuses on:

- The basics of giving a tour and public speaking
- History of PSU
- Information about the PSU campus which includes sustainability highlights
- Student demographic information

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):

Because tours are provided through existing programs, no additional funding is needed to implement sustainability tours.

SLC Staff - Funding provided by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Orientation Leaders - Funding provided by Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Ambassadors - Funding provided by Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Name(s) of the student educator program(s) (all other programs):
Associated Students of PSU Sustainability Director, University Honors

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by all other student educator programs:

A brief description of the program(s), including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (all other programs):

Associated Students of PSU (ASPSU) Sustainability Director - This position includes sustainability in student government activities.

University Honors - The Sustainability Scholars program offers competitive awards of $5,000 for four consecutive years to incoming freshmen in the University Honors College who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research with a focus on urban sustainability.

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (all other programs):

Sustainability Director, ASPSU - Appointed from within the Student Senate annually.

Honors - selected via application.

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (all other programs):

ASPSU Sustainability Director - Student attends a leadership retreat with other students.

Honors - Sustainability Scholars meet regularly as a group with their faculty mentor to discuss, research, and implement ideas to make the Portland State campus more sustainable. They are encouraged to pursue sustainability-related internships, and agree to pursue a senior thesis on a sustainability-related topic.

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (all other programs):

Sustainability Director, ASPSU - $300 leadership award provided per term through the Student Fee Committee

University Honors - Multiple $5,000 scholarships provided annually by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:

The website URL for the peer-to-peer student outreach and education program(s):

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.