Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.51
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Principia College
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.12 / 3.00 Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
274

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
194

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
70.80

Name of the employee educators program:
Sustainability Council

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
194

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

The Director of the Center for Sustainability chairs the Sustainability Council, which meets once per semester (meetings have been less frequent during COVID) for the purposes of networking, building community around sustainability targets, data sharing, and program review. The Council includes sustainability focal points for Athletics, Mail & Copy, Facilities, Housekeeping, Dining Services, Student Life, Contracts, Information Technology, Admissions, Accounting, and the college's Chief Operations Officer. Annual targets (development of an energy management plan, green dining standards, or a campus campaign to reduce paper use, for example) are agreed upon, resources identified, outreach designed, and evaluation rubrics crafted.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Sustainability focal points are (or are appointed by) a department Director. Sustainability is mission-driven an embedded in the institution's Strategic Plan. Department director's have direct responsibilities for sustainability targets and, with few exceptions, have a genuine interest in the subject.


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

Sustainability focal points are information portals through which the Center for Sustainability communicates with campus operations. Orientation for new focal points is provided by the Director of the Center for Sustainability, and includes an overview of campus sustainability resources and programming, as well as the specific role that their department is/can play in implementing policies, standards, and best practices adopted by the college or that we aspire to based on best practices at other institutions.

Focal points agree to share their growing understanding of sustainability with co-workers at weekly staff meetings, encourage specific sustainability initiatives that are a good fit for their department, and share results and lessons learned with their colleagues on the Council.

Training (such as G-PRO, described below) is offered, enrichment grants for professional development in sustainability are offered (generally two competitive $500 grants per academic year; e.g., to attend a conference), and guest speakers have shared their expertise on everything from utility incentives to vegan meal planning to vermiculture.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination):

The Center for Sustainability provides a waged Council Chair, all meeting costs, funding for annual professional development grants (see above), and any travel or fees associated with guest speakers. Focal points are waged to attend meetings as part of their routine job responsibilities.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
G-PRO certification course

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
10

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

NOTE: the peer-review suggested that the G-PRO certification course would be better referenced under EN 9 or EN 12, but those are not open for inserting new material; if it's ok, I'd like to just leave it here so it's "captured" in my audit. It can be ignored with regard to points in this section.

"GPRO is a certificate program that teaches the people who build, renovate, and maintain buildings the tools to integrate high-performance construction and maintenance practices into their everyday work. Our holistic approach to sustainability training—combined with expert advice and the latest adult learning techniques—have made GPRO an education trailblazer for building trades and operators across the country." https://www.gpro.org/


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

Self-selection. SUS and Facilities employees have the option of participating in bi(tri)annual G-PRO certification courses on campus. My recollection is that approximately 10 employees have taken this course.


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

The G-PRO course was co-taught by a Principia employee (the Center for Sustainability's Energy Champion) after having received comprehensive training from G-PRO. https://www.gpro.org/curriculum-instructors

"Since its inception, GPRO has been integrated into the curriculum of educational institutions and workforce development organizations throughout the country. GPRO rounds out existing program offerings and expands students’ knowledge base to include in-demand high-performance building skills." https://www.gpro.org/


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

The Center for Sustainability pays the training/course fees for all college employees.


A brief description of all other employee peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of employees served and how employee educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:
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Total number of hours employee educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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This credit has been revised based on AASHE peer-review comments.

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.