|Submission Date||Aug. 12, 2011|
Rio Salado College
PAE-13: Staff Professional Development in Sustainability
Director of Community Partnership Program
Does the institution make training and professional development opportunities available to all staff?:
A brief description of the sustainability trainings and professional development opportunities available to staff :
• Brown Bags – Brown Bag lunch meetings are offered twice per month to inform employees about a wide variety of topics, some of which relate to sustainability. Subject matter experts are brought in to lead the sessions. Some topics recently presented include Community Gardens, Life Cycle of Organic Foods, Composting, Growing a Garden from Seeds, Toxins, the Environment and You, and Container Gardening. In addition, movies such as King Corn, Dirt, and Blue Gold: World Water Wars have also been shown at Brown Bags. The meetings are recorded and linked to the Rio employee portal so they can be accessed at a later date for those who miss the in-person event.
• Earth Month Activities – Rio Salado College believes that Earth Day should be celebrated throughout the month of April. Earth Month activities for 2011 included a Brown Bag showing of Blue Gold: World Water Wars, Café at Rio Locavore Cook-Out, Bike to Work Day, sustainable gardening presentation in the on-site garden at Rio, and an Earth Day pledge to participate in one “Act of Green.” Rio also encouraged all employees to learn about alternative modes of transportation during Earth Week and awarded employees $5 meal vouchers for each day they carpooled or took an alternative mode of transportation to work.
• Wellness Fairs - Rio’s Wellness Program offers a yearly wellness fair that provides opportunities for employees to explore the seven wellness dimensions, including environmental and social wellness. As part of Rio’s commitment to sustainability and environmental issues, the wellness events provide employees with critical information and programs that can improve the carbon footprint. Rio offers internal and external recycling programs, as well as many educational opportunities that focus on topics like global warming, and water and energy conservation. Rio further supports environmental wellness by providing a free fitness center membership for all employees who participate in the Alternative Mode of Transport Program. Within the social wellness component, Rio’s wellness programs seek to incorporate a wide array of opportunities for employees to interact with each other and learn about ways they can integrate their communities both locally and globally, helping them to feel more socially connected.
• RioWay – Part of the new employee training process involves taking a class called “The Rio Way.” Employees are asked to identify Rio’s core values, which include sustainability, and identify how sustainability applies to their individual jobs and their interactions with internal and external customers. Rio employees constantly look for ways to relentlessly improve sustainability efforts both individually and on the organizational level.
• Professional Growth Funds – Each employee group in the Maricopa Community College District has access to professional growth funds. Employee groups include the Adjunct Faculty Association, College Safety, Crafts, Faculty Association, Maintenance & Operations (M&O), Management, Administration & Technology (MAT), and the Professional Staff Association (PSA). These funds may support tuition reimbursement as well as conference and seminar expenses. Faculty and staff have been encouraged to utilize professional growth funds to attend sustainability conferences and events. Professional growth funds have been used to attend the National AASHE conference as well as the International USGBC GreenBuild Conference.
• Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI) – MCLI, in collaboration with the Maricopa District Sustainability Committee, hosted a Dialogue Day in March to provide opportunities for faculty and staff to discuss and share ideas on how sustainability can be integrated in the classroom, the curriculum, and throughout Maricopa’s campuses. The event featured a keynote speaker from the United Nations Higher Education Alliance Program and breakout sessions facilitated by Maricopa faculty and staff from Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, Glendale, Mesa, Rio Salado, and Scottsdale Community Colleges. College administration, faculty, and staff at all levels were encouraged to attend this event. The event was approved for 4.5 clock hours of faculty professional growth.
• Online Green in a Weekend - Green in a Weekend is an introductory-level course intended to demonstrate methods to reduce energy and water usage, reduce the carbon footprint, reduce waste, reduce toxins in household products, identify sustainable products, and live a more sustainable life. Each action item presented in the course costs under $250 and can be completed in less than two days. The health, financial, and environmental benefits of the recommendations are demonstrated to the audience, which is intended to be the general public or homeowner.
• Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce - Rio Salado College partners with the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce to host the Education Forum lecture series. Each month a panel of experts discusses green topics relating to business, commerce, and economic vitality. The forum’s goal is to advance the vitally important greening of commerce in Arizona and beyond.
• United States Green Building Council, Arizona Chapter – Rio Salado College is a member of the Arizona Chapter of the USGBC. Each month the chapter holds workshops and events on various sustainability topics, and staff members are encouraged to attend.
• Online Webinars – Rio employees are encouraged to participate in webinars that focus on sustainability. Staff members have attended webinars from various organizations including The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), The National Wildlife Foundation, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Green Building Council.
The website URL where information about staff training opportunities in sustainability are available:
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.
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.