Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.27
Liaison Stephanie MacPhee
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Ryerson University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.05 / 4.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
46,452

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
620

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
1.33

Name of the student educators program:
Sustainability Ambassador Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
550

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

Ryerson’s Sustainability Ambassador Program is a volunteer leadership program for students who work to promote a culture of sustainability on our campus. Sustainability Ambassadors work in a team on sustainable projects, initiatives and campaigns to increase engagement and participation in sustainability on campus. Through this program, Sustainability Ambassadors engage their peers at events educating them on various sustainability topics such as healthy commuting and waste reduction. For example, in the Winter 2020 semester, we ran a total of 10 Pop-Up events called Sorting Out Our Waste during which Sustainability Ambassadors engaged about 20 peers in a waste sorting game on a weekly basis. Ambassadors can also take on the role as Waste Monitors and train other onboarding volunteers who are interested in the Waste Monitor position.
Through this experience they have the opportunity to learn about sustainability, build leadership skills, enhance networking opportunities and gain valuable experience.
Due to significant interest in the volunteer program, we revamped and improved the program in January 2020 through suggestions from existing Sustainability Ambassadors. We have made changes to the requirements to be met by Ambassadors in order to facilitate a more well rounded program based on reported student needs. Sustainability Ambassadors are required to attend a 1 hour mandatory training within the first month of being accepted, and, depending on the time of year, are asked to commit 5-10 hours per month. Specific roles within the program include waste education, educational outreach and campus events.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Interested students can apply to be Sustainability Ambassadors by filling out an application on the Sustainability Office website. Undergraduate and graduate students from any faculty or program are able to apply. They must demonstrate an interest in sustainability, be a positive representative for the program, and have the ability to work well in both small and large teams.


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

Sustainability Ambassadors are required to attend a 1 hour mandatory training within the first month of being accepted. Training session dates and times are determined based on the availability of ambassadors. All ambassadors receive the following support: training to develop ambassadors’ knowledge on sustainability, with the opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and/or suggestions to the Sustainability Engagement Coordinator. This includes education and skill building for specific roles within the program including waste ambassador, outreach and campus events ambassador, etc., depending on each student's interest.


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

This program is administered by the Sustainability Engagement Coordinator. The applications are filtered, contributions are tracked and participation is managed by the Coordinator and sustainability intern staff.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Ryerson Urban Farm Drop-In Volunteer Programs

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
120

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

This is a peer to peer drop-in volunteer program, facilitated by student volunteer leads who administer the drop-in program to Ryerson students who are interested in participating in the Urban Farm’s weekly sessions.

Get Growing Mondays (also known as Maintenance Mondays in 2017): a weekly volunteer session where the farm’s on-ground gardens were cared for by a team of dedicated volunteers. Participants were able to experience growing an urban flower farm, recycled container gardens, pollinator farm and a perennial garden located in various underutilized spaces across campus (3 hours, 24 sessions per year, led by two student volunteers)

First Thursdays: Drop-­in volunteer sessions occurred once a month for large­ scale activities, for example moving compost or planting garlic. These open, free events served to engage the Ryerson community and create an inclusive atmosphere on the farm. Drop-­in sessions took place on the first Thursday of every month from March to September (9 sessions, 3 hours per year, led by two student volunteers)

Heading into 2020/2021 the Urban Farm is looking to restructure their student volunteer/staff and staff facilitated volunteer programs in the following way. Current plans for the implementation of these new programs are halted due to COVID-19 developments, but will be taken up once safe to do so.

Volunteer Meet and Greet: will provide an opportunity for participants interested in volunteering to learn more about safety and operations on the farm. Volunteer intake will occur once a month throughout the season for essential training before booking a volunteer session. Orientation sessions will include a tour and information session to introduce new participants to the farm. The session will end with light snacks from the farm, depending on availability, (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, peas) and an opportunity for engagement. (2 hours, 6 sessions) Volunteering in the Field: will be hosted twice a week for the community to participate in farm maintenance activities such as weeding, moving compost or planting garlic. This program will open the farm up to the community and cultivate an inclusive atmosphere where participants can connect socially and learn more about rooftop farming. Field sessions will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays every week from May to October. (1 hour, 45 sessions) Friday Open Farm: offers an opportunity for community members to visit the farm who are not able to attend field volunteer drop-in sessions. This program will include quick tours to introduce the Urban Farm and time to explore and engage with other community members in the field. There will also be opportunities for themed field walks and quick educational workshops and activities to further engage the community. Open farm days will be hosted weekly on Fridays from May to October. (2 hours, 20 sessions)

More information: https://www.ryerson.ca/university-business-services/urban-farm/about/


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

Ryerson students who express interest in volunteering at the farm are interviewed by Ryerson Urban Farm staff, and selected based on their qualification and ability to lead the drop-in sessions. Student staff who played a role assisting with their volunteer programs (Get Growing Mondays AKA Maintenance Mondays, and First Thursdays), were hired by the RUF team through the Career Boost program as full-time student staff during the spring/summer semester and part-time during the fall/winter semesters. Their hiring process was to select candidates who applied through the Career Boost website and interview them for posted roles such as Field Assistant and Data Coordinator, to name a couple. As part of these roles, they would assist in running the volunteer programs through various tasks such as helping host orientation sessions and tracking attendance. Each year we also had an intern from France's AgroParis Tech school, who would work in a similar role as the Career Boost student staff for the summer season, in exchange for school credits. All of the student staff/interns were trained predominantly as farm staff on how to garden, site orientations, tool instructions but also received training on the logistics of volunteer shifts. Any student staff that was helping with volunteer programming was always supervised by full-time staff (Farm Manager, Operations Coordinator), who would help prepare them for the volunteer shifts and do check-ins throughout.


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

The student staff undergo RUF staff led training, where they are given a tour of the farm and taught the practices and skills necessary for rooftop farming operations, as well as the structure of the volunteer programs and how to lead them depending on the session they are responsible for. For volunteer recruitment, we hosted orientation sessions once a month for approximately one hour. These sessions included overviews of the farm, safety and emergency procedures, a walk through of the roof and ground-level gardens, as well as a Q&A sessions. Once a person attended the volunteer orientation session, they were then given the opportunity to register for a volunteer shift/program. The student staff/interns managed registration and tracked attendance of the volunteer orientations and the volunteer shifts, as well as assisted leading in both. The future volunteer program would run similarly with the mandatory orientation sessions, however, we have a full-time Engagement Coordinator who is the lead on all volunteer programs. It hasn't been determined yet how Career Boost student staff or interns would participate in this, but hopefully there would be opportunity to continue to give our student staff that experience.


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

The programs are run and administered by the RUF team, and funding for the student staff positions is provided by the university through the Career Boost program which allows students to work at the university while they study.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

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

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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):

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A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):

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A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:

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Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
6,050

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.