|Submission Date||Dec. 19, 2019|
Texas A&M University
EN-1: Student Educators Program
|4.00 / 4.00||
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
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):
Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
Name of the student educators program:
Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:
The goal of the Office of Sustainability’s Internship Program is to bring people from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives together to create a dynamic team that works to create a culture of sustainability at Texas A&M University. The team focuses on increasing the sustainability of practices such as energy and water use, transportation, food services, construction and built environment, purchasing, recycling, and social justice through the development of programs, outreach initiatives, and event coordination. Ultimately, the program trains our students to become student sustainability experts who are able to share what they have learned to train the campus community about how to incorporate sustainability into their lives.
For example, table at various events and create engaging, interactive activities for these events. The interns give campus-wide presentations and workshops. They create educational videos. The interns engage students through our social media platforms and generate digital and print graphic design content.
A brief description of how the student educators are selected:
Interns submit an online application that assesses their relevant coursework, computer skills, experience, campus and community activities, extracurricular activities, and skills (photoshop, public speaking, etc). The application gauges why they are interested in working with the Office of Sustainability and the goals they have for the internship. After applications are reviewed, the Office of Sustainability invites the top scorers to an in-person interview. At the interview we ask directed questions specifically about sustainability, their knowledge of, and interest in the program.
In addition, we greatly value social sustainability and ask questions in both the online application and in-person interview to gauge their understanding and openness to issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
We look for applicants who are good at working on teams, possess time management skills, and evaluate whether they are self-starters or need direction. After these interviews, the office staff selects the applicants that fit the projects we have slated for that semester and interview as strong team players. We also work hard to select a team that is diverse and representative of the student body in terms of race, ethnicity, academic background, and gender.
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:
We schedule an “Orientation Week” for all interns. During which, everyone gets to know each other and learn about the goals, mission, and history of the Office of Sustainability.
The general agenda is below:
1. Learn a little bit about everyone – names, degree, year, sustainability passion, favorite movie/color/something fun and anything else they want to share, why they signed up, what they hope to accomplish, etc.
2. Provide introduction about the office, office history, internship history, and goals for the future to motivate the interns (and share previous achievements like past outreach campaigns created by previous intern teams.)
4. Go over a few basic terms to familiarize the team with basic definitions and jargon.
5. Review responsibilities of the interns, introduce office programs, disseminate team schedules and first outreach assignment.
6. Have all interns fill out any other paperwork that is needed.
7. Read all relevant office literature and familiarize with our online/social media presence.
8. Read TAMU STARS Report
9. Sign up for Brown’s Green School listserv and an AASHE account.
10. Answer any questions they have about their assigned duties.
11. Teambuilding activities - these activities stretch beyond the first week.
After the orientation day, the interns are given a schedule and formal team meetings are held once a week where they receive additional training.
Time is scheduled throughout the semester to brainstorm outreach activities and practice before activities go live.
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):
The program is coordinated and run by the Office of Sustainability. It is funded through our office budget. The program is managed directly by the Sustainability Assistant Manager, with support from other Office of Sustainability staff.
Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
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):
The Aggie Eco-Representative Program is an organization in which students educate their peers about how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Eco-Reps educate their fellow students by hosting informational lectures in the residence halls, participating in campus wide events such as Texas Recycles Day and Earth Day, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle by living as an example for fellow students. The Eco-Reps promote sustainable practices by encouraging students to make small changes in the way they live, from turning electronics off when not in use, using a reusable water bottle, reducing food waste, taking advantage of alternative transportation, to recycling bottles and cans on campus. Within the last reporting cycle, The Aggie Eco-Reps were requested for over 35 programs campus wide in our residence hall and apartment communities, and our educational bulletin boards were placed in 12 different communities this year. The Aggie Eco-Reps have also recently created a "Do-It-Yourself" campaign, in which they provide training to students on creating sustainable alternatives to products that can be used in a residential setting. The Aggie Eco-Rep mission statement is “Providing students with the education and opportunity to promote and continue sustainability, ” and, as a grassroots movement here at Texas A&M University, the Eco-Reps are making progress every day.
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):
In conjunction with the Residential Housing Association (student self-governance), students are invited to apply to the Aggie Eco-Reps program. These students are elected by the on-campus student population for each residence hall community at Texas A&M during our annual election cycle in September. Once selected, students are placed in one of three different committees, the Campus Events Committee (Responsible for all outreach activities by the Aggie Eco-Reps to the campus community), the Membership Committee (Responsible for fundraising, training, and development activities for all current Aggie Eco-Reps), or the Education Committee (Responsible for creating and facilitating our signature educational programs in the residence hall communities at Texas A&M).
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):
At the beginning of each semester, the Aggie Eco-Reps are required to attend an all-day conference where several different training topics are discussed. The Eco-Reps are trained on effective facilitation skills, since they are responsible for leading programming efforts in our residence halls. They are also trained on each one of our signature programs ("Life of a Water Bottle," "Carbon Footprint Investigators," "Enough is Enough Foodwaste," and "Time for a Change (Economic Sustainability)."), so that they are able to appropriately share relevant information about each pillar of sustainability we cover in our programs. Finally, they are given a presentation and manual that discusses the three pillars of sustainability (Social, Environmental, and Economic) and the intersectionality that exists on-campus in our residence hall communities.
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):
This program is fully sponsored by the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University, with an annual student fee allocated budget. Additionally, the Department of Residence Life has earmarked annual funding for two Aggie Eco-Reps to attend the AASHE Conference.
Name of the student educators program (3rd 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):
GA Sustainability Coordinator is responsible for the U Challenge and other student engagement opportunities; assists students with Aggie Green Fund Grant applications; produces a social media presence for Aggies Going Green and a monthly newsletter; co-advises Aggie Eco Reps; presents at tabling events, Campus Sustainability Day, Texas Recycles Day and Earth Day and coordinates the Sustainability Dinner for faculty, staff and students as part of the Sustainability Challenge activities. GASC has launched the living learning program around sustainability that is available to on-campus Aggies.
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
The Graduate Assistant Sustainability Coordinator is part of a competitive search process. The position description is posted on Jobs for Aggies and then a screening and interview process is held.
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):
The Graduate Assistant Sustainability Coordinator is mentored/supervised by the Director of Administrative & Support Services in the Department of Residence Life. She has been supported to attend both national and regional sustainability conferences and has participated in training on campus pertaining to Green Dot Bystander Training and Step In, Stand Up and other related interactive training programs. As co-advisor to Aggie Eco Reps, she works along side an experienced advisor from Residence Education.
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):
The salary and professional development allocations, as well as tuition support, are provided by the Department of Residence Life. The position is housed in the Central Administrative Office of Residence Life with a permanent desk station/computer. Funds for programming are shared between the department and corporate sponsors, as well as projects supported by the Aggie Green Fund (though no compensation for staff are included in those funds).
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:
The Department of Residence Life also supports a group of peer diversity educators, called E.R.A.S.E. which is Encouraging Respect, Acceptance and Support through Education. These students, like Aggie Eco Reps, are advised by professional staff within the Department (many are resident advisers, as well) and serve to educate and raise awareness among on-campus residents. They provide interactive programs, educational presentations and bulletin boards for passive education across the halls and apartments.
Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission: