Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Taryn Meyers
Manager, Engagement
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
30,004

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):
30,004

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the student educators program:
Peer Helper Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
30,004

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

Peer Helpers are volunteer leadership positions, open to all UCalgary students, which create immersive and meaningful learning opportunities within a variety of departments and offices. The Office of Sustainability’s student educators are volunteers in the Peer Helper and Sustainability Ambassador programs. Peer Helpers are student volunteers who participate in designated leadership roles aimed at advancing operational goals through the development and execution of Campus as Learning as Learning Lab projects. Under the guidance of the Office of Sustainability staff, Peer Helpers develop and implement sustainability projects or outreach campaigns across campus to support the achievement of the University’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy while encouraging people to reduce their ecological footprint and participate in sustainable living.

Peer Helpers have more responsibility than Sustainability Ambassadors. Peer Helpers commit to volunteering 2-5 hours a week with the Office of Sustainability. Sustainability Ambassadors take on as many or as few activities as they like. The time commitment is flexible, and can range from a few hours a semester to a few hours a month.

This year we have projects for Peer Helpers and Ambassadors focused on waste reduction and composting, cycling infrastructure and resources, furniture re-use in supply chain management, and sustainable buildings. Peer Helpers are also given the opportunity to create their own projects with the support of the OS team.

The Peer Helper Program provides targeted leadership training, Co-Curricular Record credit, and exceptional resume and portfolio boosting skills.

Other Peer Helper positions offered throughout the university include:

Leadership and Student Engagement: work with issues surrounding hunger and food justice through organizing events such as Trick or Eat as a Meal Exchange Peer Helper. Foster a sense of community among students and help with weekly programming geared towards inclusiveness, involvement, campus resiliency and wellbeing as a Student Life Peer Helper.

Faith & Spirituality Centre organizers: Peer Helpers become leaders in pluralism by actively engaging with diversity, organizing meetings, planning events and activities, etc. They also the support The Kaleidoscope Project, a large program that brings together diverse groups of students to develop an inclusive community on campus and in Calgary.

The SU Wellness Centre provides Peer Helper positions that are responsible for assisting in the medical clinic, or as part of the response team at campus events, or for promoting important issues as part of the Wellness and Health Awareness Team.

The Women’s Resource Centre Peer Helpers program provides students the chance to make an impact, spread awareness about gender equality, and create a community of sharing, learning, and support.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Peer Helpers are selected through a more formal process where they submit their resume and cover letters for a specific role and are then interviewed individually. For Ambassadors, there is no selection criteria; any student who is interested in volunteering may join the program.


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

Prior to selection the volunteers undergo an orientation to familiarize themselves with the program expectations. After the selection process, the Peer Helpers and Sustainability Ambassadors are assigned to their specific projects and roles and undergo project-specific training which allows them to become more familiar with the program. Our volunteer programs are designed to help students develop six core competencies: systems thinking, anticipatory thinking, empathy and understanding, action-oriented leadership, stakeholder engagement and collaboration and critical thinking in how they can enact change on campus and in the world.

Peer Helpers and Sustainability Ambassadors receive continual training through workshops specifically designed to develop their core competencies. Workshops help students identify their personal strengths and develop strategies for leadership, constructive conflict and building effective teams. Students collaborate with campus groups to achieve their project goals and expand the scope of their role as Peer Helpers.


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 Office of Sustainability’s Peer Helper program is part of the Peer Helper program run through Leadership and Student Engagement at the University of Calgary. http://www.ucalgary.ca/peerhelper/. The program has a designated coordinator, hired by the university who coordinates activities, intake, outreach and training.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd 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) (2nd program):
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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):
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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.