Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Irvine
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Rachel Pennington
Program Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
33,461

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):
33,461

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

Name of the student educators program:
Global Sustainability Resource Center and Sustainability Housing Internship Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
33,461

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

The Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC) and the Sustainability Housing Internship Program have a co-joined internship program that gives students the opportunity to work with staff within the GSRC, UCI Community Resilience Projects, and Student Housing to accomplish key projects in the following areas: 1) Campus as a Living Lab, 2) Community Engagement, and 3) Training. The GSRC serves as a hub for co-curricular sustainability programming, providing resources and education for all students through campus-wide outreach activities, community engagement and service, and internship opportunities. GSRC works closely and collaborates with Student Housing, but is a separate entity located under the Office of Sustainability. Student interns engage in peer-to-peer outreach through campus events, online newsletters and social media communication such as Facebook. The interns also aid in curating and maintaining an active sustainability events calendar and student opportunities database that is accessible by all students.

The GSRC and Student Housing determines the activities and projects each intern focuses on based on the intersection of intern interest and what is needed to support greater sustainability education. More experienced student assistants, interns, and fellows also educate the incoming interns to become experts on substantive sustainability issues, action planning, and office management.

GSRC and Student Housing Sustainability interns engage in peer-to-peer education across the campus community. The students table at major campus-wide events including:

- The Anteater Involvement Fair - allows all students to learn more about co-curricular opportunities on campus
- Celebrate UCI - allows incoming students to learn about ways to get involved at UCI
- Leadership and Community Service Fair

The interns also work with student and professional staff to curate and execute sustainability peer engagement events that target and serve the entire UCI campus community. These events include:

- Sustainability Fairs
- Fix-It/Upcycling Fairs
- Sustainability-focused Swap-Meets
- Taste the Season - a sustainable food systems showcase. This event is open to all graduate students.

See: http://sustainability.uci.edu/studentinvolvement/gsrc/ and https://housing.uci.edu/sustainability/index.html


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Through an affirmative outreach program, including the online student sustainability opportunities database, the GSRC and Student Housing communicate internship opportunities to students. Students go through an application process and a formal interview. Students are selected based on the GSRC and Student Housing's needs, their interest level and existing opportunities. GSRC and Student Housing attempt to place as many qualified students in internships as possible given current levels of staffing and student mentor availability.


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

Students who engage in the GSRC and Sustainability Housing Internship Program gain skills in:

1) Community building
2) Event planning
3) Organizing skills
4) Education and outreach
5) Communication and information technology
6) Strategic questioning (a technique for values clarification, visioning, action planning)
7) Reflective learning to develop a critical lens on local to global solidarity and deepening understanding of the interdependence of all life


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 GSRC and Student Housing internship program receives financial support from UCI Community Resilience Projects, Student Housing, and the University of California Office of the President through the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and Global Food Initiative. Both the Sustainability Program Manager of Student Housing and the GSRC Coordinator provide direct support and coordination for the internships. Additional intern support is provided by the UCI School of Social Ecology's Field Study Placement Program.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Student Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
9,470

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

The Student Institute for Sustainability Leadership (SISL) is a three-day residential immersion program for incoming first-year and transfer students. SISL empowers undergraduate students with the skills, tools, and relationships to become the next generation of sustainability leaders. The Institute includes workshops on sustainability, leadership and action-oriented projects that engage students in team building activities, community service, projects and peer-to-peer learning. During SISL, incoming students are taught by returning student mentors, each of whom plays a substantial student leadership role on campus.

The goal of SISL is to catalyze a culture of sustainability by training the next generation of sustainability leaders as they enter UC Irvine, the first campus in the University of California system to offer this kind of sustainability leadership immersion program for incoming college students.

The successful inaugural session took place in 2013, and the program has been repeated each year since. In 2017, out of the 9,463 incoming students targeted, 76 applicants vied for the 29 available spots. 7 additional students and SISL alumni served as peer mentors at the training. In the 2017-2018 Winter Quarter, 12 students enrolled in a for credit SISL Level 2 course titled Advanced Community Resilience Organizing. In 2015 and 2016, we conducted two SISL sessions; in 2015, 140 applicants vied for the 50 available spots, and in 2016, 100 applicants vied for the 50 available spots. In 2015, we also added a SISL Level 2 for leaders of student clubs and two SISL Level 3 trainings with counterpart youth leaders in Guatemala. SISL was also identified as a best practice by the Student Engagement Working Group of the UC Global Climate Leadership Council, and UCI was selected and funded to run a trainers' training for faculty and staff at all ten UC campuses on how to pilot SISL on their own campuses. Over the years, students have given positive feedback on leadership skills training and connecting with mentors, and they valued the peer-to-peer outreach activities in the program, which fostered community building on and off campus.

During Winter 2015, GSRC brought together SISL graduates with students in the Global Sustainability Minor for a workshop at the the Ecology Center, an educational center in Orange County. At the Ecology Center, students learned hands-on sustainability skills in food, water, waste, energy and shelter, including a composting workshop. Each year, SISL graduates are invited to join EarthReps, another peer-to-peer outreach program at UCI (see below).

See: http://sustainability.uci.edu/sisl/


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

Student Affairs sends an invitation email to all incoming students (freshmen and transfer), and the program is included on online materials geared to orientation. Applicants then complete an online application, including essay questions. Staff and student leaders from the Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC) select the SISL participants and peer mentors.


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

SISL provides students with the skills, tools, and relationships to become the next generation of sustainability leaders. The Institute includes workshops on sustainability, leadership and action-oriented projects that engage students in team-building activities, and community service. Students receive training in strategic questioning, community visioning, and action planning. GSRC and Housing staff train SISL peer mentors via training sessions and an overnight residential training in the months leading up to SISL.


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):

UCI Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and The Green Initiative Fund -- a student-managed, fee-based fund that provides undergraduate students with the resources to pursue sustainability projects on campus -- have provided the financial support for SISL. Each SISL participant is asked to contribute $25 toward her/his participation. SISL peer mentors are paid a $200 stipend per SISL session they teach.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
EarthReps

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
7,644

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

EarthReps is a sustainability leadership program for undergraduates living in on-campus residence halls. Being an EarthRep allows the student to become a liaison between GSRC, Student Housing, and peers in their residence hall. This student-led program aims to train emerging sustainability leaders; expand campus awareness of the framework of sustainability; and build community among students, staff, and faculty. There are two levels of peer-to-peer education in this program. The first involves Student Housing professional staff and student staff; aided by student sustainability organization leaders, campus operations staff and GSRC student staff; to educate EarthReps on various sustainability topics each month. The same resource people then assist EarthReps to plan and execute outreach projects in their residence halls on the various topics. The projects represent the second level of peer-to-peer education; through the projects, EarthReps become the educators of their residence hall peers.

The program targets all freshmen and others living in residence halls, with the long-term goal of having a designated number of EarthReps for each of the residence complexes. During 2015, 10 students formed the EarthReps class, reaching over 800 students. During 2016, 15 students formed the EarthReps class, reaching over 1800 students. During 2017, 19 SISL graduates and others form the current EarthReps class, which has reached 1,080 students to date.

https://housing.uci.edu/sustainability/earthreps.html


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

In the pilot years of this program, the first level of student educators (campus staff, Global Sustainability Resource Center student staff, and student sustainability organization leaders) founded the program. The second level of student educators (EarthReps) completed applications and were selected by the Global Sustainability Resource Center student staff. Starting in 2015, the Sustainability Program Manager for Student Housing began conducting an application and selection process together with Student Housing and GSRC student interns.


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

First-level student educators participate in sustainability training by the Sustainability Program Manager in Student Housing together with the Global Sustainability Resource Center. The first-level students and campus resource staff specialists provide formal training to the EarthReps and act as advisors and mentors for the program. In both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, there has been a designated paid student EarthReps Coordinator who oversees the program and provides consistent mentorship, team building, and communication.


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 Sustainability Program Manager for Student Housing is professional staff within Housing Administrative Services. Housing Administrative Services also provides support for student staff. The Program Coordinator for the Global Sustainability Resource Center is paid by UCI Office of Sustainability. The Global Sustainability Resource Center student staff are paid by UCI Student Housing and UCI Office of Sustainability.


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:

1) UC Irvine's Solid Waste and Recycling Program trains "Trash Talkers," students who are present at major UCI events that aim for zero waste. The students stand next to the waste bins and teach event-goers where to direct their trash, in containers marked for recycling, composting, and landfill.

2) The UC Irvine Costa Rica Program, sponsored by Student Housing and Student Affairs, in partnership with the Division of Undergraduate Education, includes both an academic component and a cultural immersion trip to Costa Rica. This program allows 16 UCI students per year to experience a global sustainability and cultural immersion program leading to an increased cultural competence and global leadership development. Upon returning to the United States, each program participant commits to doing sustainability outreach to at least 500 additional people as a requirement of participation in the program.

See: http://sites.uci.edu/costaricaprogram/


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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information in this credit was provided by:

Abby Reyes
Director
Community Resilience Projects
Office of Sustainability
(949) 824-2489
abigail.reyes@uci.edu

Rachel Harvey
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing Administrative Services
(949) 824-5263
raharvey@uci.edu

Rachel Pennington
Program Coordinator
Global Sustainability Resource Center, Office of Sustainability
(949) 824-2826
penningr@uci.edu

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.