Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
28,991

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):
28,991

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

Name of the student educators program:
Eco-Rep Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
13,594

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

The UMass Amherst Eco-Rep Program is focused on working towards environmental literacy both within the program, and on the campus at large. The mission of the Eco-Rep Program is to foster environmental literacy within the campus community and translate that new understanding into more sustainable behavior.

Eco-Reps build a foundational knowledge surrounding issues of sustainability and explore how best to raise awareness about these issues amongst their peers. Focusing on the role and impact of the individual, Eco-Reps work to promote environmentally responsible behavior in the campus community.

Area Eco-Reps from 7 different residential areas on campus educate and facilitate the Eco-Reps within an academic structure each semester by holding weekly seminars and implementing an interdisciplinary curriculum that they develop with the Student Program Manager, the Campus Sustainability Manager and the Faculty Advisor. Every fourth week each unit is completed with an interactive event aimed at educating fellow residents on campus about the issues they have been learning about.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

The Student Program Manager position is a position within Sustainable UMass (formerly the Campus Sustainability Initiative). This position is selected to run the entire program by the the Campus Sustainability Manager and academic advisor. It is their job to facilitate the entire program and educate the Area Eco-Reps. The program Managers who typically serve 2 years in the position are chosen from Area Eco-Reps who show leadership and facilitation skills. Area Eco-Reps educate and facilitate the Eco-Reps with the Direct Support of the Program Manager. Area Eco-Reps are selected through an application process. To apply to be an Area Eco-Rep the student has to have been an Eco-Rep.


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

Area Eco-Reps study the theory and practice of peer facilitation in their first semester in a formal class structure that includes readings and practical experience with the direct support of the Program Managers. These individuals take on progressively more facilitation responsibilities through weekly meetings. At the end of the first semester the Area Eco-Reps are competent student facilitators and are able to work with the Eco-Reps on their own.


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 Campus Sustainability Manager at UMass Amherst is the anchoring body of the Eco-Rep Program. Through this position the Eco-Rep Program has financial and administrative support via the Sustainable UMass budget which ultimately comes from the Physical Plant budget. The program also benefits from a faculty/staff advisor from the School of Earth and Sustainability (SES) who helps develop the curriculum and sits in on weekly Area Eco-Rep meetings.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
UMass Permaculture Initiative

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
28,991

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

The UMass Permaculture Initiative is a unique and cutting-edge sustainability program that converts underused grass lawns on the campus into edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens. This initiative was created by students and then adopted and funded by our administration in 2010. Students and permaculture staff work together along with UMass Dining Services, Sustainable UMass, and many other departments to demonstrate the vision of what a sustainable community and world can look like.

UMass was the first public university in the country implementing sustainable permaculture gardens directly on campus each year and serving the local, healthy produce in the university's dining commons.

Although the UMass Permaculture Initiative was born from just a few visionary students, we have grown considerably since our inception. As a result of our expansion, the initiative has formed partnerships with three different branches within the UMass Amherst system. The student-led UMass Permaculture committee, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and, UMass Dining - all working together to achieve the same end.

Staff and students are currently working within the College of Natural Sciences to develop the initiative into a full academic program and major. Currently, the Permaculture Initiative which is facilitated by students, holds workshops and classes within the classroom and in the gardens on and off campus to fellow students and the greater community regarding permaculture techniques, community building, social justice and local food, and grassroots organizing.


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

Sustainability Staff from Dining Services contact departments on campus to recruit students. Students are interviewed for the positions. Preference is given to first people apply and show the most interest. The program actively seeks people from diverse academic backgrounds who have a good sense of community.

A Permaculture Committee of student leaders oversees operations and leadership of the initiative.


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

The first month of student committees existence is split in half between learning the history of the program and and the basic agricultural principle. The other half of the work is hands on learning in the garden.


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):

A staff supported by the UMass Auxiliary Services includes the Chief Sustainability Specialist who oversees the permaculture garden and all future permaculture garden projects and the Sustainability Specialist who also works with the program and works closely with the student committee. Both these positions are funded through Auxiliary Services at the university as well as the gardens themselves.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Sustainable UMass Sustainability Fellowship Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
28,991

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

The Sustainable UMass Fellowship Program began in the fall of 2009 with one student intern and has since grown to engage as many as twenty interns in a given semester.

Fellows are compensated with three credits per semester for their commitment to the Sustainability Initiative and are mentored by a faculty sponsor. Some of the Fellows receive pay as well. Students and sponsors collaborate to set academic goals and a midterm and final report of some sort is usually expected.

Each fellow is hired to focus on a specific aspect of sustainability on campus. Categories include Energy & Green Building, Green Office Program, Transportation, Waste and Recycling, Media and Marketing, Community Organizing, and Green Games. Projects are determined on an individual basis to further the implementation of sustainable practices on campus in all of these areas.

In addition to responsibilities to faculty advisors and the planning and implementation of projects, fellows are required to spend a few hours each week in the Sustainable UMass office. This structured time commitment allows for collaboration between fellows and a greater sense of community between all members of the program. In total, participants are expected to spend about nine hours each week on related work.

Fellows will have the chance to attend meetings of the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee which are scheduled monthly.

The Sustainable UMass Fellowship Program aims to continue to make UMass sustainable in all areas of operation while providing an enriching experience for individual program participants. Fellows will walk away with experience, knowledge and a greater passion for sustainable change than they previously possessed.


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

Students apply for Fellowship positions each semester and the UMass Amherst Careers Center advertises all open positions each semester. Students are asked to submit a resume and cover letter and then are interviewed based on their qualifications and the need within the organization by the Campus Sustainability Manager and the Student Sustainability Coordinator.


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

The new student educators go through a brief training before the semester begins. During the semester the students have access to veteran student educators as well as UMass staff and faculty.


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):

Sustainable UMass has a budget provided by the Physical Plant. The director of the Physical Plant works closely with the students to ensure the development and execution of sustainable programs.


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:
---

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.