|Submission Date||Aug. 16, 2021|
University of New Hampshire
EN-1: Student Educators Program
|4.00 / 4.00||
Number of students enrolled for credit:
Total number of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
Name of the student educators program (1st program):
A brief description of the student educators program (1st program):
The Sustainability Institute (SI) recruits a cohort of Sustainability Interns each year. Any UNH student can apply to be a Sustainability Intern; we have both graduate and undergraduates, from across colleges and majors. Each intern receives hourly wages, and training on both sustainability and on peer-to-peer outreach and education. Interns work directly with the SI, as well as with relevant departments or groups on campus (such as the Energy, Ecosystem, and Sustainability task forces) to
1) support specific sustainability projects on campus through research, analysis or program implementation, and
2) to share what they are learning and doing with other UNH students and the broader community.
Sustainability Interns help track the UNH greenhouse gas, water, nitrogen and waste footprints; they create and implement outreach campaigns around waste and recycling, Fair Trade and sustainable food systems; they support SI programs such as the Sustainability Advocates and Sustainability STARS Leadership program; they support the task forces with notes, research, and development of materials. While some interns have projects that focus specifically and exclusively on outreach and education, others have projects that ask them first to “learn by doing” a sustainability initiative, then to develop peer-to-peer education around it.
Our Sustainability Interns all receive an orientation in which sustainability principles, the SDGs, sustainability practices at UNH, and the fundamentals of peer-to-peer education are featured. In addition to meeting with their supervisors, Sustainability Interns are convened weekly as a group by the Sustainability Peer-to-Peer Education Coordinator, in sessions that focus on building community, skill, knowledge and confidence for students. They are asked to share their work with other students across campus in UNH social medial posts, blogs posts, and at various campus-wide events.
A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (1st program):
Outreach and education from Sustainability Interns is targeted to the entire student body at UNH. Since our interns are at various levels in their studies, come from different colleges and majors, and represent a variety of living situations (i.e. on- and off-campus), their collective work has reach and relevance for the entire student body.
Number of trained student educators (1st program):
Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (1st program):
Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (1st program):
Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (1st program):
Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (1st program):
Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
A brief description of the student educators program (2nd program):
Sustainability Advocates is a residence hall peer-to-peer education and engagement program that aims to encourage sustainable thought and action across campus. Each residence hall elects a designated Sustainability Advocate (SA) that sits on hall councils. EAs lead sustainability programming in their residence hall; for example, creating bulletin boards or “Kahoots!” focused on sustainable living topics, organizing hall socials that educate students on sustainable practices and sustainability opportunities at UNH, and making themselves available to answer sustainability questions that arise in hall meetings.
The primary campus level goals are to:
• Educate students about topics in sustainability at the individual, campus, and community level,
• Encourage students about ways to implement sustainable practices within their lives and their communities, and
• Connect students to resources and opportunities to gain volunteer and/or professional experience in sustainability.
At an advocate level, the primary goals are to:
• Lead by example as a peer educator and sustainability initiator,
• Gain leadership, communication, and planning skills,
• Connect with like-minded individuals through dialogue and teamwork, and
• Learn from and connect with sustainability professionals.
Staff from the Sustainability Institute design and support the program, in coordination with Residential Life. It is then implemented in large part by one of the Sustainability Interns described above (ideally one who has previously been an SA); hosting weekly meetings to educate the SAs about sustainability on- and off-campus, guiding discussions with the SAs about current events in the sustainability field, and helping the SAs plan residence hall events. Guest speakers and field trips allow the Sustainability Advocates to learn from and connect with sustainability professionals.
A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (2nd program):
The primary target audience for each SA is the other residents in their hall, although the SA’s also have collaborated in organizing events open to all students on campus. About half of UNH’s students live in the residence halls (primarily first and second year students.)
Number of trained student educators (2nd program):
Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (2nd program):
Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (2nd program):
Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (2nd program):
Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (2nd program):
Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
A brief description of the student educators program (3rd program):
SITC @ UNH is a full-time semester-long program in which students are placed with departments across campus to work on projects focused on sustainability and peer (i.e. student) outreach and education. It is offered in collaboration with the College for Social Innovation, and builds off of their powerful Semester in the City program (see https://collegeforsocialinnovation.org/sitcprogram).
Sustainability Institute (SI) staff members recruit partners in departments across campus to develop student sustainability projects (with support/input from SI) and to act as supervisors for the students; we recruit the students; and train, convene (weekly) and support the students and host departments in doing their projects. In addition to training and support from UNHSI, students get 16 credits from UNH and they get the benefit of two wrap-around courses from the College for Social Innovation, focused on supporting them in doing their projects as well: “Social Innovators Toolbox” and a “Skill-Building and Reflection” seminar. This makes the entire program a 40 hour/week commitment.
Below are examples of SITC@UNH projects:
• Athletics & Facilities: Develop campaign (videos, podcasts, social media, website - format TBD) and facilitate outreach efforts for Green Athletics (assisting UNH Wildcats and staff to become leaders on waste reduction as it relates to athletics), while supporting the general zero waste efforts on campus.
• Child Study and Development Center: Complete observation and analysis of current staff, research outdoor and experiential education best practices for inquiry based learning and agency development in children and support efforts to train early childhood educators, while supporting the general tasks of the Center.
• Office of Community, Equity & Diversity: Recruiting students to participate in the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge (grounded racial equity and social justice issues in the food system in New England), while supporting the general tasks of the Office.
• Office of Outreach and Engagement: Recruiting UNH students to share sustainability concepts and skills with K-12 students through Splash! Workshops & executing an outreach and marketing campaign to NH K-12 schools, while supporting the general tasks of the Office.
A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (3rd program):
The target audience for SITC@UNH encompasses the entire student body. While the SITC@UNH positions are only open to undergraduates, the SITC@UNH peer educators are instructed and supported in making their outreach efforts as broadly applicable to the UNH community (including grad students, staff and faculty) as possible.
Number of trained student educators (3rd program):
Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (3rd program):
Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (3rd program):
Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (3rd program):
Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (3rd program):
A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs:
There are three more:
- Changemaker Coaches; see https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/changemaker-collaborative/changemaker-collaborative-team
- FIRE Peer Advisors; see https://paulcollege.unh.edu/experience/fire-first-year-innovation-research-experience
- Health and Wellness Peer Educators; see https://www.unh.edu/health/services/living-well-services/peer-education
Descriptions of all three below:
Changemaker Coaches are students who have experience in UNH’s Changemaker Collaborative programs (see https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/changemakers). The Sustainability Institute employs them to coach their peers to help them make the most of their UNH experience, while driving social, environmental and economic action.
Coaches take part in a peer education orientation program, and get support and training from the Changemaker Program Director and Sustainability Peer to Peer Education Coordinator, around sustainability principles, sustainability programs and opportunities at UNH, and peer education, mentorship and leadership.
10 Coaches per year, two semesters (32 weeks), 8 hours per week.
FIRE Peer Advisors
The First-year Innovation and Research Experience, widely known as FIRE, is a program at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. The idea was first conceived as an extension of Paul College’s Peer Advising program, and has been designed to expand upon the principles and mission of that program.
FIRE is an integrated, team-based and game-like experience, guided by alumni and peer mentors. FIRE charges first-year students to hit the ground running by assisting them in developing multidisciplinary solutions to real-world sustainability “grand challenges.” Through a series of challenges, with guidance from idea to execution, students develop business plans to be presented at a year end finale that respond to these grand challenges.
The peer advisors who are part of the FIRE program guide the participating students in understanding the challenge presented and developing these business plans to address them—which requires them to develop and deepen content expertise themselves, in regards to sustainability challenges; to share that expertise with the students in their team; and to facilitate a collaborative approach to problem-solving around that challenge.
The FIRE mentors go through a training curriculum that focuses on grand challenges and that features the SDGs, as well as focusing on peer advising, education, mentorship and leadership. They are convened as a cohort regularly throughout the semester and supported by Paul College alumni and faculty. In 2021, FIRE peer advisors supported their peers in learning and completing projects focused on protecting wildlife, supporting water quality, enhancing community health, sustainable fashion, and sustainable economic development.
There are approximately 30 FIRE peer educators, who commit to an average of 5 hours per week for two semesters.
Wellness Ambassadors and Nourish UNH
Health and Wellness has four peer education programs, two of which comprise sustainability peer education:
1) the Wellness Ambassadors, which is grounded in the “wellness wheel" (including 8 dimensions of health: emotional, social, physical , spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and financial)
2) Nourish UNH, which focuses on nutrition and eating well
In both programs, students create educational programs for classrooms, residence halls and student organizations; do outreach activities at homecoming, concerts and other campus events educational tables around campus; social media and social marketing campaigns; and peer-to-peer mentoring
All UNH students who have an interest in wellness and helping others are eligible to become a Health & Wellness peer educator. These are volunteer positions, but students receive training, supervision and mentorship from Wellness Educator/Counselors and/or a Nutrition Educator/Counselors,. Students are required to complete iLEAP, a certified Peer Educator Training. Both programs require a commitment for 3 hours per week for two semesters.
There are approximately six peer educators in each program each year, which means twelve educators between the two programs that entail sustainability education.
Number of trained student educators (all other programs):
Number of weeks, on average, the student educators programs are active annually (all other programs):
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Grand total number of hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators (all programs):
Hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators per student served by a peer-to-peer program:
Website URL where information about the student sustainability educators programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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