Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Madeline Schuh
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.86 / 4.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
24876

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):
11588

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
46.58

Name of the student educators program:
Eco-Reps Progran

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
11588

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

Student Eco-Reps is Penn's environmental leadership program that focuses on raising awareness of environmental issues and impacting the behavior of individuals across campus. Select undergrad students develop educational events, activities, and campaigns aimed at supporting the University’s "Climate Action Plan 2.0". Twelve to fifteen students are paid through the Penn Sustainability team to work three to five hours per week during the school year. Students select a project to work on over the course of the year. Previous projects include waste audits, energy conservation, recycling, sustainable dining and consumer habits, community service projects for environmental organizations, and more. Projects vary year to year, depending on student interest and University needs.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Students submit a resume and application, including a few short-answer survey questions and a personal statement addressing their background and interest in environmental engagement. Applications are reviewed by the Penn Sustainability Office and the Student Eco-Reps Executive Board. Selection is completed by the end of the academic year to allow Eco-Reps to start their work at the outset of the following academic year.


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

Penn's Sustainability Office organizes an off-campus fall camping retreat for all Eco-Reps to review roles and responsibilities. Further training is coordinated at the beginning of the academic year focusing on themes related to Penn's "Climate Action Plan 2.0". Training sessions are run by the University’s sustainability staff, and include get-to-know-you activities, environmental games, discussions on topics related to environmental issues, and guidance on how to create connections among their peers.


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):

Penn Sustainability Outreach Manager runs the University’s Student Eco-Reps program, with assistance from the Sustainability Coordinator and two paid student interns.

Funding for the Sustainability Office is approved annual as part of the Penn Executive Vice President's budgeting process.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Green Living Certification

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
6380

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

The individual decisions residents living on campus make on a daily basis, even if seemingly small, play a critical role in the University’s sustainability initiatives. The Penn Sustainability Office seeks to recognize these choices and provide on- and off-campus residents with an opportunity to reflect on their environmental impact by offering the "Green Living Certification" program—an environmental certification available for residents living on campus.

Establishing greener lifestyles creates a tangible, positive impact on our campus. By offering "Green Living Certification", residents will be inspired to take further steps towards improving the health of our environment and to provide a model for others to do the same.


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

Self-selecting certification program available to any student living on campus.


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

Certification is awarded upon completion of two sections: Required and Optional Actions. The 5 Required Actions are habits that are relatively easy to accomplish and provide the foundation for implementing more difficult sustainable practices. The Optional Actions are organized into 5 categories: Waste Minimization & Recycling; Energy & Water; Transportation; Purchasing; Involvement at Penn. All Optional Actions are assigned points based on a combination of environmental impact, difficulty of implementation, and cost. Based on the number of points achieved, participating students can earn one of three levels for completing the program, bronze, silver or gold. There are 90 possible points.


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):

The budget is shared with other programs, but up to $4,000 is available to support the "Green Living Program". The Program is sponsored by the Penn Sustainability Office.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
RA / GA Sustainability Training

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
6380

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

A two-and-a-half hour training for Resident and Graduate Assistants is available at the start of each academic year. The training is discussion-oriented, with an emphasis on how to engage with residential undergraduate students and ways to provide students with opportunities to participate in environmental activities at Penn.
There are over 230 RAs and GAs on campus, and this program is available to all, although typically between 25 and 35 sign up. The program is held during New Student Orientation, a three-day period in August just before classes begin for the fall semester.


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

Self-selecting certification program available to any RA or GA serving on campus.


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

Over the past three and a half years, the Sustainability Office has conducted both in person and is on-line trainings. Self-selecting RAs and GAs are trained to assist undergraduate residents to complete the "Green Living Challenge" as well as other sustainability programs across campus. RA and GAs receive a custom created Sustainability Manual, an in-depth resource to RA/GAs about Penn’s sustainability programs, which includes a guide to living green in campus residence halls.


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):

Staff coordination from the Sustainability Office. The program expenses are under $1,500 annually.


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):
2700

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to engaging with both the campus and public community on sustainability, with a goal to make climate change and sustainability part of the Penn culture. This commitment and long standing tradition of both campus and public engagement around the issue of sustainability is seen through campus sustainability groups and community focused centers. Both public and campus engagement organizations partner with the Sustainability Office to create student internships, engage in environmental issues, and build knowledge around sustainability. For a more complete listing of engagement activities on campus, please see EN 10 to EN 14.

The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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.