Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.21
Liaison Gary Cocke
Submission Date Sept. 11, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The University of Texas at Dallas
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Gary Cocke
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

Alternative Spring Break (ASB)
An immersive week of hands-on service, leadership-building and relationship-building that is supplemented with education and reflection. Each ASB experience specializes on a particular social issue such as environmental conservation, disaster relief, affordable housing, education, etc. Volunteer teams are matched up with a non-profit agency that provides housing, orientation, training, and then engages the participants in around 40 hours of volunteer service over the course of a week. Prior to departure, ASB participants take part in team activities and meetings to get to know each other and learn about the community partners they will be working with. Participation culminates in a reflection reception in April where teams reunite and share ASB experiences, as well as share ways for continued civic engagement and community outreach. The goal of ASB is to cultivate a sense of social responsibility in student participants, assist them to develop leadership skills, and inspire them to take action to influence positive change in their communities and throughout the world. The experiences are designed to challenge students to think critically about the issues facing the communities they are serving and learning alongside. Being immersed in diverse environments enables them to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a more personal way than simply hearing about them in the news and discussing them in class.
Services include:
1) Affordable Housing – Shreveport, LA: Building Homes
2) Animal Services – San Angelo, Texas: Donkey Rescue
3) Disaster Relief – Beaumont, TX
4) Environmental Conservation – Galveston, Texas: coastal ecosystems and watersheds
5) Global Poverty – Elm Mott, Texas: World Hunger Relief, Inc. works with UT Dallas students to alleviate global hunger.
6) Healthcare – Garden Valley, TX: Mercy Ships operates a fleet of hospital ships that provide state-of-the-art care to those in developing countries.
7) LGBT+ & Ally Services – Charlotte, North Carolina: support and give “voice and action” in building future LGBTQ and ally student leaders.
8) Park Preservation – Liberty, TX: Trinity River National Wildlife refuge
9) Social Services – San Antonio, Texas: Work with San Antonio Food Bank to learn and serve.
UT Dallas Summer Field Geology Program, Geosciences 3300 and 4300

Field geological experiences remain vitally important facets of the geoscience education of undergraduate and graduate students, across the planet. The Summer Field Geology program at the University of Texas at Dallas emphasizes a rigorous, hands-on experiential approach to examining, understanding and recording, through maps, cross-sections, and reports, relationships among rocks in the earth’s crust. The program consists of two, three-credit courses, Introductory Field Geology (GEOS 3300) and Advanced Field Geology (GEOS 4300). These courses are taught concurrently, beginning in mid-May, immediately after Spring Commencement.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Office of Student Volunteering Alternative Spring Break

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.