Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.00
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vassar College
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
2424

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):
2424

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

Name of the student educators program:
EcoLeaders

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
2435

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

The EcoLeaders program was an idea initially discussed by both the College Committee on Sustainability (CCS) and the Vassar Greens, a student group as a way to engage more members of the Vassar community on sustainability issues. The two groups worked together, along with support from the Office of Residential Life, to design the EcoLeaders program during the Fall of 2013. Spring 2014 is the first semester the program was implemented. The program was designed to allow individuals interested in taking a leadership role on sustainability issues to have a structure and support system that empowered them to realize their ideas and effectively implement them. The position is volunteer-based and requires a commitment of 1-3 hours a week.

The program seeks to train individuals in each of the dorms, as well as senior and off-campus housing areas, to serve as leaders on sustainability in their living spaces. Each corps works on projects targeted at specific living spaces (i.e. Main Dorm), departments (i.e. Vassar Athletics), as well as at the student body at large. In 2015 the students developed a loyalty card, that gives community members a free drink about after using a reusable mug 10 times. In 2016 the EcoLeaders implemented a signage campaign in all of the campus bathrooms to reduce paper towel usage.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

A brief application was sent out to all the students. Applicants were interviewed by Alistair Hall and EcoLeaders were selected based on what they hoped to accomplish and their leadership potential. Students were given preference based on dorm (i.e. all students from Main were considered for the position of Main EcoLeader), except in cases where there were no applicants from a specific dorm.


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

The EcoLeaders receive general training at the beginning of the semester on Leadership skills. This training was conducted by Alistair Hall, Sustainability Coordinator After the initial training, the EcoLeaders met regularly in smaller groups to plan out their proposed projects for the semester. during this meeting, EcoLeaders received additional training on running campaigns/projects, setting appropriate "SMART" goals, etc.


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 EcoLeaders are encouraged to work with one another and independently throughout the semester. However, they also are in contact with both the Sustainability Coordinator and a student intern in the Office. The Sustainability Office provides support, training, and guidance for the EcoLeaders. Additionally, the college has made a small budget to help implement the programs/projects the EcoLeaders implement during the semester.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Vassar Sustainability Interns

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
7

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

Vassar also has an internship program, which employs seven students a semester as interns for the sustainability office. In addition to committee educational outreach, each intern works closely with an administrative office on campus on sustainability matters. The intern positions work closely to implement a variety of programming that deal with partnerships to improve sustainability in campus organizations and the Poughkeepsie Community. Major projects include the weekly Farmer's Market, promoting public transportation and the Poughkeepsie bus system, running building level energy audits, writing master planning documents including the Climate Action Plan. In addition, the Sustainability Interns host an array of programming including guest speakers, tabling at all-campus events, career panels, movie screenings, and an Energy Competition.


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

The internship program is competitive. Students apply to become interns by submitting a written application and are interviewed by Sustainability Coordinator.


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

The interns are trained and overseen by the Sustainability Coordinator and receive an orientation retreat training. The interns have bi-weekly individual meetings with the Sustainability Coordinator and weekly team meetings, in which they receive support for their projects and participate in ongoing leadership trainings and discussions.


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 7 intern positions are work-study and offer full time employment (8-10 hours/week) for the selected students.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
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Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):
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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):
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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:
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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.