Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.39
Liaison Brian Liechti
Submission Date March 4, 2020

STARS v2.2

Warren Wilson College
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.76 / 4.00 Margo Flood
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit:
792

Total number of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
695

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
87.75

Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Community Engagement: Bonner Leaders Crew

A brief description of the student educators program (1st program):

Every undergraduate at Warren Wilson participates in the Community Engagement Program as a requirement of graduation. Students engage with a wide variety of sustainability-related issues at first, and then select a designated, sustainability-related theme which directs their engagement with community partners each year of their matriculation at Warren Wilson. Thematic issues include the environment, food security, race and immigration, housing and homelessness and youth and education.

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) guides all Warren Wilson students to their selection and then provides related activities, trainings and seminars to enhance immersion and provide time for reflection about their chosen theme. The Bonner Leaders Crew is essential to the work of the CCE. Warren Wilson is a campus partner in the national Bonner Leaders Program. The national program supports and directs the focus of the College’s Bonner Leaders Crew’s work to civic engagement—especially in areas of social and environmental justice and the importance of building relationships with the community around them.

With the assistance of Community Engagement staff, including two Americorps Vista staff (one of whom is a Hunger Corps Vista worker), Bonner Leaders are prepared to serve as student educators. They learn about the sustainability issues, meet the community partners and then work with students to assist them in fulfillment of their Community Engagement requirement. Bonner Leaders also work with CCE staff,faculty and students to develop break trip programs and other activities that deepen students' engagement in the selected themes.

Bonner Leaders also organize weekly service projects that might include weatherizing low-income homes, working at the local food bank market, or assisting in a community-wide river clean-up. Bonner Leaders manage the day to day aspects of community engagement for Warren Wilson students, helping to arrange transportation, working with faculty to manage course-based community engagement curriculum and scheduling ongoing community engagement programs such as EcoTeam—a third grade ecosystem/human systems curriculum developed by Warren Wilson in 1999 in partnership with Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program and delivered to local elementary school students. In addition, Bonner Leaders help to develop fall, winter and spring break trips that are week-long immersions in service learning activities. Past trips have included spending a week in coal country to understand miners' issues; assisting in developing a community garden in downtown Detroit; and working in post-Katrina communities in Louisiana. Bonner Leaders often co-lead these trips with Warren Wilson staff or faculty.

Please see https://www.warren-wilson.edu/2019/12/13/student-honored-for-community-service/ for information about the Warren Wilson Bonner Leaders Crew member honored by Campus Compact with a Community Impact Student Award recognizing her community service and her ability to inspire her peers.


A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (1st program):

Warren Wilson's Bonner Leaders Crew members are trained by Community Engagement staff and Vista volunteers to serve as leaders/mentors/educators for Warren Wilson students. With the support of the Bonner Leaders Crew, Warren Wilson students learn about sustainability issues; they are prepared to engage with regional nonprofits to address regional sustainability-related issues; and through sequenced activities, students learn to develop and to reflect upon the critical thinking skills required for complex problem-solving. Warren Wilson students provide almost 40,000 hours of community engagement in the region each year. The Bonner Leaders Crew is central to this regional engagement.


Number of trained student educators (1st program):
26

Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (1st program):
30

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (1st program):
12

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (1st program):
9,360

Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (1st program):
Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Work Program Student Leaders

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

Every undergraduate student at Warren Wilson must participate in the Work Program as a requirement of graduation. The mission of the Work Program is to provide students with productive work that creates opportunities for the Warren Wilson College community to acknowledge, examine and celebrate the ethics and value of work in the educational process.

The College has 80 work crews ranging from the Recycling Crew to the Local Foods Crew, Farm Crew, Custodial Crew, Locksmith Crew, WIDE Diversity and Inclusion Crew, Spiritual Life Crew, Chemistry Lab Crew, Advancement Crew, Fiber Arts Crew, Blacksmithing Crew and many more. The Work Crew is where decisions about sustainable practices are made, and enacted, campus-wide.

At least half of the College’s crews have designated student leaders who are approved to work more than the required 10 hours per week so that they may formally assist the staff supervisors in all aspects of leadership, training and management of their student crews. These leaders are central to the work of the crew. For other crews, though leadership is not formally designated, peer to peer education is a vital function in the orientation and supervision of new crew members. Crew composition changes often, some crews are as large as 40 students, and this peer educator responsibility is ongoing and important.

Student leaders, whether formally designated or not, are trained by their supervisors in the work of the crew and the importance of sustainable practices to their work. Warren Wilson's campus serves as a living laboratory for sustainable community. Students quickly learn this as the introduction to the sustainability ethos is a required component of new student orientation for all undergraduates. Work Crew student educators(whether they are formally designated leaders or have evolved to serve as student educators) and their crews take great pride in their practices and often serve as the creative campus force for new sustainable practices.

Warren Wilson's Garden Manager (who oversee the College's 11-acres of organically managed gardens) comments on the value of this peer to peer education: "As a work crew supervisor, the answer to my most rewarding and most challenging part of my job has the same answer: the students. I am inspired daily by the passion and motivation that the students bring to classes, work, and campus in general. Many aspects of the Garden began as student initiatives- the Herb Crew, the bee hives, Plow Day, the Winter Craft Sale, etc. As a supervisor of 25-30 students per semester and multiple sub-crews, the peer-to-peer learning that is embraced at the Garden is the only way our operation can function; the students are able to pass along the crew knowledge to each other when I am unable to be in multiple places at once. Herb Crew is a great example- they are a crew of 4-7 students that basically run an herbal business by doing the cultivation and processing of crops, creation of products, marketing, sales, and accounting, all contributing to the most profitable crew on campus. When I know I am doing my job well is when my students are telling me what to do. When they are able to take ownership of a crop or event or activity and I become support staff, allowing them to take the lead and I am just making sure nothing falls through the cracks, I know we are cultivating the most important crop that we grow at the Garden: excellent students well adapted to making change in the world."

Although almost every crew is involved in implementing sustainable practices on campus, a few examples of crews whose work directly relates to sustainability include these crews:

•Forestry Crew: students manage our 600-acre College Forest and often are the ones who initiate the development of non-timber forest products (eg shitake’s, black walnut tincture, etc.)
•Farm Crew: students manage the 300-acre farm that produces organically raised, grass-fed beef, pork and poultry that is served in the cafeteria and sold to the local community
•Recycling Crew: students work to divert more than 50% of the campus waste stream from the landfill and to compost all campus food scraps
•Landscaping Crew: students maintain core campus' native plants, grass and wildflower landscape
•Computing Services Crew: students maintain computer labs while reducing electronic waste and paper usage, and conserving energy
•Janitorial Crew: students maintain buildings and learn about the importance of green cleaning products
•Locksmith Crew: students are committed to re-using materials whenever possible
•Sage Cafe Crew: students source locally for teas, coffee and treats


A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (2nd program):

For each work crew- from Fiber Arts, where dyes are often harvested from campus plants and wool is spun from Warren Wilson sheep's wool to Computer Services where the student crew sets campus printers at 2-sided only, and instructs faculty and staff about energy saving features of their computers - skilled staff educate their students about how to do their jobs. Many of these students become designated assistants and their role is to orient and train new crew members to participate in the work of the crew, which includes educating them about the sustainable practices employed by the crew. For many crews, however, like the Garden Crew described in the section above by the Garden Manager, peer-to-peer education is not formally titled but it is an essential function of capable students on the crew. This function is vital, in part, because crew membership is not based on previous skill. Philosophy majors with only urban life skills may choose to serve on the Farm Crew. In addition, crew membership changes, to some degree, each semester so there is always an influx of new students who need training. Student educators, whether formally designated or not, are vital to the education, immersion in sustainable practices and supervision of their peers.


Number of trained student educators (2nd program):
40

Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (2nd program):
30

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (2nd program):
10

Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (2nd program):
12,000

Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (2nd program):
Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the student educators program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the student educators program’s target audience (3rd program):
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Number of trained student educators (3rd program):
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Number of weeks the student educators program is active annually (3rd program):
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Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained student educator (3rd program):
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Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (3rd program):
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Website URL where information about the student educators program is available (3rd program):
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A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs:
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Number of trained student educators (all other programs):
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Number of weeks, on average, the student educators programs are active annually (all other programs):
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Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per student educator (all other programs) :
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Total number of hours worked annually by trained student educators (all other programs):
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Grand total number of hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators (all programs):
21,360

Hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators per student served by a peer-to-peer program:
30.73

Website URL where information about the student sustainability educators programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The student count of 695 is the undergraduate FTE count for 2018-2019. There are additional students: 12 undergrads matriculated and either part-time or not enrolled and 85 graduate students enrolled in our MFA or Master in Craft Studies programs which are low-residency and do not participate in the undergraduate Community Engagement or Work Program requirements.

All undergraduate students are required to participate in the Work Program and Community Engagement. Almost every one of the 80 work crews has a number of students who assume leadership roles that include training and supervising fellow crew members. For at least half the crews, there is a designated student crew leader. For purposes of this report, .5 peer educators per crew has been estimated.

Information for this report was provided and reviewed by the VP for Applied Learning and the Associate Dean of Work.

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.