Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.57
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Michigan University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Shawn Tenney
Director of Service-Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Several colleges incorporate social sustainability by providing services to nonprofit organizations at no charge. For example, the College of Health and Human Services students and faculty extend the energy of the college and Western Michigan University through significant community engagement and service. With required internships, field placements and clinical rotations alone, faculty supervised College of Health and Human Services students provide more than 450,000 hours of service annually to children and families in the community and region. Substantial volunteerism increases this positive impact. For example, the School of Social Work offers a community organizing course in which students serve as block organizers. The project is a collaborative effort of community organizations, including Building Blocks of Kalamazoo (BBC), to involve local residents in the physical and social revitalization of their neighborhoods, strengthening social bonds and increasing participation in the development of their own communities.

Utilizing grants and organizing support from the BBC, students organize neighborhood residents and help facilitate planning and implementation of a broad range of repair and beautification projects such as painting, landscaping and minor repairs.

Residents volunteer their labor and work together to improve not only their own homes, but also their neighbors’ homes. They also volunteer their time preparing food, supervising, or volunteering their homes for meeting space. Most importantly, through cooperation and involvement in the project activities, residents bond with each other and ensure a sense of commitment to their street and neighborhood association.

As resident leaders emerge throughout the activities, students become facilitators and residents assume primary responsibility for completing project tasks, including recruitment, planning, choosing project activities, making arrangements for food, materials, and supplies.

The website URL where information about the immersive program(s) is available:

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.