Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Laura Darrah
Assistant Director
Residence Life
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
22,562

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):
22,562

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

Name of the student educators program:
Residence Hall Sustainability Programming

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
4,347

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

Residence Life programming expectations require all residence halls to offer at least one program or event that educates residents on sustainability topics. These programs are planned and implemented by resident assistants, Residence Life student staff members who live on each floor of the residence halls. All sustainability programs are reported on monthly hall program summaries. In addition, resident assistants fill out a program worksheet describing what the program was, evaluating it, summarizing student’s response/feedback to the program, and providing attendance numbers. These worksheets are reviewed by the hall supervisor. From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 27 sustainability programs were conducted. Some programs were passive educational campaigns for an entire residence hall, but most were events students could attend. Examples of resident assistant sustainability programs include how to reuse objects (T-shirts, plastic bottles, magazines – craft projects), recycling trivia, collecting recyclables, planting plants, and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
http://www.wmich.edu/housing/about/sustainability


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

The resident assistant selection process includes an application (resume, essay questions), group interview, individual interview, and references. Successful candidates must have a 2.6 GPA, lived in the residence halls at least two semesters, have excellent interpersonal skills, demonstrated leadership potential, and be a positive role model for fellow students.


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

Resident assistants attend two weeks of training prior to the residence halls opening. Three hours during that time is allocated for programming training, which covers how to plan events, promotion, assessing resident needs, and community building. Additional time is spent in-hall with each staff to further discuss programming specific to that residence hall and developing an event calendar for the semester.


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):

Residence Life allocates each residence hall $2,500 to use for all hall programming activities. Supplies for sustainability programming come from those funds. In addition, program forms of successful past sustainability programs are available in a binder at each hall and on Google Docs for resident assistants to access for ideas.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Wesustain Internship

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
22,562

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

Wesustain Interns participate in leadership and discovery-driven learning opportunities and are paid to research and work on campus sustainability projects and policies. Interns study campus sustainability initiatives, develop presentations about sustainability programs and opportunities, and deliver office tours, campus tours, and classroom presentations for their student peers.

For example Interns reach new students annually and share information during Orientation Tours, EcoMug distribution, and numerous campus tabling and outreach events (e.g., how to recycle on campus). Interns also recruit students for events, hands-on volunteer opportunities (e.g., harvest), and our Annual Sustainability Events Series. Students working on non-motorized transportation efforts reach out and "tag" bikes with safety and bike repair opportunities in our student bicycle cooperative.

Interns advance rapidly in the Office for Sustainability, serve all students on campus numerous times per year, and become Sustainability Ambassadors. Interns often take on additional responsibilities like program management and best practice research.

Interns activities are highlighted across our social media platforms.


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

Internships are recommended for sophmores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students and they require a six month commitment of 4-8 hours per week. Internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis at the Office for Sustainability and are highly competitive. Students are encouraged to volunteer, secure a part-time position, or complete a sustainability-related course before applying for internships.


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

Each year, cohorts of Interns:

-View presentations on campus sustainability
-Participate in several group discussions per month on sustainability topics
-Review campus sustainability initiatives and ongoing projects
-Train as tour guides
-Develop shout-outs for classroom promotion and recruitment
-Complete leadership development exercises and team building outings (e.g., high ropes)
-Provide regular feedback to the Office for Sustainability through surveys and brainstorming sessions


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):

A subset of the "Green Jobs" provided through the Office for Sustainability are reserved for Wesustain Internships. More than $60,000 is available annually. Office for Sustainability full-time staff maintain office and field space for daily research, meetings, permaculture, and residential living (for Gibbs House Fellows). Staff supervise, mentor, and evaluate intern performance and recommend advanced opportunities.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
---

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

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

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

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

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):
---

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):
---

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

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.