Public Engagement

Introduction

Engagement in community problem-solving is fundamental to sustainability. By engaging with community members and organizations in the governmental, non-profit and for-profit sectors, institutions can help solve sustainability challenges. Community engagement can help students develop leadership skills while deepening their understandings of practical, real-world problems and the process of creating solutions.

2122 resources

Smokey's Pantry: A FISH Hospitality Pantry

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

Erica Davis, a senior at the University of Tennessee, spearheaded a food recovery project called Smokey’s Pantry. This project provided groceries recovered from various sources and distributed them to ...


American Chestnut Partnership

  • Unity College (ME)

Unity College has partnered with the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation to help restore the iconic American Chestnut in Maine.


Finding Heart: Generating and Maintaining Hope and Agency through Sustainability Education

  • Colorado Mountain College (CO)

In his landmark book Native Science (2000), indigenous educator Gregory Cajete eloquently articulates the motivations and questions that drive this study. For Cajete, effective education of our time entails “finding ...


Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level

This book discusses the role of ESD stakeholders at university level, involving civil society and the private sector and public sectors (including local, national and intergovernmental bodies). In particular, it ...


The Transition to Resilience: A Comparative Case Study of Two Communities

  • Berea College (KY)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Kentucky (KY)

This dissertation examines the question of how communities understand their risk related to global economic and environmental problems and how communities respond to those risks. Specifically, using comparative case study ...


Gaucho Certified Farmers Market

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

In the Fall of 2014, myself and a group of 5 other faculty members founded the first ever successful farmers market on the UC Santa Barbara campus.

The project was ...


SRU Earth Days 2016

  • Slippery Rock University (PA)

“Earth Days 2016” was Slippery Rock University’s annual Earth Day celebration involving fun and educational events aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge regarding sustainability, climate change, and preserving resources ...


The role of students in the co-creation of transformational knowledge and sustainability experiments: Experiences from Sweden, Japan and the USA

  • Clark University (MA)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Tokyo
  • Lund University

Accompanying realizations that engagement of multiple societal sectors (academia, industry, government, citizenry) and disciplines are required for formulating effective responses to complex sustainability challenges, calls for new forms of knowledge ...


IT’S YOUR NATURE: The Art of Sustainability

  • University of Dayton (OH)

IT'S YOUR NATURE: The Art of Sustainability was a year-long initiative using the arts to connect our campus with new ways of thinking about the environment and sustainability. Utilizing ...


Community Garden 2.0 – transcending silos on campus and in the community

  • Northern Kentucky University (KY)

Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has joined forces with local stakeholders to create a network of community gardens on campus and within the surrounding community. The network is comprised of fifty ...


Compact Advanced Facility for Conversion of Waste Cooking Oil to Biodiesel to power the University Bus system

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The University Bus system is powered by a Biodiesel mixture. The project investigated feasibility of generating its own Biodiesel from the waste cooking oil generated by the dining facilities and ...


Future sustainability scenarios for universities: moving beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

As achievements of the completed United Nations Decade (2005-2014) of Education for Sustainable Development are contemplated globally, along with potential steps forward for the future, Member States have urged that ...


Learning while transforming: solution-oriented learning for urban sustainability in Phoenix, Arizona

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Conventional educational settings struggle with enabling students to acquire competence in collectively solving sustainability problems. Such competence is best conveyed in real-world learning settings. Solution-oriented sustainability learning (SOSL) programs create ...


Implementing sustainability education with undergraduate business courses, A case study

  • Alfred State College (NY)

The purpose of this submission is to discuss experiential learning related to strategic management and environmental sustainability. The paper outlines one case of implementing project-based sustainability education within the BUAD ...


Presidents’ Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education

  • Campus Compact (MA)

The purpose of this statement is to articulate the commitment of all sectors of higher education, public and private, two- and four-year, to their civic purposes and to identify the ...


Anchor Institutions Toolkit: A guide for neighborhood revitalization

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

This is a Toolkit for Anchor Institutions to use as a guide to rebuild, revitalize, strengthen and improve their local communities.

Each of the tools in this kit was developed ...


Netter Center for Community Partnerships

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Founded in 1992, the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships is Penn’s primary vehicle for bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve ...

  • Posted May 23, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)
  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

A growing number of universities are dedicating resources to support their surrounding communities, but much potential for advancement remains. A university’s mission as an “anchor institution,” as defined by ...


Calling the Question: Is Higher Education Ready to Commit to Community Engagement?

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

This document reflects the collaborative work of the assembled participants of the 2004 Wingspread conference: Institutionalizing University Engagement. It notes that, despite a decade of calls to action, engagement has ...


Personal values and attitudes towards societal and environmental accountability: a study of MBA students

Efforts to promote corporate societal and environmental accountability (SEA) should be informed by an understanding of stakeholders’ attitudes toward enhanced accountability standards. However, little is known regarding current attitudes on ...


Carbon On-Setting: Community Impact through Home Weatherization in Greenville, SC

  • Furman University (SC)

The Community Conservation Corps (CCC), a program of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University, provides free home weatherization to low-income homeowners in the greater Greenville, South ...


Tufts University Earth Fest Celebration

  • Tufts University (MA)

The Tufts community came out to celebrate our planet on Earth Day with Tufts Sustainability Collective (TSC) and the Tufts Eco Reps! A clothing swap, food, prizes, music and a ...


Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement describes the contradictions, unrealized potential, and unrecognized urgency of the causes as well as the risks and rewards of ...


Centre for Sustainability Management

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

The Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) conducts research, teaching and continuous education in the fields of entrepreneurial sustainability management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social entrepreneurship. With a strong focus ...

  • Posted May 12, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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University of Toronto Community Connects With Nature

  • University of Toronto (ON)

Many people think that to explore nature you need to get in a car and drive for an hour. For U of T staff and students, it was a 15-minute ...


An integrated approach to achieving campus sustainability: assessment of the current campus environmental management practices

  • King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

Universities can nowadays be regarded as ‘small cities’ due to their large size, population, and the various complex activities taking place in campuses, which have some serious direct and indirect ...


The Sustainable University: Progress and prospects

  • University of Plymouth (Devon)

The direction of higher education is at a crossroads against a background of mounting sustainability-related issues and uncertainties. This book seeks to inspire positive change in higher education by exploring ...


Vassar College and Earth Month!

  • Vassar College (NY)

The Environmental Cooperative was launched by Vassar College in 2015 to bring together regional environmental organizations, community groups, educators, the Vassar College community, and residents to increase our impact and ...


We Are All In This Together: Arbor Day Tree Planting

  • Roosevelt University (IL)

Arbor Day Observance in which kids from Bright Horizons Daycare (located on Roosevelt University's (RU) Schaumburg Campus), and RU tradesmen, staff, and students, and RU's arborist planted a ...


Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action

Education in America must prepare all students for informed participation in civic and democratic life—so that all Americans are ready to tackle the challenges confronting communities and the nation ...


Democracy Matters: A Guide to Non-Statutory Barriers to College Student Voting

  • Tufts University (MA)

Campus climates for political engagement matter, but if students face technical barriers to voting, they may get frustrated and not bother. This guide describes the sometimes-hidden barriers students face and ...


Institute for Democracy and Higher Education

  • Tufts University (MA)

The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) is dedicated to shifting college and university priorities, practices, and culture to strengthen democracy and advance social and political equity. The Institute ...

  • Posted May 6, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Colorado State Earth Day Festival

  • Colorado State University (CO)

On April 22, 2016 Colorado State held an Earth Day Festival to engage the campus community in activites related to sustainability. It was a gorgeous day & we had lots ...


2016 Earth Week at UC Berkeley

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

The culmination of UC Berkeley student sustainability actions is most prominent during UC Berkeley’s annual Earth Week celebration. UC Berkeley students have designated Earth Week as the time to ...


Austin College GreenServe 2016

  • Austin College (TX)

This year Austin College celebrates another successful GreenServe - a student organized and campus wide event that reaches to support and encourage environmental responsibility as well as sustainability. Volunteers contributed roughly ...


Earth Day at University of Maryland

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

Students at the University of Maryland hosted the annual Earth Day Festival at the Stamp Student Union on Friday, April 22. This year's theme for the event was social ...


Lehigh University Earth Day 2016

  • Lehigh University (PA)

Lehigh University celebrated Earth Day by hosting a couple of weeks of educational and engaging events. This year Earth Week at Lehigh was from April 12 to April 30. Faculty ...


UNL Earth Day: Sustainability Is...

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

We asked our students to define "What sustainability is?" for them during the Earth Day Celebration at the green space here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The attached picture is ...


University of Virginia Earth Week

  • University of Virginia (VA)

The University of Virginia Earth Week is a UVA tradition that celebrates the planet we all share. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to experience sustainability at any ...


Sustainable Development Goals

  • State University of New York at Fredonia (NY)

For this project, my objective was to initially get my campus to adopt the United Nation's Sustainable Development goals. I didn't have any expectations as to how the ...


The Essential and Growing Role of Legal Education in Achieving Sustainability

  • Widener University (PA)

This article suggests that law schools need to play a leading role in the national and global effort to achieve sustainability, including the effort to address climate change. The article ...


Legal Education for Sustainability: A Report on US Progress

  • Widener University (PA)

This article is an overview of sustainability efforts in US law schools. It describes two sets of drivers for these efforts—inside and outside the legal profession. Drivers from within ...


University of New Hampshire Dumpster Dive

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

The “Earth Day Dumpster Dive,” was organized by the UNH Sustainability Institute and the Zero Waste Task Force and sought to examine the waste habits of the campus community in ...


UConn Earth Day Spring Fling & Arbor Day

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

Students gather on Fairfield Way for UConn’s annual Earth Day Spring Fling.


Above the din but in the fray: environmental scientists as effective advocates

  • University of Georgia (GA)
  • Environmental Defense Fund (DC)

Environmental policies and actions can be improved when environmental scientists engage in science-based advocacy, by calling attention to relevant scientific information and ensuring that policies and their implementation are consistent ...


The engaged university: providing a platform for research that transforms society

  • National Science Foundation
  • USDA (IL)
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Campus (NJ)
  • Georgetown University (DC)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)
  • University of Maine (ME)
  • Florida International University (FL)
  • New York University (NY)

Despite a growing recognition that the solutions to current environmental problems will be developed through collaborations between scientists and stakeholders, substantial challenges stifle such cooperation and slow the transfer of ...


Strengthening the role of universities in addressing sustainability challenges: the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions as an institutional experiment

  • University of Maine (ME)

As the magnitude, complexity, and urgency of many sustainability problems increase, there is a growing need for universities to contribute more effectively to problem solving. Drawing upon prior research on ...


You say you want a revolution? Transforming education and capacity building in response to global change

  • Stellenbosch University (Western Cape)
  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • University of Dundee
  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (CO)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Oslo
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology

This paper considers the changes in education and capacity building that are needed in response to environmental and social challenges of the 21st Century. We argue that such changes will ...


Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

  • University of Maine (ME)

Producing knowledge and linking it to actions that meet human needs while preserving the planet’s life-support systems is emerging as one of the most fundamental and difficult challenges for ...

  • Posted May 2, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse

  • University of Michigan (MI)

The May 2015 Michigan Meeting, hosted by the University of Michigan, explored the changing role of the university and what it means to be an academic in a society facing ...

This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Public Engagement Partners

Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Business Affiliate

Fostering Sustainability

Toronto, ON
Business Affiliate

Global Footprint Network

Oakland, CA
Business Affiliate

Rivanna Natural Designs

Richmond, VA
Business Affiliate
Planet-friendly awards and plaques. FSC-Certified wood, recycled glass