Public Engagement


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.

2359 resources

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
  • View more

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
  • View more

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
  • View more

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
  • View more

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 ...

Mobilizing the power of higher education to tackle the grand challenge of sustainability: Lessons from novel initiatives

  • University of Arizona (AZ)
  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)
  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)
  • Dartmouth College (NH)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • University of Maine (ME)

Leaders from a half-dozen U.S. academic institutions with dedicated sustainability programs share five recommendations, distilled from their own experiences, for universities seeking to improve their ability to both create ...

Portland State University hosts Earth Day festival

  • Portland State University (OR)

Students hosted the ninth annual Earth Day festival in the PSU park blocks. The event included a free tea station, clothing swap, free seeds, and informational tables. Educational events were ...

  • Posted April 29, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

Sustainable Stanford Earth Day Photos

  • Stanford University (CA)

On April 19, 2016, Stanford’s academic, student, local community and leadership came together to celebrate our university’s history of sustainability discovery, innovations and application.

Knowledge to Action was ...

  • Posted April 29, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

Princeton University's Earth Day Celebration

  • Princeton University (NJ)

The Princeton University community came together to celebrate the earth with food, informational booths, performances and more! The event was organized by the student group, Green Princeton.

  • Posted April 29, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CA)

The Lyle Center is committed to a future in which all people live with dignity in safe, healthy, and sustainable environments. We believe this future is best achieved through the ...

  • Posted April 29, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
  • View more

Frostburg State University Earth Day Events

  • Frostburg State University (MD)

Frostburg State University celebrates Earth Day each year with a variety of free events presented as "Focus Frostburg." In 2016, events included film presentations, tree plantings, sustainability presentations by students ...

  • Posted April 29, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

University of Washington Earth Day

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

The UW Earth Day celebrations brought students, faculty, staff and community members together to celebrate the environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts across our UW campuses. Groups shared information about their ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

Seattle University - Sustainability Video

  • Seattle University (WA)

Published on Jun 9, 2014

As a Jesuit institution, Seattle University is called to ground its teaching, research and service in social and environmental justice. Sustainability is a way of ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Videos & Webinars
  • View more

Developing an Interdisciplinary Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

With funding to increase support for organic farming research at land grant universities, organic growers have collaborated with faculty and administrators to develop an undergraduate, interdisciplinary minor at the University ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Publications
  • View more

Evaluation of the Food Store Environment on and Near the Campus of 15 Postsecondary Institutions

  • University of Florida (FL)
  • Tuskegee University (AL)
  • Kansas State University (KS)
  • Purdue University (IN)
  • South Dakota State University (SD)
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Central Office (NJ)
  • Syracuse University (NY)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • West Virginia University (WV)
  • University of Maine (ME)

Purpose. This study evaluated the food stores on and near postsecondary campuses varying in institutional size.

Design. The design of the study is an environmental audit survey.

Setting. Fifteen U ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Publications
  • View more

Sustainable food systems at urban public universities: A survey of 21 universities

  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Wayne State College (NE)

Urban communities are challenged by the conventional food system in diverse ways. To mitigate these challenges, a growing sustainable food system (SFS) movement mobilizes existing resources—including public institutions—to ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Publications
  • View more

Applying Anthropology to the Campus Dining System: Reflections on Working with Community Food Assessments and the Real Food Challenge

  • Oregon State University (OR)

When the Oregon Food Bank began conducting Community Food Assessments in 2009, they enlisted graduate students in Oregon State University's (OSU) applied anthropology program to examine the impact of ...

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Publications
  • View more

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).


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 (EAUC)

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Business Affiliate

Rivanna Natural Designs

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