As we wind things up for the semester, I've got a pretty big portion of sustainability project left on my plate . . . just waiting for the summer. Green Mountain College is piloting AASHE's STARS program this year, and I and my summer student worker are going to wade through the Operations and Administration credits for the next couple of months. STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System), will be the standard by which sustainability in higher education is assessed, and Green Mountain College has been a part of the discussion from the start.
The pilot requires documentation of our sustainability initiatives in three main categories: Operations, Administration & Finance, and Education & Research. We will essentially complete a checklist under each of these areas and submit supporting documentation through an online reporting system. Results in the pilot phase are not made public, but when STARS is officially released reporting will result in a sustainability rating -- something that reveals our status in the higher ed. sustainability field (e.g., we're a four- or five-STAR institution).
We hope to incorporate our involvement in the pilot into course opportunities in the future, and will certainly be encouraging further student involvement in the program. Any interested students looking for summer work may wish to check out the STARS internship available at AASHE.