STANDISH, Maine—Saint Joseph’s College has been recognized for its environmental responsibility by The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features Saint Joseph’s College in the 2018 edition of its book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges.
Available online since 2010, The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges is the only free, annually updated, comprehensive guide to green colleges. “To all students wanting to study and live at a green college, we strongly recommend the outstanding schools we identify and profile in this guide,” said The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Franek.
Franek noted that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. Among nearly 11,000 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2018 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 63% overall said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.” The full survey report is at: www.princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries.
Sustainability at Saint Joseph’s College encompasses human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for future generations. Building and modeling sustainability practices cultivates an ethic of sustainability among graduates and the broader campus community, reflective of the College’s core values and the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concern for Earth. All students at Saint Joseph’s are required to take a course called Ecology and the Environmental Challenge.
Through the College’s new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation (ILFSI), students can grow lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, edible flowers, and spring mix year-round in a Freight Farm—an indoor hydroponics growing facility inside the body of a freight truck. Additionally, a hydroponic greenhouse, 3,400 square foot community kitchen, and livestock barn will offer agricultural and food industry programming. ILFSI is designed to support New England’s capacity to produce at least 50% of food consumed, help double the region’s food manufacturing employment over ten years, and provide critically needed workforce training through courses and certificates in hydroponics, food manufacturing, food branding and merchandising, and agritourism.
The College recently switched from plastic straws to biodegradable straws through an agreement between Student Government, the College’s Mission-Aligned Businesses, and Sustainable Enterprises. Student Government President Ray Mosca ’19 said, “In Student Government, our primary focus is ensuring the highest quality service to the student body in all aspects of campus life. Recognizing the critical role of sustainability on campus and in the greater community, we decided that switching to biodegradable straws combined our interests of promoting high quality service with improving our environmental impact. The Student Government Board recommended this change to the Director of Mission-Aligned Business and Sustainable Enterprises, and biodegradable straws were soon implemented into regular dining services operations. Across the country, companies such as Starbucks, Hyatt, and American Airlines have abandoned plastic straws to find more sustainable alternatives. We wanted to bring this national trend home to Saint Joseph’s, leading the way for colleges in Maine.”
In an effort to reduce single-use cups, Brewed Awakenings (a coffee station located in Alfond Hall) now offers free coffee to students and employees who bring their own reusable cups. Members of the College community are encouraged to participate in the statewide Way 2 Go Maine Commuter Challenge to utilize carpooling, ride-sharing, and human-powered forms of commuting.
Many of these efforts have been supported by the College’s Center for Sustainable Communities, which partnered with several departments across campus throughout October in honor of Sustainability Month. The Center’s overarching goals include: achieve carbon neutrality by 2036; promote a culture of sustainability among students, faculty, staff, administration, and surrounding communities; establish the campus as a living laboratory for sustainable solutions; inform effective and inclusive sustainability-focused decision making on campus and in the community; and lead through innovation.
Saint Joseph’s College was also recently recognized this fall by SIERRA, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, as a 2018 “Cool School.” To participate in the 2018 rankings, educational institutions needed to have at least a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Saint Joseph’s College has earned a STARS Silver rating from AASHE, which provides a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. SIERRA used several other measurements to determine their ratings; visit their website to learn more: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/cool-schools-2018/cool-school-2018-methodology.
How the Top 50 Green Colleges List Was Done
The Princeton Review developed the ranking list using data from its institutional survey for its Green Rating and its surveys of student attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.
About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation, tutoring, and college admission services company (www.princetonreview.com). Every year, it helps millions of college and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The company is a subsidiary of ST Unitas, a global education technology company. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com.
About Saint Joseph’s College
Founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Maine, Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s Catholic liberal arts College with a commitment to sustainability and wellness. The 474-acre campus, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and a nationally renown Division III athletic program to a population of approximately 1,000 on-campus students. The College provides certificates and undergraduate and advanced degrees for thousands more working adults who reside throughout the United States and in more than 20 other countries through an online learning program. In 2015 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized the College’s focus on community service through its mission and daily interactions with local, regional, and global communities with the Community Engagement Classification. Learn more at: www.sjcme.edu.
About the Center for Sustainable Communities at Saint Joseph’s College
The Center for Sustainable Communities at Saint Joseph’s College fosters innovation and leadership through the intersection of social justice and sustainability by integrating principles of social, environmental, and economic sustainability into campus operations, academics, engagement, and policy and administration. For more information about the Center for Sustainable Communities, visit https://www.sjcme.edu/centers/sustainable-communities/ or contact CSC Engagement Coordinator Kimberly Post at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-893-7789.
Used with permission. ©2018 TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.