UCCS has a number of formal community engagement initiatives. But it is our students, 42% of which are first-generation college students, who have the biggest impact on our community. The university supports programs such as the Chancellor's Leadership Class and the Pre-Collegiate Program that prepare students to become valued leaders in the Pikes Peak Region and beyond. As a result of these programs, our students teach their friends, families and neighbors not just about topics such as nursing, communication and engineering, but also about minimizing waste, recycling materials, giving back to the planet and leading lives committed to sustainable practices.
A representative from UCCS, currently the sustainability director, sits on the Sustainability Council for Colorado College. This encourages collaboration on sustainability strategies and sharing of knowledge. Additionally, UCCS works with the City of Colorado Springs Sustainability Coordinator, the Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network, and the Green Cities Coalition to promote sustainability in the Pike Peak region.
UCCS is part of a coalition of local governments, non-profits, military organizations and others to provide sustainability education and encourage action in southern Colorado. UCCS organized the academic track at the 2008 SCSC conference to highlight sustainability strategies and progress of schools in the region.
The Conference is in Colorado Springs hosted by the Catamount Institute where a different message is focused on every year. UCCS Sustainability Director, Linda Kogan, was Master of Ceremonies in 2012 focusing on all things sustainable for UCCS and the Pikes Peak Region.
In 2007, UCCS received the Community Partners Award from Fort Carson. This award recognizes individuals and organizations in the Pikes Peak region that are leading the way in successfully implementing sustainability programs. UCCS and Fort Carson have a formal agreement to collaborate on implementing sustainable practices.
The UCCS Sustainability Office provides sustainability tours for the community. Students from local high schools tour the UCCS campus specifically to learn about green buildings, the recycling program, and the organic garden. Teachers subsequently work with students to help green their schools.
In 2008, UCCS held its first Sustainability Summit. Designed to share sustainability progress with the campus and the Colorado Springs community, the summit featured community directors and city officials involved in sustainability efforts, as well as educators in the fields of climate change, renewable energy, sustainability in higher education, and global corporate citizenship.
UCCS published its first-ever Campus Sustainability Report in 2008. This document highlights some of the sustainability successes and milestones that we have achieved. Recognizing that UCCS is emerging as a leader in campus sustainability, the report is intended to inform the campus community as well as the larger Pikes Peak Region.