When Campus Becomes A Classroom

With the Campus As A Classroom program, the University Sustainability Office connects NC State students with sustainability-focused experiential learning opportunities on campus. This year the program provided 91 students with professional experience that support the university’s sustainability goals while fostering collaboration between students, faculty and staff.

Internships

The Campus As A Classroom internship program is a collaboration of NC State departments that propose and lead sustainability-focused internship projects on campus. The 2023-2024 academic year featured 19 campus projects and 28 student interns, who worked between 6-15 hours weekly during the fall and spring semesters while also participating in a cohort experience to develop professional skills. Projects ranged from developing pollinator spaces on campus to microbial research of compost from the NC State Compost Facility and Research Center.

Campus As A Classroom Fall 2023 cohort photo, group of students showing wolfies hand gesture in front of a red wall
2023-2024 Cohort of Campus As A Classroom Interns

By The Numbers

28 undergraduate student interns representing 6 academic colleges

7 campus divisions hosted internships

5,940 hours worked by student interns

100% of interns would recommend the program to others

As the program enters its fourth year, it aims to expand to over 30 internships. Applications open in late June and close in mid-July. 

Courses

Energy Management engineer Raheem Ariwoola
mentors graduate students as part of a power systems course
exploring battery storage.

In addition to internships, the ‚ÄúCourse‚ÄĚ pathway through Campus As A Classroom provides on-campus sustainability projects within the classroom setting. Typically completed by students in capstone and senior design courses, these projects are led by an NC State faculty or staff member. The Sustainability Office works to archive this interdisciplinary work and connects campus partners with potential sustainability projects suitable for coursework.

Coursework examples include optimizing a new battery for energy and cost savings at Partners I and creating a mobile-friendly GIS map for campus tree tours. During the 2023-2024 academic year, 12 projects were completed by 63 students across 7 different courses, with the support of 9 faculty or staff mentors.

Cumulative Impact

In its first three years, Campus As A Classroom has facilitated 62 projects and engaged 169 students, providing experiential learning opportunities that not only support the university‚Äôs sustainability goals but also foster a vibrant community of collaboration and innovation across campus. 

Learn more about Campus As A Classroom and browse the project archive online at https://sustainability.ncsu.edu/campus-as-a-classroom/