Pennsylvania State University


Pennsylvania State University
Sustainable Communities Collaborative
Case Type
University Program
School Size
Greater than 40,000
Focus Areas
Democratic Governance, Economic and Social Inclusion, Environment Sustainability
Agricultural Sciences, Architecture, Art, Business, Communications, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Human Resources, Information Technology, Law, Transportation

Sustainable Communities Collaborative

Website |

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) connects university faculty, students, and staff with local communities to address sustainability challenges through an engaged, collaborative effort to meet the partnering community’s sustainability priorities. In 2017-18, five additional campuses (Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, and Brandywine) have launched Sustainable Communities Collaborative initiatives, with further expansion planned for the coming year.

In 2017/18, at its main campus location, almost 500 students collaborated with a 17 community and 9 University partners on 46 distinct projects. Projects centered on sustainability issues ranging from waste minimization, renewable energy, sustainable food systems, storm-water mitigation, active transportation, to ecosystem services and equity and empowerment. Students represented eight colleges and a wide variety of majors, including communication, labor & employer relations, graphic design, architecture, environmental engineering, information sciences, nutrition, plant sciences, geography, energy engineering, community & economic development, and recreation, park & tourism management. Since the program’s inception in 2013-14, over 1,500 Penn State students have participated.

Year Program Established | 2013-14
Country | US
Federal Region of Program | 3

Public or Private Institution | Public
Number of students at institution | 98,000

Highlight Articles/Videos

Sustainable Communities Collaborative

PSU Infographic cropped.jpg

City Partners

Based on Pennsylvania’s government structure and the rural nature of many communities, SCC works with multiple local governments, as well as non-profits and school districts each year. SCC partners include the boroughs of State College, Bellefonte, Muncy, and Huntingdon, local townships, counties, and the Centre Region Council of Governments.

Contact Info

Ilona Ballreich
Program Manager
(814) 865-2291

Paul Shrivastava, Ph.D.
Chief Sustainability Officer, The Pennsylvania State University
Director, Sustainability Institute

Sustainability Institute
106 Land and Water Research Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-7488