Cougar Changemakers

Program Overview

The Cougar Changemaker Program aims to empower the campus community to create innovative sustainability initiatives through an accessible and well-supported changemaking framework.

We're looking for projects that seek to make the College of Charleston campus more sustainable. Each semester, we can provide funding for up to $5,000! The money comes from the $10 Green Fee that is included in students’ tuition. This is an amazing opportunity to make a positive local impact and boost your résumé. 

While there are strict deadlines for submission each semester, students can feel free to submit a proposal at any time and it will be reviewed with the proposals for the following semester.

The Process

Aren’t interested in putting together a proposal but want to submit an idea? Need an idea? We have an IDEA BANK for that! Submit ideas here or check out the list for inspiration here.


1) INTEREST FORM - due September 26th, 2022 

Applicants will be assigned a Case Manager from the Changemaker Committee to review interest forms and communicate directly with teams to provide feedback and assist in the creation of the full proposal.

2) FULL PROPOSAL - due November 9th, 2022 

Complete proposal document and submit via email to case manager with a cc to the committee chair and

3) Projects will be reviewed by the Cougar Changemaker Committee and assessed using a rubric.

4) Winning proposals will be announced before the end of the semester they are submitted in!

5) Projects will be implemented by the Cougar Changemaker Implementation Intern with assistance from the proposal team members, as appropriate.

**Before submitting anything, be sure to check out a list of existing programs at CofC here!

Project Requirements

  • Project must be student-led. Faculty and staff may serve only as mentors.
  • We cannot fund: travel expenses, off-campus projects, or revenue generating projects.
  • Must include a method for educating students about the existence of the project and its ties to sustainability.
  • Implementation must be feasible for our campus. All steps of the project should be described is as much detail as possible. 
  • Funds requested must be reasonable and equal to or less than $5,000.
  • The proposed project must be a novel idea and cannot be a continuation of an existing program. 
  • An individual can only have one funded project at a time. Once it has been implemented, another project of that student's will be eligible for funding. Students can submit unlimited proposals.
  • All funds must follow the South Carolina state procurement guidelines.

Cougar Changemaker Student Committee

The Cougar Changemaker Committee is a diverse group of five to seven students led by the Committee Chair, who is an intern at the Center for Sustainable Development. The Sustainability Director serves in an advisory capacity to the committee. The committee reviews the project proposals and collectively decides which will receive funding. Since the members have a wide range of academic and personal interests, the committee can utilize unique perspectives and expertise in assisting applicants during the formulation of their proposals. Members serve for at least one semester.

Benefits of serving on the committee include: free merch from the CSD, an amazing résumé boost, experience with collaborative team building and decision making, introduction to the CSD if you’re interested in becoming an intern.

Interested in joining? We would love to have you! Applications are available for the 22-23 academic year on a rolling basis and can be found on Handshake (Job#6669089).

Funded Project Highlights


A list of accepted projects including the Little Free Library box installed outside the CSD

Little Free Library

Funded Spring 2021

The Little Free Library was installed outside the Center for Sustainable Development (207 Calhoun Street) and is available for students to provide or take books as they please! It promotes the reuse of books and learning for students who may not otherwise have access to them.

A list of accepted projects including a composting pilot program

Residential Composting Pilot Program

Funded Spring 2021

The College partnered with Compost Now to provide an optional composting program for the students in Warren Residence Hall. This company provides compost bins to monthly subscribers, collects the compost from the subscriber on a weekly basis, and returns a clean bin.


A list of accepted projects including the rain barrel at 26 & 45 Coming Street

Rain Barrels

Funded Spring 2021

Two rain barrels were installed at 26 Coming Street and 45 Coming Street. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater, then allows you to repurpose the rainwater and dispense it accordingly. These can reduce excess stormwater buildup that causes erosion and flooding, as well as save money on water bills. 

A list of accepted projects including nitrile glove recycling

Nitrile Glove Recycling

Funded Fall 2019

Nitrile glove recycling stations were created in labs around the School of Sciences and Math Building to keep them out of the landfill.


Important Documents





Updated: October 2022