Dig In

Hands and Minds at Work

Located in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is a four-year, private environmental college with a singular mission: To help you become a deeply committed environmental steward in all areas of your life.

Combining rigorous academics, roll-up-your-sleeves challenges, and good old hard work, you will engage with issues such as food security, climate change, agricultural sustainability, and social justice so you can drive real, profound change in how we care for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.

That’s why we offer only five hands-on environmentally focused bachelor’s degree programs—plus one you can design yourself—because at Sterling, there is nothing more important than educating well-rounded stewards of the environment. And we do it like nobody else.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Make a Lifetime Commitment

Environmental Stewardship means working in harmony with the natural world—making sustainable choices that protect the climate, water, soil and wilderness while ensuring that our food system is healthful and just.  It also means fostering those ideals in other people of all ages and backgrounds.

At Sterling College we own this as the essential enterprise: To create with you an innovative education that inspires, challenges, and pushes you to discover your environmental stewardship vision, whether you’re conducting research in the arctic, growing food for yourself and others, drafting clean water legislation for your state, or leading a youth group on a wilderness canoe trip.

We believe this can’t be done in a classroom alone, but needs to happen at the junctures where humanity and nature meet. So get ready to get your hands dirty.

Very dirty.

Dig in to learn more about Sterling’s Environmental Stewardship education.

Visit Sterling

Schedule a Visit Today

In a world where colleges, like big box stores, look increasingly alike, Sterling is unlike any other school in the nation. Which is why you need to visit.

Breathe the fresh, mountain air on our rural Vermont campus. Watch our draft horses at work and tour our woodlands, greenhouses, classrooms, and studios. Relish a farm-to-table lunch with Sterling faculty and students.

See for yourself that it’s possible to learn in a place where you can live your values. Schedule a visit now. (And wear your work boots.)

  • “I wasn’t interested in a traditional college experience. I wanted to travel, work with my hands, and be outside. And then Sterling College came along.”

    Chiapas

    Ezra Fradkin '15

    Community and Civic Agriculture Self-Designed Major

  • Sterling College reinforced my love of hard labor and taught me to see the world with an ecologist’s eye and a naturalist’s heart.”

    Ben Matthews ’09

    B.A. Ecology. Matthew is a fish biologist for Trout Unlimited, a cold-water fisheries conservation organization.

  • “I wouldn’t have gone to college if it weren’t for Sterling. I thought college was a sham. But here you can do your own thing and take as much initiative as you want. If you put your time in and give it a whirl, you can have an amazing experience. The people who do are top in their field where they work.”

    Dan Pittenger ’10

    B.A. Conservation Biology. Pittenger went on to earna master’s degree in Hydrology and Water Resources Science from Central Washington University. He works as a wetland ecologist in Fairbanks, Alaska.

  • “Students are able to get so much out of a course of study because of the small class sizes. With a group of five, you can all crouch around a log and minutely examine decomposition in action.”

    Laura-Spence

    Laura Spence, Ph.D.

    faculty in Ecology, is a plant ecologist whose research interests focus on the interaction between plant communities and aspects of global change such as climate change and invasive species. Her research has taken her to the forests of New Zealand and the steppes of Mongolia.

  • “There is so much wildness here, from our setting to people who are having wild, inspired ideas everyday. There is room to roam here physically and intellectually.”

    Lou

    Lou Lepping ’16

    storation Ecology self-designed major

  • Global Field Studies

Newsroom

What's going on around Campus?

Study “The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” with David Asher at the School of the New American Farmstead

Home cheesemaking can seem daunting, and home cheesemaking without packaged, powdered cultures and synthetic rennets can seem well-nigh impossible. However, it is well within reach to make cheese that is…

View more

Study “Artisan Breadmaking and Heritage Grains” with Richard Miscovich

They say man does not live by bread alone, but if the bread is good enough, one could certainly try. Author, teacher, and baker Richard Miscovich will be sharing his…

View more

Dr. John Elder Named 2017 Commencement Speaker

Dr. John Elder, environmental writer, scholar, and educator, will deliver the commencement address at Sterling College’s 18th baccalaureate commencement ceremony, to be held at the College’s Houston House Gardens at…

View more

New Session Open for “Small Batch Brewing”

Poet Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Stay with the beer.” And that is exactly what we’re doing: The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new…

View more

Upcoming Events

  • Farm Crew Weekly Meeting

    February 20, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
    Walrus Caribou Room

    See more details

  • Faculty Meeting

    February 20, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Work Search class (various classrooms -- see location)

    February 20, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Simpson 3, Simpson 1, Simpson 5, Common House, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson

    See more details

  • Work Council

    February 21, 2017 @ 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Simpson 5, Reading Room, Aldo Leopold reserved for classes

    February 21, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

    See more details

  • Race: The Power of an Illusion

    February 21, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Simpson 3

    See more details

  • Roots

    February 21, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Community Meeting

    February 22, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Coyote Kids Weekly Debrief

    February 22, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Library Reading Room

    See more details

  • Women's Circle

    February 22, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    North House

    See more details

  • Mountains of California Field Semester Information meeting

    February 22, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Drive, Craftsbury, VT, United States, Walrus Caribou Room

    See more details

  • Simpson 5 Reserved

    February 22, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 5

    See more details

  • Aldo Leopold Reserved

    February 22, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    Aldo Leopold

    See more details

  • Racial Justice Task Force

    February 23, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:50 pm
    Admission Front Room

    See more details

  • Men's Circle

    February 23, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Simpson 3

    See more details

  • Writing Circle

    February 23, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Admission Front Room

    See more details

  • Simpson 5 Reserved

    February 23, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 5

    See more details

  • Mono Lake: Gem of the Eastern Sierra Nevada (with Brian Scavone)

    February 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Friends of Great Hosmer Pond

    February 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Aldo Leopold Classroom

    See more details

  • Student Activities

    February 24, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 12:50 pm
    CRC

    See more details

  • Kickboxing with Pablo

    February 24, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Simpson 3

    See more details

  • 13th the Documentary

    February 24, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Library Reading Room

    See more details

  • cultivating self awareness

    February 24, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Aldo Leopold Classroom

    See more details

  • Sterling Alumni

    90%

    meeting career goals

    Sterling provides the education and experience that prepares our graduates to lead productive lives as environmental stewards. Read More

  • Faculty:Student

    7:1

    Ratio

    You will not be a number at Sterling college. Read More

  • Campus Kitchen

    No. 1

    in the Nation

    Nationwide initiative named Sterling College as having the nation’s top local, sustainable, humane, and fair-trade collegiate food system. Read More

Powerful Outcomes

Sterling Alumni At Work

Sterling College has graduates working all over the world, contributing to a more sustainable planet as teachers, filmmakers, authors, librarians, Antarctic researchers, clinical herbalists, farmers, professors, directors of environmental organizations, tiny home builders, hard cider purveyors, park rangers, ethno biologists, ecologists, food truck entrepreneurs, nurses, and so much more.

Five years after graduation, 98% of Sterling College alumni report that they are working full- or part-time, attending graduate school, or parenting full-time.
Read more about Sterling’s environmental stewards.

Read More About Sterling Alumni
  • “I wasn’t interested in a traditional college experience. I wanted to travel, work with my hands, and be outside. And then Sterling College came along.”

    Chiapas

    Ezra Fradkin '15

    Community and Civic Agriculture Self-Designed Major

  • “After my service overseas, I wanted an education, not red tape. Sterling College worked one-on-one with me so I could design my own major in Outdoor Education with Therapeutic Applications.”

    Steve Giddens

    Steve Giddens

    Class of 2014

  • “I loved the time that I spent at Sterling College. Attending Sterling gave me first-hand experience in eating local and learning about local food economies. It was at Sterling where I discovered my intense love for Vermont and my passion for its thriving artisan food economy.”

    Sarah Carson

    2010 B.A., Sustainable Education[lsp10] , is the founder and owner of Queen City Pops, which makes handcrafted frozen chocolate truffle pops in Burlington, Vermont. Her business was a 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Food Finalist.

  • “My work program job as the farm chore supervisor and draft horse teacher’s assistant helped me realize that I love teaching others and sharing knowledge in a farm setting.”

    Julie Scott (Olsen)

    B.A. 2007 Sustainable Agriculture major, is the farm manager at the FARM Institute in Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard.

  • “Sterling taught me about a life that I had no idea existed. It also gave me the chance to understand myself and feel proud of who I am as a learner.”

    Vincent Wisniewski

    2011, B.A., Natural History Self-Designed Major, is a science educator for Alaska Geographic and he lives at Denali National Park.

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From The Blog

Study “The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” with David Asher at the School of the New American Farmstead

Home cheesemaking can seem daunting, and home cheesemaking without packaged, powdered cultures and synthetic rennets can seem well-nigh impossible. However, it is well within reach to make cheese that is…

View more

Study “Artisan Breadmaking and Heritage Grains” with Richard Miscovich

They say man does not live by bread alone, but if the bread is good enough, one could certainly try. Author, teacher, and baker Richard Miscovich will be sharing his…

View more

Dr. John Elder Named 2017 Commencement Speaker

Dr. John Elder, environmental writer, scholar, and educator, will deliver the commencement address at Sterling College’s 18th baccalaureate commencement ceremony, to be held at the College’s Houston House Gardens at…

View more