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-Carson

    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
  • 2

Newsroom

What's going on around Campus?

Sierra Cool Schools Ranks Sterling College First in Sustainable Food and Dining

Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools Ranks Sterling College #1 for Sustainable Food and Dining and one of the “Greenest Colleges” in the United States Sierra Magazine’s 2016 “Cool Schools” ranking serves…

View more

FAFSA Finish Week – At Sterling College Offers Help, Scholarships

According to a recent analysis by NerdWallet, high school graduates missed out on as much as $2.7 billion in free federal grant money during the past academic year. The reason…

View more

Sterling College Is a Sierra Magazine Top “Cool School” for Sustainability

Sterling College ranks #23 out of 202 institutions Sterling College has been committed to reshaping humanity’s relationship with the natural world through the liberal arts for nearly a half century….

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Sterling College’s Campus Pride Index Rating Climbs to Four Stars

Four Stars LGBTQ-Friendly Campus Sterling College has earned 4 stars for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ)-friendly campus from Campus Pride—up from 3.5 stars in 2015. The nonprofit…

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Upcoming Events

  • Farm Crew weekly meeting

    September 26, 2016 @ 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
    CRC

    See more details

  • RFC Instructional team meeting

    September 26, 2016 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
    Rachel Carson Room, Mager

    See more details

  • Learning Support Team

    September 26, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Life in the Malaysian rainforest: Batek hunter-gatherers in a changing world

    September 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Simpson Hall, Common Loop, Craftsbury, VT, United States, Classroom 3

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    September 27, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Haircuts in the foyer!

    September 27, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    the foyer

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  • The New Jim Crow Book Discussion Group- continued

    September 27, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson Hall, Common Loop, Craftsbury, VT, United States, Classroom 3

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  • Keen Live Monumental Film Showing and RAFFLE

    September 27, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Common House

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  • Academic Council

    September 28, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
    Rachel Carson

    See more details

  • Community Meeting

    September 28, 2016 @ 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    See more details

  • Simpson 3 Reserved for FSE

    September 28, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

    See more details

  • Common House reserved for Whole Communities

    September 28, 2016 @ 2:45 pm - 4:15 pm

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    September 28, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Community Council

    September 28, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Student Activities Fund Meeting

    September 29, 2016 @ 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm
    CRC

    See more details

  • Farm Planning Meeting

    September 29, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    September 29, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Simpson 3 Reserved for CA/WA training

    September 29, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 3

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    September 29, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Jefferson Dormitory

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • CQ Strategy Consultation

    September 30, 2016

    See more details

  • Stretching and Breathing

    September 30, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Screening for Tofowa Pyle's independent study

    September 30, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Mager Hall, North Craftsbury Road, Craftsbury, VT, United States, Aldo Leopold Classroom

    See more details

  • Art House installing new show in Common House

    October 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
    Common House

    See more details

  • Learning Support

    October 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Brown Library, N Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    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

    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

    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-Profile-Pic

    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

Sierra Cool Schools Ranks Sterling College First in Sustainable Food and Dining

Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools Ranks Sterling College #1 for Sustainable Food and Dining and one of the “Greenest Colleges” in the United States Sierra Magazine’s 2016 “Cool Schools” ranking serves…

View more

FAFSA Finish Week – At Sterling College Offers Help, Scholarships

According to a recent analysis by NerdWallet, high school graduates missed out on as much as $2.7 billion in free federal grant money during the past academic year. The reason…

View more

Alumnus Michael Seamans ’02: Photojournalist

Michael Seamans ’02 was at the front lines of the Ebola crisis in 2014, when he was in Sierra Leone to report on infant mortality rate. The birthing clinic he…

View more