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?

Christina Goodwin ’02

Christina Goodwin ’02 is the Executive Director for Home Share Now, Central Vermont’s only home sharing program. She took time out of her busy schedule to talk about Ned Houston,…

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Introduction to Teamster Skills at Sterling College

The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering the course “Introduction to Teamster Skills: Working Horses and Cattle” for those interested in exploring the advantages of…

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Vicki Strong ’76

Vicki Strong ’76 has been a member of the House of Representatives in Vermont for seven years, representing the Orleans-Caledonia district. She graciously talked to Sterling in between Legislature meetings…

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Study “Wild Mead” with Jereme Zimmerman

  Mead was believed by the ancients to be the drink of the gods. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering the course “Wild Mead:…

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Upcoming Events

  • Work Program Applications due 5pm

    April 24, 2017

    See more details

  • Farm Crew Weekly Meeting

    April 24, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
    Walrus Caribou Room

    See more details

  • Faculty Meeting

    April 24, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Common House

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

    April 24, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Simpson 3, Simpson 1, Simpson 5, Common House, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson

    See more details

  • Performance Ecology Performance

    April 24, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Roundtable with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman

    April 25, 2017 @ 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
    CRC

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  • Community Council

    April 25, 2017 @ 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
    Common House

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  • Eliminating Racism

    April 25, 2017 @ 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm
    Admission Front Room

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

    April 25, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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  • Roots

    April 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Common House

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  • Study Social

    April 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

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  • Black Lives Matter Solidarity Teach-In

    April 26, 2017

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  • Craftsbury Preschool visit to the farm

    April 26, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 11:30 am
    Coyote Kids spot

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  • Community Meeting

    April 26, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

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  • RFC Instructional Team Meeting

    April 26, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    Rachel Carson

    See more details

  • Coyote Kids Weekly Debrief

    April 26, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Library Reading Room

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  • Simpson 3 & 1 reserved

    April 26, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Simpson 3 & 1

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  • Women's Circle

    April 26, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    North House

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  • Faculty Presentation

    April 26, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Common House

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  • Rural Vermont Event

    April 26, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 3 & Simpson 1

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  • RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Class

    April 26, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Common House

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  • Simpson 5 Reserved

    April 26, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 5

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  • Alliance

    April 26, 2017 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
    Admission Front Room

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  • Racial Justice Task Force

    April 27, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Admission Front Room

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  • Men's Circle

    April 27, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Simpson 3

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  • Writing Circle

    April 27, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Admission Front Room

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  • Simpson 5 Reserved

    April 27, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Simpson 5

    See more details

  • Homing: Chris Estrada's Senior Project Presentation

    April 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Aldo Leopold

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  • Wood & Art Show

    April 28, 2017

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  • Wolcott Preschool Visit to Sterling Farm

    April 28, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
    Sterling Farm

    See more details

  • Student Activities

    April 28, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 12:50 pm
    CRC

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  • Common House Reserved

    April 28, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    See more details

  • Faculty Presentation

    April 28, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Common House

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  • Community Dinner

    April 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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  • Open Mic

    April 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Aldo Leopold

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  • Wood & Art Show

    April 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Simpson 3

    See more details

  • Substance Awareness Circle

    April 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Library Reading Room

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  • Last Hurrah! Music Event

    April 28, 2017 @ 9:00 pm - April 29, 2017 1:00 am
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

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  • Sterling Skyrunners to COA for weekend

    April 29, 2017 - April 30, 2017

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  • Senior Symposium II

    April 29, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
    Common House

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  • Rock Climbing

    April 29, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

    See more details

  • Congolese Dance and Drumming Workshop

    April 29, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    Simpson 3

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  • Last Hurrah!

    April 29, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - April 30, 2017 12:30 am
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Last Hurrah! Music Event

    April 28, 2017 @ 9:00 pm - April 29, 2017 1:00 am
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, Craftsbury, VT 05826, USA

    See more details

  • Sterling Skyrunners to COA for weekend

    April 29, 2017 - April 30, 2017

    See more details

  • New Jim Crow Readers Forum

    April 30, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Common House

    See more details

  • Last Hurrah!

    April 29, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - April 30, 2017 12:30 am
    Dunbar Dining Room, Sterling Dr, 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

    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.

Social Media

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Latest
From The Blog

Christina Goodwin ’02

Christina Goodwin ’02 is the Executive Director for Home Share Now, Central Vermont’s only home sharing program. She took time out of her busy schedule to talk about Ned Houston,…

View more

Why Wilderness? 5 Reasons to Enroll in Global Field Studies

  What is it about wilderness field studies that facilitates a transformative experience?  Why do students repeatedly return from such experiences rejuvenated and restored?  How do wilderness field programs take…

View more

We Shall Not Be Moved: A Case for Direct Action

We are living in an important era: and with opponents like climate catastrophe and white supremacy to overcome, escalated and transformative peaceful resistance is crucial. Nonviolent direct action (NVDA)  seeks…

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