2-Week Intensive: January 28th - February 8th
10-Week Semester: February 11th - May 2nd
Spring Semester begins in the depths of a northern Vermont winter with the Winter Intensive, a 2-week period for in-depth examination of a single topic. Winter Ecology is traditionally a favorite intensive course for many Sterling students, while others take advantage of field study opportunities in the Bahamas or Belize.
After the intensive, the days get longer and the sun shines brighter with each new dawn. Down the hill in Craftsbury Village, Pete Johnson begins to harvest the first tender spring greens from hoop-houses heated with bio-fuel on his organic farm. Sterling students keep active with ski trips and pond hockey while looking forward to the true spring of budding trees and migrating birds.
Just as fall semester classes are often structured to maximize classroom time in the cold months of November and December, most spring semester classes save field trips for the warmer months of April and May. February and March are times to study in the Brown Library, pursue art projects in the studio, and learn wood-working skills in Paradise, the Sterling wood-shop. Before long, the sap begins to run, and students head into the sugarbush to tap the maple trees.
Sample Course Offerings
Singing up the Earth: A Pottery Intensive
This is an intensive, studio based, skill building workshop in wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques. Students should expect to spend most of their life in the studio for these two weeks, including days without class. Through daily demonstrations and individual instruction, plus plenty of practice time, students will explore and create a variety of primarily functional forms in clay. Students will keep a sketch book/ journal for self reflection, goal setting and exploration in design.
White Water Canoeing
Students improve technical paddling skills, safety judgment, and teaching techniques by challenging the turbulent spring run-off of local rivers. Teamwork is emphasized for tandem boat control and hazard avoidance. Some solo canoeing and rescue training are also involved. The course meets American Canoe Association standards for moving water and whitewater training. Fundamental skills such as understanding water dynamics, boat lean, powerful body mechanics, and efficient strokes lead to precise maneuvers including ferries, eddy turns, and peel-outs. Students must supply clothing and equipment for cold-water conditions.
Environmental Policy and Law
Explores the political structure and functions of government, examines the legislative process, and studies the evolution of important federal laws and policy. Each student investigates pending environmental legislation in a specific area of concern at both the state and federal level. Field trips consist of visits to the Vermont Legislature to discuss environmental issues and bills with legislators and lobbyists.
Ecopsychology and Outdoor Programming
This class will allow students to explore the field of ecopsychology and its application to outdoor programming; cultivate leadership and facilitation skills at an intermediate level; gain some exposure to a range of counseling approaches including adventure-based-counseling, ecotherapy, and reality therapy, improve interpersonal skills, and cultivate an open and non-hierarchical relationship with the natural world. Students can either take this class as an upper level outdoor education course, having fulfilled the prerequisites listed below, or, with the permission of the instructor, waive the prerequisites and take it to explore an area fairly new to them and to complement other areas of study. The format of this class will include explorations outdoors, extensive readings, lectures, discussions and exercises, student-led activities and presentations, two three or four-day field sections, and a solo experience.
If you would like to learn more about Sterling College and the Spring Semester make a request using our online information request form.
How to Apply?
To apply to the Spring Semester please visit our online application page.