SS300: Practicum in Environmental Stewardship (4-6 credits)

While the structure of an academic internship can vary, a typical academic internship:

  • Comprises at least 10-weeks of full-time work (during summer, fall, or spring session)
  • Is situated at an approved internship site
  • Is structured around individual learning objectives created by the student and based on job responsibilities and host resources
  • Includes a focused project through which the student identifies a problem or need, and works to develop and implement a solution that serves the organization or business
  • Asks students to reflect on their learning through regular written reports
  • Creates a structure through which students receive regular feedback on their work and progress toward their learning objectives from both their supervisor and Sterling faculty


“[My goal is to] gain as much knowledge as I can and pick their brains as much as I can.”
Jeremy Parnick ’15, on his internship with St. Johnsbury Parks and Recreation


Examples of recent academic internship sites:

VT Department of Forest, Parks, & Recreation (Morrisville, VT)
Trout Unlimited (Concord, NH)
Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA)
CaribShare (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)
Riverhaven Farm (Lyndon, WA)
Sustainable Highland Park (Highland Park, NJ)
Marshfield School of Weaving (Marshfield, VT)

Wolfe’s Neck Farm (Freeport, ME)
Tillers International (Scotts, MI)
Boy Scouts of America, Camp Barton (Trumansburg, NY)
Kroka Expeditions (Marlow, NH)
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (Minneapolis, MN)
Heartbeet Lifesharing (Hardwick, VT)
Hawthorne Valley Farm (Ghent, NY)


Students develop job application and workplace skills (including resumes and cover letters, and interview strategies, and cultivating effective working relationships with supervisors) through Sterling’s Work Program, supported by a student’s advisor.

Internship Employers

Interested in employing a Sterling College intern? Please fill out the Internship Host Form.

What does hosting a Sterling College internship entail?

Non-Academic Internships:

Students are responsible for making all arrangements for non-academic internships. We expect that organizations and businesses follow standard employment practices in their fields regarding internships. College students are on tight budgets, and we hope that, in addition to professional training, they receive some form(s) of compensation to defray expenses, in the form of stipends, housing and/or food.

Academic Internships:

Please see the above description regarding standard expectations for students pursuing academic internships. Academic internships should be in areas related to ecological thinking & action.

Students are responsible for identifying, applying for, and making employment arrangements for academic internships. Once an internship has been secured, the Academic Internship Coordinator (Carol Dickson) works with the student and the proposed supervisor to ensure the placement is an appropriate fit for an academic internship, before the academic internship is approved.

Supervisors of academic internships are expected to:

  • Support the intern’s learning as well as supervise their work
  • Support the intern in creating learning objectives for the internship
  • Work with the intern to identify and carry out a problem-solving project
  • Meet weekly with the intern to discuss progress on learning objectives and to provide feedback
  • Meet with a representative of Sterling College (in person or by phone) at the mid-point of the internship, to provide feedback on the intern’s progress and address any concerns
  • Complete a written evaluation of the student’s work and learning at the end of the internship
  • Be open to the intern learning about the administration of the organization, including decision-making and budgeting

We ask that students not pursue an academic internship at an organization or business where they have previously worked unless it is a new situation for which they are able to set unique learning objectives.


Please Note:

  • The Sterling Academic Internship Coordinator (Carol Dickson) must approve all academic internship placements before the internship can be approved for credit. This serves as a system of checks and balances to make sure everyone (Sterling College, internship host/supervisor, and student) has a shared understanding of expectations and commitments.
  • If your organization is a for-profit business and you will not be providing compensation, we expect compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act specifically as it relates to internship programs:


Thank you for your interest in supporting Sterling students. We look forward to hearing from you!

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