The Work Program

Among the most powerful examples of experiential learning is living in community, through the work program, we care for our campus. Not only does that allow us to collectively address our  College’s needs, but we uphold our environmental values while providing a learning experience.

Sterling College is one of 10 Federally-recognized Work Colleges in the United States,  the only one based in the Northeast and the only one fully dedicated to the mission of ecological thinking and action. Revolutionary and ahead of their time, Work Colleges have been educating hard-working students while providing a means to empower those students to pay their tuition for over 100 years.  The approach of a Work College helps develop critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, decision-making, leadership, professionalism and a quest for lifelong learning.

Our Work Program offers a wide variety of positions in farm and garden, campus care, kitchen, forest, admission and many more.  Our Work Advisors and Community Advisors are student leaders who report directly to Deans, Directors and Managers responsible for that particular Work Crew.

Work Assignments happen once you arrive on campus.  You’ll have plenty of time to meet your Work Supervisor, learn about how to submit time cards and score some extra hours if your schedule (and desire) permit!  Building your resume is great perk of attending school at Sterling so start to think about the kinds of experience that you’re interested in accumulating while you’re here.

Policies & Guidelines

Our Student Handbook is an excellent resource to help guide you through your time at Sterling College. Please take some time to review the Handbook and maybe even bookmark it in your browser!

This information should give you the insight that you need to understand more about Sterling, but our Dean of Community, Favor Ellis, is your go-to with any questions or concerns you have about Student Life or living in the Residence Halls.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, additional policies and guidelines will be enforced in order for us to maintain a low risk campus environment. A resource list can be found at our COVID-19 Update website,

At the start of each semester, all community members – students, faculty, and staff- will need to sign a commitment to the shared responsibility of keeping ourselves and others safe. The Commitment to Shared Responsibility is a list of required behaviors that will decrease potential spread of COVID-19 and will be established under the guidance of the Center of Disease Control, the VT & KY Department of Health, and other regional colleges. All students, new and returning, are asked to review and sign it acknowledging our community agreement to keep us safe and healthy during COVID-19.

What do we mean by EQUITY?





Sterling is a tight-knit community and has been able to remain that way because every person in our community – student, faculty, staff, neighbor – is treated with compassion and respect.

Sterling acknowledges that the land on which we gather is the traditional and unceded territory of the Abenaki people on our Vermont campus. 

The land on which our Kentucky campus gathers is the traditional and unceded territory of the Shawnee, Osage, and the Eastern band of the Cherokee.

Read our Joint Statement in Support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness.

Safety & Security

One of the benefits of living in such a rural place is that you come to know – and need – your neighbors. This small and caring community is one of Sterling’s greatest resources.

Sterling has no security officers or police presence. Sterling is a highly functioning and self regulating community.

Members of the community work hard to take care of themselves and each other. Students, Community Advisors, and on-call staff monitor their residence halls and shared spaces for tidiness, safety, appropriate behavior, and uninvited visitors.

Student Life Council, and House Meetings are two forums for discussing security problems and encouraging students to be responsible for the health and safety of their community.

For COVID-19 specific policies and procedures, please review our COVID-19 Resource page.

That's a lot to take in but it's important that you know how things work here. If you still have unanswered questions, please just reach out to us and let us know what you need.

Now it's time for the fun part!

Dig In!

Environmental Stewardship Education at Sterling

Sterling pioneered environmental stewardship education. But what are the philosophies behind such an education? Those who shaped Sterling explain. — by Jess Clarke When John E. “Jed” Williamson became president…

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Climate Change is Real: Join the Fight for Climate Justice

Sterling College is proud of its half-century of pursuing learning about and engaging with the natural world.  In 2019, it placed itself among the first colleges to make a commitment…

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What the Thunder Said

Last night Claire Goldman debuted her multimedia performance inspired by T.S. Elliot’s The Wasteland in Sterling’s Dunbar Hall to a full house. Click here to see more still photographs from…

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