1. Confirm Your Enrollment
2. Complete the Required Forms
3. How to Get Here, What to Bring & When to Arrive
4. A Sense of Place: Expedition 1
6. Meet Your Field Guides
7. Policies & Guidelines
8. Make the Most of Your Time Here!
Give Rise to Actions, Habits and Character
How to ensure you arrive ready to thrive!
Our mission of ecological thinking and action has never been more important than it is right now. The Earth needs us to succeed. We are at a juncture of climate crisis, global health concerns, and civil unrest. We are on the precipice of radical change! To be prepared for the uphill battles ahead we need to prepare, grow our skill sets, and focus sustainable community development. With that in mind, we want to lay some foundation for you so that you can bring your best self forward and arrive at Sterling ready to make the most of your time here.
Living in a community isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be pretty intense. Working together to resolve conflicts, understand one another, collaborate and – sometimes – agree to disagree – takes grit, patience and most of all practice. We have to work at it every day and it’s a true labor of love.
Scroll all the way down this page to get more details!
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 8 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 Interim Dean of Student Life, 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?
WE ACCEPT YOU.
WE ACCEPT YOU AS YOU ARE, AS YOU WERE, AS YOU HOPE TO BE.
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!
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.
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.