Our College uses education as a force – through programs of study and work in fields associated with agroecology, ecology, and education – to address critical problems caused by unlimited growth including: fossil fuel dependence, threats to biodiversity and loss of wild places, destructive agricultural practices, and structural oppression that encourages estrangement from community, nature, and place. To fulfill our mission, Sterling faculty lead with a commitment to create affordable, experiential, place-based learning opportunities that prepare students to be knowledgeable, skilled, and responsible leaders in the communities in which they live.
Founded in 1958, the College was a pioneer of the idea that neither the narrow technician nor the uninformed idealist alone can address the issues facing humanity and is one of only nine federally recognized work colleges. Sterling’s transdisciplinary oriented faculty of 18 serves a student body of 125 residential students on its campus in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, and our instructional site in Port Royal, Kentucky. While the College is poised for growth in the number of programs and the population of students it serves, we are intentionally one of the smallest residential colleges in the nation and view our 7:1 student to faculty ratio and small classes as important strengths.
Additional programs of the College include:
EcoGather, an online platform for ecological thinking and action that works directly with community, corporate, university, government, and foundation partners around the world to create regenerative communities with food and agriculture at the core.
The Wendell Berry Farming Program in Port Royal, Kentucky, the nation’s first tuition-free farm-based program leading to a degree in sustainable agriculture and food systems inspired by the teaching and writing of activist and author Wendell Berry and in partnership with The Berry Center.
The School of the New American Farmstead provides professional study onsite and online for students seeking courses and professional certificates in farming and artisanal food production.