Sterling College started in 1958 as a boys’ boarding school, and over the last few decades has evolved into the leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship.
For over fifty years, the value of small classes, hard work, and the beautiful rural location has been the inspiration for its pioneering place in the landscape of American education. Sterling was among the early initiatives in the United States to combine academic study and practical training in an effort to prepare environmental stewards in agriculture, conservation, and outdoor education.
By the Numbers
THE STERLING MODEL
The Sterling College educational model of study, work, and community represents a challenging and overlapping set of theory-based and applied learning experiences. The individual components of our educational model are often formally recognized as our curriculum or program, but the program is understood to also include the informal co-curricular and integrative learning experiences of students who participate in a broad range of daily activities that contribute to their education.
A Sterling education is fundamentally experiential and place-based in character, with the world as the primary classroom, laboratory, and research setting. Whether offered in a room on campus, at the State House, on a mountainside on the other side of the continent, classes foster deep inquiry and close relationships between faculty and students. With shared educational outcomes and experiences across our disciplines, the College uses the liberal arts to strengthen our understanding of the natural world (Ecology), interpret the human experience with the natural world (Environmental Humanities), understand human adaptation of the natural world (Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems), and prepare ourselves and others for experience in and with the natural world (Outdoor Education).