Sterling students love living in Craftsbury Common. The focal point of the village is the "Common" and the quintessential New England white clapboard buildings that border it. This area of Vermont is also a place of innovation, and is an important center for a revolution in rural food systems of farms and enterprises such as Pete's Greens, Hill Farmstead Brewery, High Mowing Seeds, Jasper Hill Cheese, and Vermont Soy, just to name a few.
This region of Vermont is known as the "Northeast Kingdom," and is an international destination for outdoor sports and adventure. There are four ski areas within 45 minutes of the college. When city life beckons, however, Burlington is about an hour or so away.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
Sterling's rural location is one of the college's most prized characteristics. The campus boasts 130 acres, with an additional 300 acres of boreal research forest. The campus has sixteen residential, administrative, and classroom buildings. Facilities include a woodshop, a darkroom, two computer rooms and an environmental science computer lab, two greenhouses, and the Brown Library. Outdoor teaching facilities include a challenge course with a climbing wall, a managed wood lot, recreation and nature trails, large organic gardens, and a diverse livestock farm with solarand wind-powered barns. Students spend abou 40 percent of their class time outside the traditional classroom setting.
At Sterling we not only live together, we work to create community together. Sterling College strives to be an educational community in which people of all backgrounds and identities feel at home, where differences are embraced, and where individuals take responsibility for furthering the dignity of all.
Professors at Sterling are united by an affinity for small-town life, ecological awareness, a strong interest in relating human experience to natural resources, and a determination to work with students as whole people.
Sterling is small, and will remain so by design. It is the only college in the nation where the entire community of students and faculty sit together each week for community meeting. Everyone is on a first name basis, including the president, deans, and faculty.
Community life is informal. Sterling College students aren't as interested in the kind of structured events and clubs found on most campuses-they're more likely to enjoy a long weekend of hiking, a lively evening of contra dancing, caring for beehives with friends, snowshoeing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, or sitting by a bonfire at the College's lean-tos above the Black River.
Student Organizations & Activities
Students are part of the daily work of the college. Regardless of financial need, all students work on campus, whether in the kitchen, on the farm, in the woodshop, or elsewhere. Sterling College is one of only seven colleges recognized by the federal government as a Work Collegea college where student work is an integral and mandatory part of the educational process, as opposed to being an appended requirement. Sterling is also the only Work College in the northeast.
Besides working on campus, a highlight of the Sterling education is a ten-week, 6-credit internship anywhere in the world. Internships in agriculture, cross-cultural education, ecotourism, environmental education, hydrology, land and resource management, outdoor education and leadership, and wildlife rehabilitation and research are popular options.
"I was drawn to Sterling because of the work program. I know that at the end of four years I will walk away from Sterling with a resume full of work and life experiences that any employer would find of interest. A college education here trains you to be a leader through engaged practice in community living."-Allyson Makuch '15