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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.27
Liaison Katie Lavin
Submission Date Jan. 28, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Sterling College (VT)
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Carol Dickson
Dean of Academics
Academic
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students?:
Yes

The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (1st program):
Sustainable Agriculture

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (1st program):

Sustainable agriculture is about taking an ecological approach to farming.

The Sterling students who get a degree in Sustainable Agriculture will learn how to build a future of small farming that doesn’t exacerbate climate change, water scarcity, or pollution. Students have hands-on classes in how to raise crops for human food and fiber needs, how to measure and tend to soil health, and how to work with draft horses.

The heart of the Sustainable Agriculture degree is our own farm, where students grow most of the food consumed on campus. All students on campus work on the farm and gardens at some point during their Sterling College experience. Students learn about season extension strategies for vegetable production, raising pastured meats, and how to use both small tractors and draft horses for a true mixed power model.

The Sustainable Agriculture curriculum has a broad foundation in Biology, Forestry, Soil Science, and Animal Science. Students will also learn about small business management practices and will explore state and federal agricultural policy.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (1st program):
The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Sustainable Food Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

Studying sustainable food systems means taking an ecological approach to the future of food and food production. Students will examine the social, cultural, and ecological impacts of the way food is produced, consumed, and regarded.

Students will start with an immersion in the food systems of this region of Vermont, with hands-on culinary experiences, field visits to the region’s artisanal food producers, seminars in food writing, and intensives in small-scale value-added products such as cheese, meat, and lacto-fermentation.

Those majoring in Sustainable Food Systems are deeply involved in the rural experience, while gaining a broad understanding of local and global connections through internships and Global Field Studies.

The heart of the Sustainable Food Systems degree is our own farm, where students grow most of the food consumed on campus. All students work on the farm and gardens at some point during their Sterling College experience. Students learn about season extension strategies for vegetable production, raising pastured meats, and how to use both small tractors and draft horses for a true mixed power model.

The Sustainable Food Systems major is a launchpad for those who wish to make a difference in food and food policy, food security, food entrepreneurship and business, as well as education and public health


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Ecology

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

When you study ecology at Sterling College, you get unparalleled opportunities to explore, research, and engage with the natural world. Sterling College’s Ecology major is designed to educate environmental stewards who will be vital in developing solutions for a sustainable and sustaining future.

Through courses and fieldwork in ecology, natural history, conservation, and related areas, students get an in-depth understanding of the natural world and ecological systems. Students develop a solid foundation in ecological framework, and engage in real world research with leading faculty and partnering organizations. Field courses and internships allow students to apply their knowledge in places from Craftsbury to the American Southwest to Mongolia.

Our Ecology graduates leave Sterling with the necessary skills for a range of careers and well-prepared for further graduate-level studies. Sterling alumni in Ecology work as guides, field researchers, consultants, and other positions for private conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, state-level environmental agencies such as the Department of Environmental Conservation, and federal-level agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
Sustainable Food Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):

The minor in Sustainable Food Systems introduces students to local, regional, and global food systems in an intensive academic program that includes study of the cultural and ecological context of food, hands-on culinary experience, field visits, and introduction to sustainable agriculture. Students who pursue a Food Systems minor are deeply immersed in the rural experience, farming, cooking, and engaging with food producers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Natural Resource Conservation

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

Sterling College students pursuing a minor in Natural Resources Conservation examine local and global conservation issues including natural resources sustainability and biodiversity protection. Courses provide students with a strong understanding of methods, concepts, and application of conservation and management techniques. Equipped with a variety of field experiences and strong communication skills, students enter the conservation field and work towards viable solutions to pressing environmental issues


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Climate Justice

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):

Students pursuing a minor in Climate Justice at Sterling College will explore environmental and social justice issues that both contribute to and arise from climate change. With a strong understanding of ecology, an introduction to climate science, and further studies in economics, policy and law, community organizing and social change, Sterling students will become uniquely qualified to engage critically in constructing effective responses to climate change.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The name, brief description and URL of all other undergraduate-level sustainability-focused minors, concentrations and certificates:

Every major and minor at Sterling College is sustainability-focused. We offer five majors: Sustainable Agriculture, Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, and Sustainable Food Systems. Additionally, we offer minors in Draft Horse Management, Education Studies, Natural Resources Conservation, Sustainable Food Systems, and Climate Justice. The overarching goal for all of our degrees is to have our graduates live satisfying and productive lives as environmental stewards.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.