Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Nancy Apple
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Mount Holyoke College
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
-- Reporter Nancy Apple
Director
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

Monteverde Semester Program

The program offers students a wealth of opportunities to analyze the challenges of globalization and to search for solutions within the specific context of Costa Rica and of Monteverde. How has Costa Rica’s development path been shaped by both global and national forces, and how have these, in turn, affected the development of Monteverde and its unique cloud forest environment? What does “sustainability” mean in light of rapidly growing ecotourism and disappearing species? With an emphasis on place-based learning, the program examines not only the theoretical underpinnings of development and sustainability, but also how these theories play out with real people, organizations, and localities.

During the first week of the program, students travel throughout Costa Rica to get an overview of the country’s historic, geographic, political, and economic contexts. Sites may include the capital city of San José, the tropical rain forests of central Costa Rica, and the Arenal volcano region or Limon province. In each location students meet with representatives from institutions and groups working on issues relevant to topics covered in the program, including the Arias Foundation, the National Museum, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, biological stations, banana and pineapple plantations, and women’s organizations. Midway through the semester, students travel to Nicaragua, spending several days in the colonial city of Granada, to observe and learn from the particular experience of Nicaragua. Students have the option of remaining on their own in Nicaragua during the semester break.

Classes throughout the semester include overnight field trips, site visits, and guest lectures by local grassroots activists as well as world-renowned scientists. Students conduct their own independent research, in the social or natural sciences, and also have opportunities to volunteer with local organizations. Site visits may include a women’s cooperative, a defunct goldmine converted to a hot springs resort, a hike and overnight stay in a remote field station, an afternoon with a farmer’s cooperative, or a day trip to the provincial capital of Puntarenas

Global/Local Fellowship Program

The Global/Local initiative supports student learning and community engagement across borders. Students connect Community-Based Learning (CBL) experiences in local communities and learning on campus to international internships, research, and social innovation projects around the world, or a signature Global/Local opportunity in Monteverde, Costa Rica. MHC's Global/Local Fellowship provides qualifying students with resources, a clear but flexible framework, and a supportive learning community for advanced Global/Local work.

Community-based Learning

CBL links Mount Holyoke College students with communities through courses, independent studies, internships, and research and service projects that combine learning and analysis with action and social change. Students learn about communities and learn to apply ideas, theories, and models to social issues in a practical context while gaining insights from practitioners in communities and in community-based organizations (CBOs). CBL enhances students’ understanding of social, economic and environmental issues and concerns, and fosters leadership, citizenship, organizing, and advocacy skills. Among community partners, CBL fosters sustainable, mutually beneficial campus-community relationships that support capacity-building in area community organizations.

Miller Worley Center for the Environment Internships

The Miller Worley Center for the Environment offers competitive summer environmental fellowships which fund high-quality, selected internships developed exclusively for Mount Holyoke students. These fellowships fund opportunities at established nonprofit environmental organizations and are individually arranged with sponsors to provide students with connections beyond those offered by typical internship programs. Students with interest and relevant background, and majoring in any field, may apply.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.