Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.15
Liaison Lori Collins-Hall
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Sterling College (VT)
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.00 / 8.00 Laura Spence
Dean of Academics
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

1. Ecological Fluency: Achieve a sophisticated understanding of and personal engagement with ecological systems.

-Understand the processes underpinning ecosystem function and the distribution of life on Earth.
-Recognize and assess interrelationships among human and non-human communities.
-Practice place-based field observation and interpretation, using methods from different areas of study.
-Engage with the natural world through direct experience outdoors in a variety of environments and seasons.

2. Knowledge of Intersecting Social Contexts: Understand societies and cultures as dynamic and complex systems of relationships and interdependencies.

-Understand and critically engage with intersecting social systems.
-Demonstrate cross-cultural understanding.
-Integrate contextual understanding in real-world situations.

3. Critical and Creative Thinking: Use research and creative endeavor to explore concepts, experiences, and artifacts.

-Gather information from a wide variety of primary and secondary sources.
-Analyze and synthesize information.
-Design and conduct qualitative and quantitative research.
-Demonstrate creative problem-solving across areas of knowledge.
-Exhibit proficiency with appropriate technical skills and tools.

4. Communication Skills: Articulate ideas and share information clearly, using a diversity of approaches.

-Express ideas in a clear, informed, and engaging manner.
-Demonstrate fluency with oral, written, and other forms of communication in a variety of contexts and to a variety of audiences.
-Listen respectfully to others and participate in civil dialogue.
-Develop the capacity to express individual voice, perspectives, and creativity.

5. Socio-Ecological Engagement and Practice: Become effective environmental stewards and community members.

-Demonstrate responsibility within human and ecological communities.
-Cultivate and practice self-awareness and personal resilience.
-Apply skills and knowledge to help build community and ecological resilience.
-Participate in discussion and decision-making in a range of situations.
-Exercise leadership and cooperation, including when facing challenges.

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Each of Sterling's offerings articulates how it will build the skills, knowledge, and experience of its students to:

-Live satisfying and productive lives as environmental stewards.
-Understand the ecology of the natural world.
-Understand historical and global cultural contexts of social dynamics.
-Practice both critical and systems thinking.
-Collect, evaluate, and use information.
-Apply theories and concepts to practical situations.
-Communicate accurately and effectively in writing and in speech.
-Work effectively independently and in collaboration with others.
-Demonstrate resilience when facing challenges.
-Practice leadership and participate intentionally in communities.
-Develop and appreciate creativity in expression, work, and problem-solving.
-Cultivate curiosity and actively pursue life-long learning.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

A sampling of course-level sustainability learning outcomes:

Whole Farm Thinking:
1. Using ecological thinking, the student will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of farm planning methodologies and to adapt existing models to specific needs.
2. Using Holistic model(s), the student will be able to develop and assess guiding principles governing the farm planning process.
3. The student will be able to survey farm attributes at critical scales to evaluate the landscape and test ideas for adaptability, economic viability, and resilience to develop an approach to farm planning.

Draft Animal Power Systems II:
1. Investigate the role of draft animals in a modern crop production systems
2. Model traditional field crop rotations, weed management strategies, and cutting-edge reduced tillage systems from successful draft animal powered farms and adapting those strategies to a small-scale mixed crop and vegetable farming enterprise.
3. Learn draft animal equipment and tool selection necessary to operate a diverse vegetable and crop production enterprise.
4. Develop a four-year production rotation including systems to address soil health, fertility, weed management, rotational cover cropping, animal powered composting, minimalist tillage, and the pros and cons of single-row cultivation.

1. Be familiar with agroforestry history, theory, goals, overall benefits and challenges.
2. Understand basic ecological principles affecting agroforestry planning and
3. Be able to describe each agroforestry practice, the biogeophysical conditions for its sustainable application, its associated technologies, and relationships to other components of the farm enterprise.
4. Understand design concepts for integration of woody crops and/or managed
forests, non-woody crops and livestock in intentional agroecological production
5. Be familiar with economic, marketing, and financial planning considerations for agroforestry.
6. Understand the relevant site data, crop and tree profiles, and livestock identity information needed for agroforestry planning.
7. Be able to articulate and present agroforestry to others.

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

The total number of graduates listed were May 2020 graduates.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.