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-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Laura Spence
Dean of Academics
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Senior capstone work provides students with the opportunity to apply their learning to complex real-world situations through focused research or advanced creative projects. Students culminate their academic careers through the Senior Year Research Project. This new flexible-credit capstone experience was inaugurated in Fall 2017 and replaced the former Senior Applied Research Project. Examples of recent student projects:

-Exploring the Knowable World through Documentary: Art and the Challenges of Representing ‘Reality’
-The Forest Beneath the Trees: Non-Timber Forest Products Inventory and Assessment
-The Ecology and Distribution of Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in Craftsbury Township
-Phenomenology of Diamond Dust
-Conducting a Community Foodshed Assessment of Lopez Island, Washington
-Alpine Plant Communities of Mount Moosilauke of New Hampshire: A 22-Year Cross-Data Analysis of Composition and Structure
-Youth at Promise: An Ecological Approach
-Alternative Pedagogy for Alternative Conceptions: Using Agriculture as a Tool for Conceptual Change

The Senior Year Research Project (SYRP) is an integrated learning experience that requires students to develop and apply the theoretical knowledge necessary to tackle a real problem in their field of study. The SYRP requires each student to research the chosen problem, propose a solution, present results in both oral and written form, and take at least one significant step toward implementing the solution. A faculty advisor works closely with each student to develop study plans, guide project design, and find a sponsoring organization that offers a project of appropriate scope. Through the Senior Year Research Project, students begin to build a bridge between their college studies and the practical applications that constitute their future work.

Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Because of the College's mission and academic focus on ecological thinking, we encourage faculty to engage in research related to sustainability, stewardship, and conservation, and most of those faculty engaged in research do so (see faculty research in AC-9). We do offer time off for research on a case-by-case basis. As the only Work College in the Northeast, we can also offer student workers to support faculty research. Our positive outcomes are listed in AC-9, "Research and Scholarship."

Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

We currently have no tenure or different levels of faculty, as per the faculty's choice.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The Brown Library at Sterling College is open to students 24 hours a day and includes an array of different resources available for student research. The library has a catalog, access to databases such as JSTOR, and also includes Senior Year Research Projects from students in the past, many of which were sustainability focused.

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

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