Green Mountain College recognizes the importance of a strong relationship with the greater Poultney community, and the value these interactions add to a liberal arts education.
Our faculty is highly encouraged to integrate service learning into their coursework curriculum. This cultivates in students a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others, promotes partnerships between the College and local community, and enhances a fuller understanding of social, economic and environmental sustainability.
The Sustainability Office’s Outreach Program and the Service Learning Program collaborate in coordinating many of these projects and help students and faculty find new ways to engage with community partners. Students in every field contribute to service-learning efforts each year, in projects ranging from environmental research and restoration, to teaching elementary school kids about outdoor living skills.
Service learning is a teaching method that links course objectives with meaningful community service experiences. Students gain a greater understanding of practical real-world problems and how to create solutions utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom.
Service-learning takes time and effort on the part of many community members. Below are some service-learning and community service facts for the last two years. Estimated hours are derived from a faculty survey and the definition for community service is derived from STARS:
- An estimated 47,241 hours of community service were completed by students in FY 2014.
- Each student contributed an estimated 56 hours of service in FY 2014.
- More than 65 classes participated in service projects in FY 2014.
- In FY 2013, more than $8,500 grants were awarded to nine GMC faculty members working on a wide range of service learning projects involving the GMC biomass plant to developing environmental education programming for Vermont’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Read more.
- A national survey shows GMC students to be highly engaged in active and collaborative learning. Read the survey results.
- Nicole Harman ’16 was awarded the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows Award.
- Nicole is the fourth GMC student to receive this prestigious national award in as many years, with Zach Killian receiving it in 2013, Meiko Lunetta in 2012 and Katie Emerson in 2011.
- Binh Bui ’14 worked as a Vermont Campus Compact-sponsored intern in the summer of 2013 at the Southeastern Vermont Irene Long-Term Recovery Committee program helping families who are struggling to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Irene.