Green Mountain College
Green Mountain College (visited 4/16/14)
Green Mountain is the kind of college you would expect to find in Vermont – outdoorsy, environmentally conscious, maybe a bit quirky. They have a bike shop on campus, their on-campus coffee shop sells only local foods and fair trade goods, they have an outdoor kiln, there’s a Zen garden outside the library, and bathrooms are unisex.
Known as the Environmental state college, the have a distinctive core curriculum called Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) consisting of four Environmental-based classes in addition to the other required distributions. All freshmen take a 6-credit class called “Images of Nature” in the fall. In the spring they take a writing intensive class. “Delicate Balance” and “Dimensions of Nature” are the upper level ELA classes which can be completed at any time before graduation.
People are great and definitely aren’t generic. However, lots of people also leave after freshmen year. We asked some students why, and they said that a lot of people come here thinking that it’s a party school and either realize that it’s too small, not what they want, or they bottom out because they party too much. One counselor asked, “So you don’t party now?” The student said, “I didn’t saw that. Let’s just say that I figured out the balance.”
Most of the 825 students live on campus because there’s a 4-year residential requirement unless students meet an age requirement. Dorms are assigned by major or interests, and there are several Interest Floors. Currently, the campus isn’t completely wired for wifi, but they’re provided with Ethernet cords for the rooms.
People come for the stand-out majors like Adventure Education, Natural Resources Management, Renewable Energy and Ecological Design, and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production. They have a working farm on campus, and 20% of the food used on campus is produced on the farm. Our tour-guide was a sophomore Envi Sci and Education major, and double majoring or interdisciplinary work is highly encouraged. They also encourage hands-on and practical applications to what students learn in the classroom. For example, the Green MAP (Mountain Adventure Program) is run by people in the outdoor adventures major. One program they run is the Wilderness Challenge, a pre-orientation program which several students participate in; options include kayaking, hiking, yoga, mountain biking, and more.
Check out their YouTube Video: GMC – Our Home!