Looking to go Green for your Degree?
Want to study the environment in college or sustainability?
What is a working College? There are 7 Federal Work Colleges in the United States. It is an interesting commitment and educational learning experience. Students are required to work at the school all years in college. Most students work around 80 hours a week at the school. The student and the faculty actually sustain the school. The students earn income that can be applied to their costs and living expenses while in school.
There are Federal Grants and Subsidies provided, in addition, to the income earned by the students for helping the college thrive and exist. These are sustainability programs and the work involves learning how to manage the land, the buildings, the infrastructure, and the community around them. Students participate in work that keeps the community functioning and growing. The jobs include working in the kitchen, on the land, in non-profit schools in the community, and also on the farm that feeds the school.
These schools focus on a comprehensive work-learning-community-relationship program. The students are given valuable experience and skills associated with working such as negotiation, budget and accountability, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and business management by the hands on approach to living and learning while earning a degree. Not to mention the hands on problem-solving and creativity elicited. The schools generate extraordinary resumes for their student body. The communication, team building, and respect from living, working and studying together are an educational experience not many major universities or colleges could offer. The small communal environment that requires passionate commitment to each other as well as the land they foster is unique.
The students of these programs enter life with virtually no student debt, valuable life and work skills, and almost all say that they have a profound respect for real work and service from the experience. The graduate schools that these students go to, if they choose after school, are the best in the Nation. The commitment to the program, the school, the environment and the respect developed for each other and relationships in general cannot be valued in mere monetary terms. These students go on to become successful employees and valued businessmen and women.
The schools embrace veterans and the Federal Government’s financial support makes the degree free for most that are accepted. There is a traditional application process. Many of the schools actually participate in the Common Application. The student body is small so selectivity is exercised by Admissions, but since these schools offer an alternative to traditional learning, only those sincerely interested really do apply. These schools primarily focus on environmental studies and environmental education studies. They are enviable in this regard because their programs are some of the best in the Nation. What they teach and how they teach provide a foundation for living and working in Environmental companies and careers that few traditional colleges could even come close to rivaling. Some also offer a tandem degree in education to go along with environmental studies or outdoor education so that the graduates can be employed in the education systems in most states’ public schools.
All the schools offer housing, some offer athletics as well! Each requires work, but the programs are such that what is learned on the job benefits what is being studied in the classroom and vice-versa. The farm can be utilized for what is being learned in the lab. The lab can be utilized to learn about a particular infestation or bacteria plaguing the farm.
The schools are small and all the staff and faculty are involved with each of the students. There are cooperative and communal meetings and meals. The students have traditional student life activities as well, in the towns nearby and with each other. All of the colleges have commitments to ensure graduation for all students. Most of the colleges require an internship or two from the students during the academic career. 98% of those who attend and graduate are fully employed within the first year after graduation. 90% are more than satisfied with the employment they secure and report fulfillment on the job even five years after graduation.
Many major universities have extended and developed strong Sustainability and Environmental schools and programs, but these schools offer something far more valuable and unique. These schools offer experience during the entire time at school, and the result is a much more employable degree, along with lifelong close bonds, and an investment that pays off with zero debt.
If you are interested in Environmental studies or Sustainability, Ecological studies or Green Initiatives and Design, then perhaps these Federal Work Schools might be something for you to look into this summer! If you aren’t sure and want to discuss what options there might be, contact us!