Tucked away in the mountains, on the shore of Lake Tahoe, is Sierra Nevada College. During a recent visit to Nevada I had the chance to take a very brief tour of the college. The best part of the visit was getting to hear from faculty, and staff, who work at the college about what sets Sierra Nevada apart from other colleges. They talked to us about what the goals of the education are on their campus and how their students use a “get your hands dirty” education. The students here don’t just sit back and listen, they dig right in.
Sierra Nevada is a very small school with only about 450 undergraduate students. Some students might be turned off by the idea of such a small cohort but for students interested in active learning, and engaging with their mind and their heart, it might be a good fit.
The faculty spoke of how they knew their students. Not just their names, but really knew about them and their goals and learning styles. The main goals of the campus are to provide students with: a liberal arts foundation (not just for a first job but for the rest of their life), professional preparedness, entrepeneurial thinking, and sustainability. You might feel like you are at summer camp, or ski resort, with the wood buildings and beautiful wood furniture but there is a deeper purpose on this campus. Some of their popular and unique programs include outdoor adventure leadership, sustainablity, digital arts, entrepreneurship, and ski resort management.
If interested, do your research. It may not be the right fit for everyone but for the student who gets excited about the outdoors, small classes, close professor relationships, and sustainability this could be a good fit.