Thursday, July 9, 2009

Organic classroom

"While other college students are in stuffy classrooms, about a dozen are earning credit tending a Vermont farm. For 13 weeks, 12 credits and about $12,500, the Green Mountain College students plow fields with oxen or horses, milk cows, weed crops and grow and make their own food, part of an intensive course in sustainable agriculture using the least amount of fossil fuels."


Leila Abu-Saba said...

$12,000 is a lot of money. Here's a resource list of other organic farming projects/study courses at technical (public) colleges and universities around the USA:

If you are in-state you pay much less tuition. The community colleges in California are a particularly good deal at something like $15 a credit hour, or $500 tuition a year. But books and other fees can come up to twice that.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a particularly favored ag and tech university - gorgeous location, working farm on campus, etc. There's UC Davis and many others.

You can take permaculture courses up the hill from me at Merritt Community College in Oakland, CA, reachable by bus.

In fact, from Beirut, fly to SF International airport, take BART to Fruitvale station, transfer to the #54 bus line and ride it eastward to the end of the line.

North of San Francisco, the junior college at Santa Rosa offers a complete degree in sustainable agriculture (2 year Associates degree); this degree is fully transferable to the State and University of California system should you wish to complete the bachelors.

Tuition at Community Colleges (i.e. Santa Rosa Jr. College and Merritt College) for International students is $190 per credit, or less than $5,000 for two semesters of 12 credits each.

Tuition at State Universities is higher, and at University of California even higher still.
Ahlan wa sahlan!

Leila Abu-Saba said...

Santa Rosa's program:

We have good resources here in California if the Republicans don't starve them of public funding. La Lucha Continua!

Garage Sales For Gaza said...

Hey Leila,
Great description of the SLO area.
Took me back to many great memories. Lots of student memories...what a great party town.

I think Rami has said he is a diver. I have spent many wonderful days diving just down the hill from SLO. I've speared Halibut as big as a kitchen table and Ling's
2 at a time...because they see I have speared one...and another tries to take it from the tail end...and because they are snaggle tooth fish...are unable to spit it out. Oh yes! Nice big Crabs you can take by hand. The abalone are amazing. Some Scallops and lots of Mussels.
Oh man!
It is lunch time...and all I have is left overs.

Leila Abu-Saba said...

San Luis Obispo is very close to paradise. It's also incredibly expensive to live there. People who can afford to buy houses or ranches there are usually very rich. The coast is close by and it's quite lovely too. I didn't know the fishing was that good there... I think the waters farther north are suffering. Our salmon run has totally collapsed...

I try not to fantasize about where my children will go to college, but when I visit San Luis Obispo I can't help but hope. You'd think I would feel that way about UC Santa Cruz, which is supposedly higher in the academic prestige scale.

Leila Abu-Saba said...

Here's the U. California Davis list of sustainable ag programs at universities in CA; there's also a list of sustainable ag university programs in other states.

Peder said...

Yes California is great (I currently live and farm here), but there are other great places too. Just because some place is inexpensive does not mean that you will get the best education there. Additionally, many four year colleges have more funding to offer things to students. Besides, education is never wasted, even if it costs $12,000.
The college I graduated from (also in VT), had a similar program during the summer and more. Sterling College is one of only a small handful of Work Colleges in the US. In addition to classroom study, we are required to work at the college and on the college farm. Invaluable experience and an amazing way to learn. I do not for one day regret the monies I had to spend to get that education. It is something that I will always take with me. Being erudite is fine, but combining that with the ability to do what you have learned (or are learning) is life changing.