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Experiential Learning

Student working at Field Station


One hallmark of a Smith education is the opportunity for students to take concepts they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. For students interested in sustainability, these experiences can include Smith’s Campus as Classroom program, on- and off-campus internships, research with a professor, projects in conjunction with one of Smith’s academic centers and even green campus jobs.

Academic Centers

Students involved in sustainability can pursue that interest through academic centers and special programs at Smith.


With environmental sustainability an increasingly dominant issue of the time, CEEDS exists with one purpose: to graduate women who excel at integrating knowledge across disciplines in support of environmental decisions and action. The center connects students to green initiatives and academic pursuits and supports faculty who desire to deepen their understanding of salient environmental issues of today.

Jandon Center for Community Engagement

The Jandon Center engages faculty, students and community partners on social-change projects that tackle community-driven goals. Through experiential learning and scholarship, students build essential capacities in critical thinking while providing significant leadership on urgent, complex issues facing communities and society.

Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (CIEC)

The CIEC is an intellectual hub where students receive the tools to think expansively and develop innovative solutions to pressing problems. The center hosts and facilitates a slate of programs and activities focused on creative thinking, problem solving, interdisciplinary teamwork and development of business, personal finance and entrepreneurial skills.

Student Profile

Julia Franchi Scarselli

The Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center helped turn my sustainable olive tree startup dream into a reality. When I visited my father in the Italian Sabina region, I noticed the prevalence of family olive oil cultivation. Frequently, these groves did not generate revenue, and an increasing number were being abandoned. In the United States, there’s a demand for organic non-GMO products and an interest in food education. I saw an opportunity and wrote a business plan in my microeconomics class for a sustainable olive oil company, Libellula, which means dragonfly in Italian.

Julia Franchi Scarselli

Class of 2018

Environmental science and policy and architecture double major

Special Programs

Campus as Classroom

In Smith’s Campus as Classroom program, staff and faculty work to connect students with a variety of campus construction projects and initiatives. By working on these projects, students see firsthand their direct impact on the Smith community.

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an innovative, cooperative educational venture between Smith College and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. This school-based project helps facilitate community awareness of reef ecology and supports and encourages reef preservation. An interdisciplinary team of Smith undergraduate students serve as the teachers for the program.


On- and off-campus internships are a great way for students to gain hands-on experience in sustainability. Faculty and staff help connect students with a wide of range of opportunities.

Student Profile

Breanna Parker

As an intern with the campus sustainability office, I’m conducting research on carbon offsets for the Community Climate Fund. A carbon offset is a way to invest in renewable energy, clean technology and efficiency and receive a carbon credit toward achieving full carbon-neutrality. The goal of this fund is to help local businesses and nonprofits invest in a sustainable infrastructure, which saves them money, helps the environment and generates carbon offsets that Smith can use to reach its carbon-neutrality goal of 2030.
Breanna Parker

Class of 2018

Astronomy and environmental science & policy double major


Praxis stipends are designed to help students pursue opportunities that expand their education but which cannot or do not pay a summer salary. These internships help students build on their academic studies, make decisions about their careers and acquire the experiences and skills desired by employers and graduate schools.

Campus Jobs

Environmentally minded students can work at part-time jobs on campus and elsewhere that help green our campus and world—and their wallets! Find opportunities through the Student Employment Office and The Lazarus Center for Career Development.


Smith students have numerous opportunities to participate in research projects related to sustainability, with faculty, staff, outside organizations and fellow students.

Student Research in Departments (STRIDE) Program

Through Smith’s Student Research in Departments (STRIDE) Program, high-achieving students during their first two years are teamed up with Smith faculty as paid research assistants.

Campus as Classroom

Emma Harnisch and Sally Cartarr


“In the summer after my sophomore year, Emma Harnisch ’18 and I spent our days surveying and sampling Paradise Pond in pursuit of a better regime of sediment management.”
Sally Carrtar ’18

Maia Erslev


“The most interdisciplinary course I've taken at Smith was the [Critical] Design Thinking Studio. Our final project was a prototype of a new waste receptacle. After, I was hired by the sustainability office to refine, rebuild and test the new design.”
Maia Erslev ’18

Molly Megan


“As part of a class, I conducted research on a parking lot on campus that uses permeable pavement—a sustainable adaptation effort used in response to the increased rainfall New England is experiencing as the result of climate change.”
Molly Megan '19