The Center for Learning Through Action

Students working in campus farm's garden

Who We Are

The Center for Learning Through Action facilitates experiential opportunities to deepen student learning, support faculty initiatives, and cultivate engagement with our broader community.

NMH has had a long and proud history of providing a distinctive and holistic education to a diverse student body. The Center for Learning Through Action (CLA) continues our school’s tradition and long-standing reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking educational leader.

In support of the school's mission to “engage the intellect, compassion and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose," the CLA coordinates the efforts of NMH’s experiential programs and initiatives, which include the Global Engagement Office, the Work program, the Farm Program, Service Learning, Outdoor Outreach, the Social Entrepreneurship program, and Sustainability Education.

With programs centering around themes of global and community engagement, service, social entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship and sustainability, and the value of hands-on hard work, the CLA serves as NMH’s hub for the provision and development of an innovative hybrid of place-based, experiential, global, and service learning initiatives.

The CLA works to engage faculty, staff and students in collaborative initiatives to create innovative, engaged, and transformative learning and teaching experiences. It is our goal to design opportunities that promote a more well-rounded and coherent educational experience for our students and inspire them to think in terms of systems rather than subjects.

Programs Overview

Farm Program
Fields and barn at campus farmThe NMH farm is a small, diversified operation that has been a part of school life since 1879. It is where many of our most cherished values — curiosity, hard work, creativity, and stewardship — come together. Our educational farm serves as a science lab, a work-project site, and even a place to practice a bit of entrepreneurship. The farm is also the source of some of the delicious fresh food served in our dining hall.

  • Jake Morrow, Farm Program Director
  • Jeff Mott, Farm Assistant
  • Jo Douglas, Farm Assistant

Global Engagement Office (GEO)
Student group studying abroadThe Global Engagement Office (GEO) supports a comprehensive global education and services program consisting of domestic and international study-away programs, international student support and services, and globally themed programming. GEO strives to inspire a globally informed and compassionate community, and to be attentive to the needs and interests of our diverse, multinational, and multicultural student body.

GEO Blog GEO on Instagram

Outdoor Outreach, Outdoor Program
group of students canoeing on lakeThe Outdoor Program has two main areas of focus: Outdoor Team and Outdoor Outreach. The Outdoor Team involves girls and boys from novice to expert in activities such as mountain biking, canoeing, off-road triathlons, road biking, and stand-up-paddle boarding. The team meets in the fall and spring terms, and participants receive an athletic credit. Outdoor Outreach supports important school activities such as freshman and sophomore orientations, Mountain Day, the Source To Sea Connecticut River Cleanup, community ice skating, the Student Activities Program, and academic year and summer programming for NMH special-interest groups.

Service-Learning Program
Students clearing brush on Service DayThe Service-Learning Program facilitates meaningful service experiences that encourage students and the NMH community at large to make a positive impact in their local and global communities. Service-learning opportunities at NMH are organized around three core programs: community engagement, student-led global initiatives, and service travel. Through these experiences, our students begin to understand the complex challenges of communities near and far, and how they can be agents of change.

Social Entrepreneurship Program
student raising a point in discussionThe Social Entrepreneurship Program at NMH includes academic courses, workshops, outside speakers, and conferences. The cornerstone of the program is our selective, year-long Rhodes Fellowship Course, in which juniors develop the skills necessary to launch their own enterprises. Social entrepreneurship is in line with our mission and our school’s greater vision of “education in action.” Students actively engaged in social entrepreneurship are also inherently focused on “resilience, sustainability, and citizenship.”

Social Entrepreneurship Blog

Sustainability Education, Office of Sustainability
Plant sprouts in greenhouseThe NMH Office of Sustainability guides students as they learn how to be effective and engaged stewards of environmental, social, and economic resources. Educational sustainability programs such as the Collaborative Curriculum Project, Farmers' Market Teach-In, Green Cup Challenge, and Ecoleaders make our campus a vibrant living laboratory. The school's curriculum, operations, policy, and culture all hold sustainability as a central tenet, helping our community to protect the integrity of future generations' quality of life.

Work Program
Student gathers sap from maple tree in early springThe Work Program is a cornerstone feature of an NMH education. At NMH, all students, as stated in our mission, “participate equally in the daily work of the school so that they may cultivate a respect for the dignity of labor and service to the community both within and beyond the school.” Students and adults work together daily to provide essential work to the school community. Participation in this work by all students on campus has been an integral component of the curriculum since the founding of the school, and remains a graduation requirement.

Work Program on Facebook

Contact Us

Center for Learning Through Action
Social Hall, Garden Level
Northfield Mount Hermon School
One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon, MA 01354
Email: center_for_learning_through_action@nmhschool.org

Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

Faculty Profiles
Mitike

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.

Ryan

“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”

Josh

In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.

David

"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 

Lila

"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."

Ismini

"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."

Noah

"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."

Isaac

"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."

Yvonne

 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."

David

“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”

Maggie

Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”

Abby

"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."

Ngone

“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”

Eli
Eli

“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 

Kevin

“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”

Isabella

“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”

Melvin

“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles