World and Community Engagement

Since its founding, Bennington College has been a pioneer in demonstrating the success and depth of an education rooted in John Dewey’s philosophy of learning by doing. Dewey writes, “there is an intimate and necessary relation between the processes of actual experience and education.”1 This philosophy is embedded within the College’s hands-on approach. In fact, engagement with the world, both in and out of the classroom, is a key capacity developed through a Bennington education. The following academic, professional, and civic opportunities offer students flexible pathways to explore and experience global and community engagement:

  • Field Work Term
  • CAPA Courses
  • Work and Study Away models—e.g. Museum Fellows Term
  • Bennington ACTS—student volunteer opportunities
  • Student leadership positions that serve the campus and/or local community
  • Campus employment, including Federal Work Study opportunities at social nonprofits

Perhaps best summarized by the College’s commencement statement read each year at graduation, Bennington aims to prepare students to use their “richly varied natural endowments...directed toward self-fulfillment and toward constructive social purposes.”

1 Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. New York: Macmillan Co., p. 7

2 Bennington Commencement Statement