Goddard College Credit
Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism (VCIH) and the Health Arts and Sciences: Bridging Nature, Culture and Healing (HAS) program of Goddard College are pleased to have developed a mutually beneficial learning partnership. Combining study in Vermont and in students’ home communities, this joint learning opportunity enables VCIH students who seek a fully accredited college degree to apply their learning (and transfer credits at the undergraduate level) to their personalized program of study in the Health Arts and Sciences program. This is a unique and exciting partnership: we are not aware of any other independent clinical herbalist training program in the country that can be applied towards completion of education at a regionally accredited institution.
Health Arts and Sciences is a low residency program. Students spend eight days each semester in residency at Goddard in Plainfield, Vermont and otherwise study from home in partnership with their academic advisor. The HAS vision, founded on the principle that personal and community health are two dimensions of the same whole, helps students develop their wisdom and skills to cultivate well-being within a matrix of social and ecological health. As a fully accredited undergraduate and graduate program, HAS promotes healing, germane to a whole person, as only possible within the context of establishing a healthy social and natural environment that includes one’s family, culture and the ecological region where one lives. The Health Arts and Sciences vision and philosophy are based on three themes: NATURE: the interrelated study of ecological and biological health and the protection of the synergistic relationship between human health and so-called natural systems; CULTURE: the study of the broader socio-cultural dimension of health and healing, mindful of diverse values and practices in a range of cultures; HEALING: the study of diverse healing practices, philosophies, and theories, enabling an integration of multiple perspectives and practices.
VCIH works to bring clinical herbalism to community practice through the weaving of science, spirit and grassroots activism, providing one of the nation’s most extensive clinical training opportunities, grounded in deep connection with the plants and place. We offer beginning herbal students a comprehensive 3-year training program that prepares them for work in the organization’s sliding-scale community clinics, which provided over 800 hours of service in 2010. The first year of the program offers a combination of hands-on apprenticeship and didactic time in the classroom, providing both direct experience with the plants and foundational knowledge in holistic physiology, energetic systems, and materia medica. This year can be taken by itself as the Family Herbalist course. Those interested in developing applied skills can then continue through the more intensive second and third years, focusing on understanding system dysfunctions, developing critical thinking and research strategies, and grounding in the skills of an herbal health educator. The third year includes 240 hours of applied theory and practica, while also highlighting teaching and business development. VCIH’s training emphasizes the educational nature of the practice of herbalism and the development of practitioners-as-educators, who serve as partners to clients in realizing their health-related goals. Like a writing clinic, which hopes to give students tools to become better writers independent of their tutors, the herbal clinic is a place of learning where individually tailored information encourages client self-awareness, responsibility and empowerment.
This collaboration offers students of both institutions new opportunities. VCIH students gain access to the rich, diverse learning community offered by HAS, and they acquire a college degree, thereby expanding their scholarship and future career opportunities. Goddard students will gain intensive technical training in Western herbalism when they take part in the VCIH programs.
At the undergraduate level: After attending and successfully completing VCIH’s one or three year program, VCIH students who go on to enroll in the HAS undergraduate program can transfer completed VCIH course work, inclusive of transfer credits, directly into their HAS undergraduate transcript, thereby shortening the time of study needed in their undergraduate program.
At the undergraduate and graduate level: Students currently enrolled in the undergraduate or graduate Health Arts and Sciences program may, as determined to be academically appropriate by the Health Arts and Sciences faculty advisor, embed VCIH offerings as part of their work in a HAS semester study plan. Goddard faculty will require that additional reflection, research, and scholarship be completed during the Goddard semester appropriate to the undergraduate or graduate degree plan.
By drawing upon the training and orientation available from VCIH, in conjunction with the ongoing inquiry and broader scholarship facilitated in HAS, students will be deeply rooted in Western herbalism while expanding their scholarship beyond herbalism within the HAS program. Upon graduation, students can work as herbal health educators, consultants to the growing nutrition and supplement industries, product-makers, health and wellness writers, or in numerous other fields, or they may pursue additional study.