EARTH University focuses on public health and environmental sustainability. The school is based in Costa Rica and began supporting underdeveloped communities in 1990.

The founders of EARTH University’s goals were to teach young people from the Caribbean and Latin America how to use sustainable methods to help their communities thrive.

Now, 25 years later, EARTH University’s impact has spread from Latin and South America to regions in Asia and Africa. EARTH University offers rigorous undergraduate programs that elicit graduates in just four years.

Graduates from EARTH University learn how to utilize sustainable agricultural methods to create prosperous and just communities. Programs offered include agricultural sciences and natural resources management.

The curriculum at EARTH University is based on four guiding principles.

  1. The first principle guides the college to educate its students in technical and scientific knowledge to ensure they practice accurate and sustainable agricultural practices in the future. This helps alumni manage their natural resources and have a prosperous agricultural career.
  2. EARTH University works hard to help its students develop personally by exposing them to positive attitudes and values. The EARTH community fosters self-awareness, empathy, respect and tolerance, while using teamwork, effective communication and lifelong learning to promote peace and understanding.
  3. The University teaches ethical entrepreneurship. During a student’s first three years of schooling, he or she engages in an intensive entrepreneurial project. The project prepares students to leave EARTH University with the knowledge and experience needed to run their own business to help their community develop positively.
  4. EARTH University is dedicated to applying their resources to train their students in sustainability. EARTH’s curriculum promotes maintaining a healthy environment, and graduates are equipped with the knowledge to grow sustainable crops and prevent issues like soil erosion. And with this knowledge, graduates are able to help their communities rise out of poverty.

As of 2014, EARTH University had 422 students from 43 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. According to the EARTH University website, graduates like Claudia Jeronimo, who graduated in 2005, return home to use their newfound knowledge of sustainability and social justice to revitalize their communities.

Jeronimo has worked hard since graduating to promote gender equality and food security in her community. Since its inauguration, almost 2,000 students have graduated from EARTH University, with 97 percent of them dedicating their knowledge and experience to assist their home communities.

Julia Hettiger

Sources: Explore, Earth, Consortium Earth
Photo: Flickr