Engineering Our Sustainable & Equitable Future

Vermont is Waiting For You

Start on your future as a sustainable engineer at the Greenway Center for Sustainability and Equity (GCES) in Vermont!

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At GCES we think BIG! Are you a hands-on learner who is:

  • Eager to make your community a better place?
  • Interested in a meaningful career that also lets you live a good life?
  • Committed to protecting the environment for your family, friends, and community?
  • Curious about whether you could be a great engineer?
  • Hungry to meet industry leaders in green energy and green technology?
  • Excited to collaborate on a team instead of competing with your classmates for credit?

Our hands-on, team-based first year engineering program is specially designed to improve your building and fabrication skills, strengthen your confidence in math and physics for engineering, and hone your sense of mission and purpose.

Students who are admitted to Elizabethtown College can apply to start college in our unique program. Spending your first year of college engineering at GCES is terrific if you:

  • learn math and physics best in a hands-on way
  • like STEM, but want to work on your building and fabrication skills so you can be confident as an engineer
  • prefer to work in a supportive, team-based environment where you can push yourself to do your best work while collaborating with faculty and other students
  • want to check out college and engineering a little closer to home before transferring to PA

At GCES, you will earn credit for the same courses as a first year engineer at Etown, but in a unique, hands-on, team-based, and sustainability-focused program. After you finish in Vermont, you have the option of seamlessly transitioning to Etown’s Pennsylvania campus or applying to transfer your credits to other engineering schools.

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Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of GCES, a collaborative program between Elizabethtown College (Etown) in Pennsylvania and the Greenway Institute in Vermont. Our program offers close relationships with faculty, a tight knit and supportive community, and weekly Career Treks to meet with industry experts and employers.

Come build your engineering and leadership skills and confidence while also completing traditional course requirements. Through hands-on projects that address real-world problems, you will learn how engineering can build a sustainable future, and how you can have a good career that also helps you make a difference for the community and people you care about.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GCES?

The Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability (GCES) is a partnership between Greenway Institute and Elizabethtown College (Etown). The Center builds on Greenway’s industry connections, experience with green energy and green technologies, and commitment to hands-on, mission-driven learning. GCES operates as a remote site for Etown’s nationally recognized Department of Engineering and Physics, an ABET and MSCHE accredited engineering program.

Learning at Greenway is organized around projects that mirror real-world applications of the essential engineering skills and knowledge students need to thrive in green energy and green technology. We pair coursework with weekly Career Treks to business and industry, through which students build their professional networks, learn about career opportunities, and make connections between the classroom and professional practice. Working collaboratively in a small, close knit community we are able to give each student the opportunity to develop the confidence, competence, and connections they need to succeed in engineering.

What makes Vermont a great place to study away?

Vermont is a small, beautiful state with a rapidly emerging green energy sector. As a student, you will be immersed in our beautiful landscapes, from rolling mountains to abundant rivers and lakes. Vermont’s historic and close connections to agriculture and tourism make us uniquely sensitive to issues of sustainability and resilience, as well as the impact of engineering and human activity on the health of our communities and the environment.

The GCES campus is nestled in our state capital city, providing unique opportunities to observe how policy is designed and the ways it shapes business, sustainability, and equity of opportunity. Many of our state’s businesses were early leaders in adopting business models, such as B Corporations, whose demonstrated commitment to social and environmental performance gives our students a unique opportunity to explore business and governance models that align with their commitments to equity and sustainability. Come learn, play, live, and imagine a sustainable future with us!

How are GCES and Elizabethtown College connected?

GCES is a partnership between Greenway Institute and Elizabethtown College (Etown), which offers an ABET and MSCHE accredited engineering program. Our Vermont campus operates as a remote site for Etown in Pennsylvania. Students enroll and receive credit from Etown. Courses at GCES are aligned with Elizabethtown offerings to ensure that students can move seamlessly between both organizations without losing credits while progressing in Etown’s engineering program. Accordingly, GCES follows the Etown calendar.

Greenway Institute hosts and staffs the GCES program, bringing its unique emphasis on hands-on, sustainability focused learning. Greenway also leverages its connections with business and industry to bring relevance and professional connections to students’ learning.

What courses are available to first-year engineering students at GCES?

The first year of engineering courses align with Elizabethtown College’s engineering program requirements for first-year students. Our small size enables us to adjust offerings to meet specific needs of enrolled students. GCES courses are organized around real world engineering challenges that reinforce the connection between the math and physics students are learning and their application to real life and meaningful applications. The projects are integrated across courses, so that students understand how all subjects apply to the projects. Every course is hands-on, so that students have multiple opportunities to build, prototype and develop confidence in their fabrication skills. Typical course offerings include:

  • Introductory Mathematics for Physics
  • College Physics 1
  • Engineering Fabrication Lab
  • Introduction to Engineering 1
  • Introduction to Engineering 2
  • Engineering Drawings
  • Calculus 1
  • Computer Science 1
  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing and Language

How do the application process and timeline work?

Students who are interested in starting college at GCES apply to Elizabethtown College, and select an interest in Engineering. After you apply, you will be invited to apply to GCES. Students must be accepted to Elizabethtown College to enroll at our Vermont GCES campus. See the link here for application information and timelines. Separately, if you are interested in GCES, you may reach out to us in advance at with any questions.

What is it like to live and study at GCES?

We are intentional about inviting a small number of students to the program so that we can create and support a thriving tight knit community, while building on the success of our sophomore programming. Our inaugural Fall 2024 – 2025 cohort will play an active role in codesigning projects and Career Treks, as well as aspects of residential life. Students will receive individualized attention and support, and will have close relationships with faculty on campus.

At present, students work cooperatively, with the support of faculty and staff, to plan a mix of home cooked meals with the occasional dinner in town. Students stay in a dormitory in Montpelier, Vermont at the top of a hill overlooking the city and the Vermont legislature. Unless they request otherwise, each student will have a private room.

Will I stay on track to graduate in four years from my college?

Students will take the same courses as their peers at the main Etown campus, although courses in Vermont will be delivered in a different, hands-on and sustainability focused format. Program faculty in Vermont and Pennsylvania work together closely to ensure students master the same core content and skills.

Etown students who successfully complete courses at GCES will be on track to graduate as if studying on the main campus. Visiting students will receive credits for the coursework at Etown College, which is accredited by MSCHE and has an ABET- accredited engineering program. If you decide to transfer to a different college after your year at GCES, you will need to negotiate with the institution you choose regarding transfer credits.

Do I need a car at GCES?

A car is not needed, but you are welcome to bring one and explore Vermont outside of Montpelier. GCES is within a half mile walking distance to downtown Montpelier. Montpelier is a small city (rated #2 on the Best 10 small towns in the Northeastern USA in US Today) with walkable downtown. Vermont is also a wonderful place for outdoor recreation.

Does GCES provide student services such as counseling, tutoring, and academic accommodations?

We will work with each student to ensure that services are provided as needed on a one-to-one basis. GCES is supported by both local services and Etown College’s main campus programs.

What if I have more questions?

We aim to make a semester at GCES accessible to all qualified students and are happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to reach out to or (802) 359-7404.

Students With Ben
Relationships Matter

Experience the power of team-based learning and strong mentoring that makes sure you have the opportunity to succeed as you tackle engineering challenges.

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Hands On

Learn engineering by doing engineering in our hands-on, project-based learning that leaves you comfortable with tools and comfortable with taking risks. program.

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Don’t just talk, Do

Learn in a sustainability-focused and mission-driven setting that prepares every student to design and build in ways that leave people and the environment better off.

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