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Saint Catharine College

Eleanor Bingham Miller International Scholarships

About the Scholarships

Bingham scholarship
The Berry Farming and Ecological Agrarianism Program at St. Catharine College is pleased to announce the Eleanor Bingham Miller International Scholarships.

Three, 3-year scholarships are open to candidates seeking a liberal arts undergraduate degree in sustainable farming systems starting in January 2014.

Scholarships will be awarded to international students from three locations: South or Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, and/or the Indian subcontinent.

Women and men with various disciplinary interests and talents (natural and social sciences, business, marketing, literature, arts, history, etc.) are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be selected for academic excellence as well as for commitment to strengthening rural communities through small-scale farming and local markets. Strong applicants will be enthusiastic about immersing themselves in different cultural and ecological environments, and they will be committed to environmental stewardship.

Scholarship recipients are expected to return to their home countries after graduation to become leaders in sustainable food economies through vocations such as ecology-based farming, perennial crop research, local foods marketing, sustainable community design and leadership, food-related health and wellness, or environmental writing and media studies.

Bingham ScholarshipThe scholarships provide tuition, textbooks, course fees, room, board, a small living expenses stipend, and travel between the United States and recipient's home country.

The funds are renewable based on the recipient's satisfactory participation in the program, including good academic standing, positive involvement in the program, and appropriate progress toward degree.

Students are expected to enroll in coursework during fall, spring, and summer semesters.

They must be committed to completing a degree in Farming and Ecological Agrarianism at St. Catharine College or to a three year tenure.

Applicants may be new, incoming freshmen with no previous college coursework, transfer students from an international or US regionally-accredited college, or students who have previously earned a college degree interested in pursuing a Bachelor's degree.

Application submission deadline is Monday, September 30, 2013 . A complete set of application criteria is listed below.


About the Degree

Bingham Scholarship
Students will be prepared for sustainable foods leadership through a curriculum founded on the lifework of internationally-renowned writer and farmer Wendell Berry . For more than fifty years, Berry has been leading a conversation about the precarious state of industrial agriculture. In fiction, poetry, and essays, he urges readers to support small family farms and to use nature as the measure in cultivation and land use practices.

Following Berry's lead, SCC's Bachelor's degrees in Farming and Ecological Agrarianism combine the cultural, scientific, and economic components of small-scale agriculture with a deep belief in the empowering potential of community-directed, as opposed to corporate-driven, agricultural economies.

Students specialize in one of four areas: agroecology, plant and soil stewardship, environmental arts and humanities, or community leadership . Each concentration is interdisciplinary and experiential learning-oriented. Students complete internships in which they work side-by-side with community partners to learn how to "read" landscapes using place-transferrable methods of inquiry. In this way, they learn how to dig in to the places they call home.

The Berry Farming Program represents a partnership forged in 2011 between St. Catharine College and The Berry Center of New Castle, Kentucky. Headed by Executive Director Mary Berry, The Berry Center brings focus and knowledge to the work of changing the industrial farming system. The Center focuses on issues of land use, farm policy, local food infrastructure, and farmer education.

About the College and Community

Bingham Scholarship St. Catharine College is a rural, liberal arts college inspired by its founders, the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The college welcomes all to the challenging pursuit of truth and prepares students to become critical thinkers, ethical leaders, and engaged citizens.

The college provides more than 30 academic programs, and numerous honor societies and clubs are available for extracurricular involvement and community service.  St. Catharine is also a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and hosts over 20 men's and women's sports.  SCC currently enrolls approximately 900 students who hail from 52 Kentucky counties, 15 states, and 5 international locales.  This liberal arts, coeducational institution welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all faiths, and approximately 65 percent of the campus community is non-Catholic.

The school is located in Central Kentucky's Bluegrass Region near the historic cities of Springfield and Bardstown. It is an hour's drive from the state's urban centers in Louisville and Lexington. The area's culture and economy are heavily invested in agricultural production, and the state's local food economy ranks in the top 20 on the Locavore Food Index. The area is part of the temperate deciduous forest biome, and it has a moderate, relatively humid climate with abundant rainfall. Winter temperatures can drop into the single digits (Fahrenheit) but average in the 30s°F, and summer highs reach into the 90s°F but average in the low 80s°F.

Application Criteria

Proof of academic excellence:

  1. Transcripts of secondary or post-secondary coursework. See details below.
  2. Application for Eleanor Bingham Miller International Scholarship and Admission to SCC, including:

a.)  Essay of at least 250 words written in English addressing why the applicant would like to study farming and ecological agrarianism at St. Catharine College and how the student would use this opportunity to improve or facilitate small-scale, sustainable food economies, cultures, and/or practices in her or his home community.

b.)  Essay of at least 250 words written in English addressing how the applicant embodies these ethical / social qualities:

1.) Applicants will demonstrate enthusiasm for immersing themselves in different cultural and ecological environments.

2.) Applicants will be eager to share experiences with communities that are culturally- and perhaps religiously-different from one's own community.

3.) Applicant will be committed to environmental stewardship.

3.  3 letters of recommendation:

    • At least 1 from representative of an academic institution attesting to applicant's academic performance, work ethic, and potential for success in international study.
    • At least 1 letter of recommendation from member of home community attesting to applicant's character and conviction for fostering sustainable agricultural economies and cultures.

4.  Excellent written and spoken English language skills. See language requirements below.*

5.  OPTIONAL: American College Test (ACT) score of 30 (cumulatively) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of 2100 (cumulatively) with evidence of strong math and English skills. (ACT info: www.ACT.org / SAT info: http://SAT.collegeboard.org)


Maintaining academic excellence & commitment to St. Catharine College

  1. Recipient should maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average at the end of each academic year in order to continue receiving the scholarship.
  2. Recipient must maintain full-time status in fall and spring semesters and at least part-time status during summer terms.
  3. Recipient commits to completing FEA degree at St. Catharine College or to a three- to three-and-a-half-year tenure.


*Evidence of English language proficiency if the applicant's native language is not English. Proficiency may be demonstrated by one of the following:

  1. Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and arrange for the official score report to be sent to St. Catharine College.
    • The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 527 on the paper-based, 197 on the computer-based, and 71 on the internet-based.
    • The school's code is 1690. Information on these tests is available by writing TOEFL, Educational Testing Service (ETS), PO Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 08541-6151 or by visiting http://www.ets.org/.
    • Applicants with lower scores may be considered by the Admissions and Scholastic Standing Committee.
  2. St. Catharine College also accepts:
    • the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and requires a minimum score of 6.0 for admission.
    • satisfactory completion of one year of English instruction (equivalent to Composition I course) at another regionally- accredited college or university of the United States.


Transcripts & Syllabi:

  1. Arrange for the Admissions Office to receive an official and final transcript for all courses attempted and completed in secondary school showing graduation date (equivalent of U.S. high school). If the transcript is not in English, it must be accompanied by an authorized English translation.
    • Records should include the subjects studied and the grade, mark, or other evidence that each subject was completed satisfactorily.
  2. Arrange for the Admissions Office to receive official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously and currently attended. You will be required to have your transcripts evaluated by World Educational Services. For more information on this service visit http://www.wes.org/.


Application Checklist:

Deadline Monday, September 30, 2013  (Hard copies postmarked by this date will be accepted.)

        Submit the following materials in electronic or hard copy format:

  • a. Scholarship Application, including 2 short essays. 
  • b. 3 letters of recommendation
  • c. optional: unofficial copy of transcripts (official copy still required)

NOTES: If submitting materials via email, all files must be sent as PDF format attachments to leahbayens@sccky.edu with the subject line International Scholarship Application: Your Name.

If submitting hard copies of application materials, mail to:

                  Dr. Leah Bayens
                  Eleanor Bingham Miller International Scholarship
                  St. Catharine College
                  2735 Bardstown Road
                  St. Catharine, Kentucky 40061

Regarding hard copies of letters of recommendation: These should be enclosed in individual, sealed envelopes signed by the letter writer.

Arrange to have the following information sent to St. Catharine College's Admissions Office

    • a. TOEFL (school code 1690)
    • b. official transcripts of secondary or post-secondary coursework
    • c. optional: American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.*

*Students whose ACT/SAT scores are over five years old or who have not completed the ACT or SAT prior to registration will be required to take the COMPASS Evaluation Battery at the College prior to registration.


Additional Information:

  1. Application review committee will contact applicants upon receipt of application. Candidate selections will be made by Monday, October 14, 2013 .
  2. Selected candidates should be prepared to take part in a phone or Skype interview conducted by the review committee.
  3. Selected recipients must:
    • a. Submit appropriate non-immigrant student visa (F-1) paperwork by November 1, 2013 .
    • b. Inquire about and adhere to required vaccination and immunization policies.
    • c. Show proof of suitable international insurance including repatriation benefit. The benefits will need to be set out in English.
    • d. Work with SCC representatives to schedule travel , housing, and enrollment details
    • e. Provide proof of payment plan (documentation from Eleanor Bingham Miller International Scholarship).
    • f. Provide emergency contact information.
    • g. Have an international driver's license (optional but recommended).
    • h. Make provisions for medication prescriptions (as applicable).
    • i. NOTE: Because American immigration, visa, and foreign student travel regulations and laws are in a state of change, non-citizen applicants are advised to contact both the College and the appropriate Embassy or Consulate to determine the most recent requirements.