CELL Partners

Meet our fantastic partners – amazing schools and organizations committed to making our planet a better place to live.

Accrediting Partners

Most CELL students receive college credit through Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lesley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Students from Northland College and Paul Smith’s College receive credit directly through their home institutions. Northland College is accredited by the the Higher Learning Commission to offer college credit to students. Paul Smith’s College is accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Lesley is a diverse, coeducational university based in Cambridge, Massachusetts with learning sites in 21 states and in Israel. It has been recognized as one of the “best” in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings, included in the Princeton Review’s “Best Northeastern Regional Colleges” listings, and recognized in Backpacker Magazine as having one of the top five outdoor education programs.

Northland is an Environmental Liberal Arts college located in Ashland, WI.  This year, Northland has been named by the Sierra Magazine’s “2011 Cool Schools”, the Princeton Review’s “Best in the Midwest” and “Green School Honor Roll,” and the US News Report’s “Best Colleges 2011.” Their top programs in Sustainable Community Development, Outdoor Education and Natural Resources draw students from 43 states.

Paul Smith’s College is the only private four-year college inside the Adirondack Park, six million acres of breathtaking natural beauty, diverse wildlife and endless outdoor adventure in upstate New York. For nearly 70 years, we’ve welcomed students just like you, young men and women looking for a well-rounded, hands-on, career-building education in an incomparable setting.

Lesley, Northland and Paul Smith’s place high value and emphasis on experiential and sustainability education which is why CELL and these programs work so well together.

Iceland Partner

Solheimar is an eco-village in Iceland of about 100 people and is renowned for its international, artistic, and ecological atmosphere. Solheimar is the first self-sufficient community of its kind in the world, where people with special needs and those without live and work together. Inspired by the theories of Rudolf Steiner, Sólheimar has focused on cultivating the individual and the environmental and was the first community in Scandinavia to practice organic cultivation. During a CELL Iceland semester program, students live in one of the world’s most unique eco-villages while also learning about the potential of geothermal energy and hydrogen technology, self-sufficient buildings, renewable energy generated in the community, organic cultivation, production from natural resources, and recycling. For more information on the CELL Iceland program, see our Iceland Program page.

Central America Partners


Grupo Fenix is a Nicaragua-based cooperative network of university-trained engineers and local community people who share a common passion for developing solar- and renewable-energy technologies and finding cost-effective ways to have these simple technologies utilized. Providing affordable and renewable electricity to rural villages helps to reduce the over-consumption of firewood, which causes deforestation, the drying up of local rivers, serious erosion and loss of top soil, and devastating mudslides. For more information, see our Central American Program page.


Heifer International’s mission involves working with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Its vision is a world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet. The simple idea of giving families a source of food through the gift of animals rather than short term relief caught on and has continued for over 60 years. Today millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope. As people share their animals’ offspring with others, they “pass on the gift” along with their knowledge, resources, and skills and an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe. Heifer’s development keeps the long term care of the earth as integral to its work.

Sustainable Harvest International’s (SHI) mission involves building a global network of local partners working toward environmental, economic, and social sustainability. SHI facilitates long-term collaboration among trained local staff, farmers, and communities to implement sustainable land-use practices that alleviate poverty by restoring ecological stability.

Costa Rica

Asociacion ANAI is a Costa Rica-based community/environmental organization which has pioneered some of the tropical world’s most successful community-based, sustainable-development practices. Working hand in hand with the inhabitants of Costa Rica’s Talamanca region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ANAI has been instrumental in implementing a regional initiative that is helping rural communities become more economically self-reliant through environmentally friendly activities. For more information, see our Central American Program page.

Kekoldi Scientific Center is located in the Kekoldi Reserve in Talamanca, Costa Rica. It is a great place to study nature. The special relationship that the Bri Bri people have with their environment has inspired the development of many different types of field studies opportunities. The immense biodiversity of the area in addition to the added richness of the migratory wildlife makes the Kekoldi Reserve and Tallamanca in general so incredibly valuable to conservation ecology and scientific research. Volunteers may be a part of various opportunities to assist in research/conservation projects such as working with local official counters in monitoring raptor migration.

Scotland Partners

The Findhorn Foundation and surrounding community at The Park, Findhorn and at Cluny Hill in Forres, is a vibrant, creative home to more than 400 people from all over the world. Together, and with the thousands of people who visit each year, we are exploring the challenge and task of creating new ways of living to promote:

  • inner listening and self-knowledge
  • peaceful relationships
  • cooperation with nature
  • sustainability on all levels

Program Partners

Northwest Earth Institute is a non-profit organization that inspires people to take responsibility for Earth. NWEI was founded in 1993 with a simple objective: to give people a framework to talk about our relationship with the planet and to share in discovering new ways to live, work, create and consume.

Pachamama Alliance is a global community that offers people the chance to learn, connect, engage, travel and cherish life for the purpose of creating a sustainable future that works for all.

Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots – special places that are vital to the health of the ocean – through the creation of a global network of marine protected areas to safeguard 20% of the ocean by 2020.

The Climate Reality Project is a diverse group of passionate individuals who have come together to help solve the greatest challenge of our time.The mission of the Climate Reality Project is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.

350.org is building a global climate movement. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is the nation’s most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of more than 2 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of nearly 500 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.

Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of 18 member campuses whose purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate the public purposes and civic mission of higher education.

Earth Policy Institute is a non-government research organization whose main goal is “to raise public awareness to the point where it will support an effective public response to the threats posed by continuing population growth, rising CO2 emissions, the loss of plant and animal species, and the many other trends that are adversely affecting the Earth. The dissemination of information from the Institute is designed to help set the public agenda. Without a vision, without a sense of where we want to go, it will be very difficult to get there. The purpose of the Earth Policy Institute is to provide a vision of what an environmentally sustainable economy will look like, a roadmap of how to get from here to there, and an ongoing assessment of this effort, of where progress is being made and where it is not”.

CELL is also a member of The International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, an educational organization “serving students, colleges, universities, service agencies and related organizations around the world by fostering programs that link volunteer service to the community and academic study”.

For information on educational study abroad loans as well as other information, see Edvisors.