Education for the Head, Heart, and Hand
Northfield Mount Hermon engages the intellect, compassion, and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose.
The NMH Board of Trustees developed and approved this mission statement in 2009. Board members, along with students, faculty, and staff, also look to a set of core values
for guidance and inspiration:
EXCELLENCE, RESPECT, INTEGRITY, PERSISTENCE, CREATIVITY, and TEAMWORK.
These fundamental values are manifested in our community through:
- A teaching and learning culture that helps students become versatile problem-solvers, compassionate thinkers, and effective communicators.
- An innovative academic curriculum that offers choice and challenge.
- Vibrant, engaging, and expansive co-curricular programming.
- Transformative responsibilities and experiences, including the work program, social justice programs, global study, and sustainability initiatives.
- An opportunity for and encouragement of spiritual development through religious traditions, exploration of the human experience, and appreciation of the natural world.
- The expectation and practice of egalitarian ideals, especially honesty, civility, hopefulness, curiosity, and tenacity.
- A commitment to cultivate a community of individuals who are willing and able to be meaningful contributors rather than mere consumers.
- Embracing diversity in all its forms and challenging attitudes in conflict with genuine multiculturalism, equity, and social justice.
A Purposeful Education
When Northfield Mount Hermon was founded more than 100 years ago, a sense of purpose was at the heart of its mission. From the beginning, we were dedicated to providing “an education for the head, heart, and hand.” Today, that goal remains as strong as ever, as we expand the concept of a purposeful education to address the needs and challenges of the 21st century.
As we see it, a purposeful education is made up of three main elements:
- Knowledge. At NMH, we provide the broadest range of subjects—including English, science, math, history, world languages, religion, arts, engineering, technology, equity and justice, and health and wellness—all of which can be explored in depth, courtesy of our distinctive College Model Academic Program (CMAP). Your academic experience at NMH will help you develop as a problem solver, a leader, and a person of conscience. You will gain your knowledge in and out of the classroom—and, when the time comes, you will be ready for your next chapter.
- Opportunities. Your school years should be all about finding the passion that lives within you. At NMH, we have an extraordinary track record in helping young women and men locate their enthusiasm and turn it into something productive. You will be surrounded by a constellation of teachers, coaches, and advisors—your Partnership of Twelve—who will work with you closely to identify opportunities that will lead to your self-realization.
- Citizenship. Whether it is in the classroom, on your workjob, in the community, on the athletic fields, in performance spaces, or wherever you interact with others, you will live and learn citizenship every day at NMH.
Discover Northfield Mount Hermon and you will discover that your education can be more expansive, multidimensional, and purposeful than you ever thought possible.
At Northfield Mount Hermon, where a purposeful education is paramount, we encourage students to push their intellectual boundaries. Discover a love for poetry you never knew you had. Access an aptitude for quantitative thinking that has not yet been developed. Experiment with learning a new language. Explore unanticipated directions in pursuit of knowledge, and we will encourage your journey. Inevitably, that journey will take you beyond the classroom, as you uncover learning opportunities through clubs, community service, on teams, in the residence halls, and perhaps through study abroad experiences. You’ll learn to think like a citizen of the world—and learn to be an active citizen within your own community.
Our teachers represent the heart of the NMH experience. As credentialed scholars, they’re the equal of any boarding-school faculty in the country. Dedicated and passionate, they will inspire you, nurture your interests, and motivate you to excel.
Our College Model Academic Program (CMAP) provides the richest possible educational experience and gives you a glimpse of what college will be like. By taking three major courses each semester, you’ll spend more time in class with your teachers, which allows for deeper discussion and hands-on projects that increase your understanding of the course material.
Our wide range of courses in all academic departments provides for learning experiences that can be tough, fascinating, meaningful, and, yes, downright fun. Combined with our informed, personal college counseling, an NMH education will not only prepare you for college, but will also challenge you to broaden your view of the world while refining your image of yourself.
Of course, as we said, the classroom is just the beginning at NMH. Our international programs can take you to Uruguay to study Spanish or South Africa with our Humanities II course. Our working farm is a living laboratory where you can conduct college-level experiments in plant biology and soil ecology, learn to make lavender soap and maple syrup, and grow organic vegetables for the dining hall. You can dig deeper into your favorite subjects through student organizations like Model UN and the Math Club, or get creative in the amazing Rhodes Arts Center.
Read about what we've been up to this year. Or, best of all, come visit us.
NMH presents students with a world of opportunities. In addition to classes and homework, your purposeful education will lead you to sports practices and games, rehearsals and performances, “workjob,” and other extracurricular activities. It’s a busy schedule, but all these activities add up to an extraordinary experience with self-discovery that takes place in the context of a supportive and stimulating community. Teenagers and adults live, learn, and work together, developing their commitment to ideals and a powerful sense of citizenship.
As an NMH student, you will be supported by a constellation of at least a dozen adults who are deeply invested in your personal growth. This Partnership of Twelve is made up of classroom teachers, coaches, deans, advisors, workjob supervisors, and dorm parents, all working together to guide you toward your academic, social, and athletic goals.
Life in the dorms is a rich and vital part of the NMH experience, with students from all over the country and even the globe sharing good times together. Dorms are more than places for students to lay their heads at night; each one is a social hub and a welcome home base. Day students are assigned specific dorms as well; they frequently spend the night on weekends and participate in dorm activities.
Dining at NMH is truly something special. Whether it’s stir-fry Tuesday, Mexican Monday, or the on-demand soft-serve ice cream machine that uses NMH farm milk, the food is always wholesome and inventive. It’s a good thing the dining hall is open almost all day for grazing! (View the weekly menu here.)
Beyond food and shelter, students discover at NMH everything they need to lead a healthy, productive life—whether that’s a fun weekend activity, a volunteer gig, aspiritual practice, or health and wellness resources.
About the Arts
Northfield Mount Hermon’s mission is an “education for the head, heart, and hand.” But perhaps we should add the eyes, the feet, and the vocal cords to that list, because, as we see it, the arts help to make us fully realized human beings. They teach new ways to see and think about ourselves and others. Through art, we can access diverse cultures in a way that is fluid and immediate, whether it’s listening to world music, dancing a tango, or watching a foreign film, and this, in turn, promotes the sense of citizenship that is so central to NMH’s purposeful education.
The pursuit of art takes time. At NMH, we recognize that—and factor sufficient time into your schedule. Our unique scheduling system (College Model Academic Program[CMAP]) will allow you to explore any artistic opportunity that captures your interest, at no sacrifice to your studies.
Art courses at NMH will nurture your appreciation and understanding of a wide variety of expressive media. You will develop your own creative skills and deepen your confidence in your talent. Whether it’s learning about sight-reading in music, color theory in the visual arts, movement in dance, or lighting and set design in theater, you will become far more comfortable in the world of the arts.
You’ll learn the vocabulary of art and how to discuss and critique it articulately. You’ll also learn the importance of crossing boundaries, collaborating with artists from other disciplines, and even incorporating ideas from science or economics into the way you think about art. Perhaps you’ll become one of our many alumni who have gone on to careers in theater, music, and the visual arts. But, for sure, you’ll become one of the thousands of NMH alumni who have developed a lifelong passion for making art or loving and supporting it.
Come to campus and explore our beautiful state-of-the-art Rhodes Arts Center, or check out the Gallery blog for more information on exhibits. Pick up a copy of Mandala, our arts and literary magazine, and check out what’s on the arts calendar. You’ll see just how serious we are about art...and how much we celebrate it.
NMH offers one of the broadest athletics programs among secondary schools in the country—and the really good news is that our unique scheduling system (College Model Academic Program [CMAP]) allows students to participate in sports at no sacrifice to their studies. This is all consistent with the NMH philosophy of a purposeful education, providing opportunities for students to discover and cultivate the passion that lies within them. Athletics also help to fulfill another critical element of the NMH philosophy: Citizenship. Through athletics, our students learn valuable lessons about sportsmanship, leadership, and general good behavior that they can apply to all other areas of life.
As a student-athlete, you can compete in 20 interscholastic sports on more than 60 teams that include varsity, junior varsity, and junior levels. Many teams play in the most competitive leagues in New England, so you’ll be asked to dig deeper and reach for your best, all the while working with your classmates as a team. Our experienced coaches push you and support you at the same time. At NMH, no matter which sport you pursue, you’ll go further than you ever imagined possible.
Our two new turf fields and several new outdoor tennis courts (adding up to 12 outdoor courts altogether) attest to our dedication to providing the tools and resources that NMH teams need to succeed. Athletes work out in a newly remodeled fitness center, tear up our eight-lane all-weather track, and swim laps in our indoor six-lane pool. You’ll also find a nine-hole golf course; a boathouse on the Connecticut River; two full gymnasiums; baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and softball fields; and an ice rink.
NMH’s mascot is the Hogger. Lore has it that it refers to students’ workjobs at the farm. Whatever the origin, athletes take pride in their porcine personae.
In addition to interscholastic teams, you can sign up for intramural athletics (soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball) and take part in our extensive outdoor program, where the miles of trails on campus and at nearby mountains and lakes extend your classroom. Dance classes also help you meet physical education/athletics requirements. If you’re ready for a physical and mental challenge, NMH has a sport for you.