Environmental Education Certificate
The Environmental Education Certificate is a 12-credit, professional development program designed for those seeking the skills and knowledge to successfully implement environmental education programs and curriculum. The certificate is grounded in the North American Association for Environmental Education's Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators and administered by the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and the Environmental Studies Program.
The Certificate can be completed as an emphasis in a Master Degree in Environmental Studies or as an emphasis within an advanced degree program in the Department of Teaching and Learning. The goals of the Environmental Education Certification Program are to increase environmental literacy, provide practice in environmental education teaching methods and foster community leadership. The program enhances the ability of educators and organizations to provide quality programs and resources, benefitting local communities while investing in the future of our local and global communities.
Four courses are proposed to satisfy the certificate program. Each course aligns with the North American Association of Environmental Education Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators. The four existing course are listed below:
- ENST/C&I 521: Foundations in Environmental Education - 3 credits, offered autumn. This course provides students with an overview of a variety of effective curricula and models within Environmental Education, along with field trips and projects that will apply coursework to a real Environmental Education setting. Examples of projects completed in the past include developing an in-service workshop in environmental education for the Forestry Department involving ecosystem management, developing an educational trunk for the local Natural History Center, or the development of interpretive trails and curriculum for K-12 student groups.
- ENST/C&I 548: Supervision and Teaching Environmental Ed/Environmental Ed Curriculum/Program Development & Assessment - 3 credits, offered spring (prerequisite: ENST 521 or C&I 521). This course is aimed at environmental educators who will be responsible for developing and assessing curriculum and programming in formal and non-formal EE settings. Through discussions, applied research, and presentations, students will build knowledge and skills in curriculum development and assessment. Projects will include a formative curriculum evaluation and an opportunity to develop a curriculum, material, or program for an organization or school.
- ENST/C&I 525: Teaching Environmental Science/Teaching Environmental Education Methods - 3 credits, offered sporadically. This course is designed to provide students with texts, discussion, and practice of various instructional strategies. Students will experience direct teaching in both the traditional and non-traditional classroom settings. Students will teach in groups of two with one student teaching while the other evaluates and/or videotapes the student. Each student will complete a minimum of three formal teaching experiences, complete a self-evaluation for each teaching experience, evaluate three other students teaching abilities, and present one of their teaching experiences to the class. In addition to teaching, students will be asked to complete two reviews of environmental education curriculum of their choosing.
- ENST 590: Supervised Internship - 3 credits, offered Spring and Fall – Student work in school and/or nonprofit settings developing skills in program management, budget development, and administration.
The admission process involves the following:
- Successful admission into a Masters degree programs in Teaching & Learning or Environmental Studies.
- Completion of an interview based on previous professional experiences, educational background, GPA, and professional goals.
The following requirements must be completed to receive the Certificate in Environmental Education:
- Completion of the 12-credit certificate sequence having a grade of B or better in all course work.
- A written reflective essay addressing how you have met the NAAEE guideline criteria aligned with each course, field experiences, and internship.
- Completion of an exit interview where your performance on each strand and element will be evaluated as unacceptable, acceptable, or target level as established by the NAAEE guidelines.
To receive the certificate students must score at the acceptable or target level on all elements.