If you are a current or upcoming educator interested in furthering your knowledge and credentials as an environmental educator, Eastern Kentucky University may have something to offer you. Offered to both undergraduate and graduate students, EKU is now offering a 12-hour certificate in environmental education that provides the skills to be a confident leader in environmental education in both formal and informal educational settings. The certificate itself is a form of professional development for in-service educators and provides pre-service educators with a number of professional development experiences. Some examples include training in Project Wild, Population Connection, Project Learning Tree, and/or Project Wet. There are also opportunities to gain credit hours through serving as an environmental education intern where students can work with K-12 groups and conduct outreach within the community.
The certificate allows educators the opportunity to enhance their curriculums with engaging, hands-on exploration, using the natural world as a living laboratory. REC 590 and 790, Teaching in the Outdoors, are two classes that focus on teaching in an outdoor setting by combining outdoor skills and an environmental service-learning investigation. Areas of focus for the course include managing groups in the field, group dynamics, leadership, team building techniques, EE related to outdoor recreation, and Leave No Trace Principles. There are also a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, recreational tree climbing, rock climbing, and overnight camping. EKU is working to continue all of the activities of the course during covid-19 by possibly placing part of the course online, but this will be determined closer to the class start date.
Another interesting opportunity in the certificate is the elective UNP 500/700, a nine-day international service-learning course. This amazing study abroad opportunity allows students to broaden their experiences and perspectives in order to better understand how classroom concepts apply to the real world and real lives of people. Students are able to engage with hands-on content and put their EE skills into practice, while also creating a positive impact on the community and environment. For students interested, the Division of Natural Areas offers fundraising and scholarship opportunities!
The program is accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education and was designed in conjunction with the Master Plan for Environmental Education approved by the Kentucky Legislature. In addition, this program has received accreditation from NAAEE Accreditation: Distinguished College and University Programs.
For more information, visit their website: https://naturalareas.eku.edu/certificate-environmental-education
KAEE is one of the country’s oldest associations supporting environmental education. We are people from all walks of life, coming together to support EE.