Elizabethtown, Ky., April 20, 2023 – The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) has announced its endorsement of eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring in Environmental Education by the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA).
The guidance was published as a result of a 2021 landscape analysis conducted by SEEA that was designed to understand the current state, ongoing needs and growth areas for the regional environmental education field. Through the analysis, data confirmed that entry-level pay in environmental education is 15 to 25 percent lower than in comparable fields such as forestry, tourism and formal education.
"The SEEA landscape analysis documented what those of us working in environmental education already know that there are inequities in pay and hiring,” said Lauren Pyle, Executive Director of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina. “This eeGuidance is the first resource the environmental education community can use to change this.”
The eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring in Environmental Education provides recommendations and highlights some best practices for environmental and outdoor education organizations. These standards and resources are designed to improve employee retention, attract more diverse talent, create a sustainable career path and establish the field of environmental education as a viable profession.
The guidance asserts that there are several key areas that employers must change to make environmental education careers more accessible to a broader population, including pay and benefits, position design, recruitment, processes and practices. The guidance provides researched explanations of why these areas matter and outlines specific minimum standards for employers to enact immediately. Through the guidance, SEEA also identifies the target standards that all employers in the field must work toward to transform employment.
“We hope that employers review the standards in the eeGuidance when designing positions, staff and supervisors use it to advocate for higher salaries, and that job boards flag positions that meet these standards to help job seekers find sustainable employment,” said Pyle.
KAEE joins other environmental education organizations throughout the Southeastern U.S. in their endorsement, such as Environmental Educators of North Carolina, the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina and the Environmental Education Association of Alabama.
“These research-based recommendations provide organizations throughout the southeast who emphasize environmental education with a strong path forward in regard to equitable employment practices,” said Ashley Hoffman, Executive Director of SEEA. “By following this guidance, we can further inspire the next generation of environmental stewards and ensure that our planet is in good hands."
To learn more about the eeGuidance from the SEEA, visit www.southeastee.org/eeguidance.html.