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Kentucky Association for Environmental Education facilitators create a powerful network of educators who not only offer environmental education training to their communities but also help propel environmental literacy across Kentucky. The network is made up of educators from all walks of life; you can find KAEE facilitators in elementary classrooms, at nature centers and state parks, in universities, in the state government, and more. To make the process of becoming a facilitator more accessible and inclusive, especially to those living in far reaches of Kentucky who may not have access to paid time off, flexible scheduling, or travel budgets for multi-day workshops, KAEE is currently developing a Professional Learning Leader eeCredential. Designed to build the capacity of its participants to host high-quality environmental education workshops, the eeCredential includes five courses and the culminating project of co-facilitating a curriculum educator workshop. ​As a train-the-trainer learning program, the Professional Learning Leader eeCredential will enable participants, upon completion of the set of courses, to become facilitators and themselves lead workshops across the state. The training, offered online, will include a mix of videos, webinars, and assignments and will include a number of interactive elements to engage participants. The capstone piece allows participants to co-facilitate a workshop with a trained facilitator who can assess their facilitation skills. “Our facilitators and educators are the ‘boots on the ground,’ working directly with their various audiences to advance environmental knowledge in Kentucky,” says KAEE Executive Director Ashley Hoffman. “Our goal is to support those efforts by providing them with easily-accessible professional learning opportunities designed to help them in their work.” Courses in this eeCredential center around the Next Generation Science Standards and include

  • Sound Environmental Education Principles

  • EE Curriculum Program Training (2 courses)

  • Facilitator Basics

  • Elective Course (options of Appalachian Mountain Ecology, Kentucky Academic Standards, Climate Education, Food Literacy, Collaboration & Inclusiveness, Native American History, Nonpoint Source Pollution, and more)

Because this eeCredential is a robust professional learning experience with a significant time commitment, and due to the pandemic and our inability to meet in person, we currently require that participants have previously attended at least one environmental education training or workshop. However, anyone interested in taking a single course or set of courses rather than the full eeCredential is invited to do so (check out the available courses here)! Participants will receive a badge for each course completed, and those who complete the entire eeCredential will also receive a certificate of completion and a certificate for becoming a certified KAEE Facilitator. To see the course plans and cost breakdowns, please visit the Professional Learning Leaders eeCredential webpage. (Spoiler alert--KAEE members get a big discount!) The registration window for this pilot launch is June 22-July 3. Participants will be notified of acceptance no later than July 6 (and sooner if possible), and the Participant Orientation Webinar will be held on July 7. Coursework, which is asynchronous following the orientation, will begin on July 8.

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