Environmental Education Endorsement

The Environmental Education Endorsement will provide in-service teachers and non-formal educators with skills and knowledge that will enhance their ability to teach higher-level thinking skills (including formal operations) across disciplines. The program is designed to provide applied, place-based examples and experiences that teachers can use when teaching facts and concepts in math, science, social studies and English. The program is appropriate for teachers from pre-K through secondary levels; however, middle school teachers will especially benefit from learning hands-on activities appropriate to students entering that phase of their learning ability.

Students seeking the fifth-year, M.A. in Education, M.A. in Teaching, and the Rank I in elementary, middle grades or secondary education may complete the Environmental Education Endorsement. Other certified teachers, students in the M.A. in Teaching program, and non-formal educators (for example, park naturalists, interpretive zoologists, etc.) enrolled at the graduate level are also eligible for this certificate as an extended area of study. To obtain an Environmental Education Endorsement, students must complete 12 credit hours of coursework that collectively meet the North American Association of Environmental Educator's "Guidelines for the Initial Preparation of Environmental Educators Standards." These courses may be taken as the content/specialization of the M.A. and fifth-year programs, M.S. programs, and the professional area of the Rank I program.

Admission Requirements

  1. General admission to graduate study (for criteria, refer to "Admission to Graduate Study").
  2. Standard or provisional teaching certification or a statement of eligibility for teaching. Those students seeking to develop expertise in the area of environmental education will be able to take courses, but it cannot be used for initial teacher certification.
  3. A minimum of 2.75 undergraduate GPA.
  4. Interview by faculty and/or professional staff associated with the Environmental Education Center.

Program Competencies

  1. Students will construct a basic understanding of the goals, theory, practice and history of the field of environmental education.
  2. Students will be competent in the skills and understandings related to environmental literacy, including knowledge of environmental processes and systems and skills related to questioning, analysis and personal and civic responsibility.
  3. Students will be able to combine the fundamentals of high quality educational practices with the unique features of environmental education to design and implement effective instruction.
  4. Students will be able to engage learners in open inquiry and investigation, especially when considering environmental issues that are controversial and require students to seriously reflect on their own and others' perspectives.
  5. Students will possess the knowledge, abilities and commitment to make assessment and evaluation integral to instruction and programs.


  1. Students must obtain a grade of at least "B" in the core courses and maintain an overall 3.0 GPA in the endorsement course work.
  2. Upon completion of the coursework, candidates are required to complete the implementation and summation of a 40-hour environmental education learning unit and pass a multiple choice exit examination.
  3. Professional portfolio and/or presentation.

Endorsement Requirements


RAPP 685Advanced Environmental Education


RAPP 637Environmental Policy and Management


Total Credit Hours:6


Choose one elective from Group A and one elective from Group B:

Group A (choose one):

AGR 612Conservation Workshop


BIOL 654Environmental Education


BIOL 683Selected Workshop Topics


RAPP 670Directed Research


Total Credit Hours:3

BIOL 683: (if approved by advisor)

Group B (choose one):

BIOL 635Advanced Ecology


BIOL 636Wetland Ecology and Management


GEO 605Conservation of Natural Resources


SCI 676Research Problems


Total Credit Hours:3

Additional Requirements for the Endorsement

  1. Must be unconditionally admitted.
  2. Students are required to apply for the exit exam at least two weeks prior to the exam date and must have advisor permission to take the exam. Additional written and/or oral examinations may be required as part of the comprehensive exam.
  3. The student is required to complete the implementation and summation of a 40-hour Environmental Education learning unit.
  4. Student must obtain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
  5. Successful completion of 12 hours of approved graduate credits.
  6. Professional portfolio and/or presentation.
  7. Apply for graduation at the beginning of the term in which all requirements will be completed. 

Total Credit Hours: 12