Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
What is the Value of Accreditation?
Environmental Education is alive and well in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. An option of the Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management, majors in Environmental Education and Interpretation gain hands-on field skills in natural resources, are provided with a solid foundation in environmental education theory and application, and experience a semester-long practicum in environmental education and interpretation. We've been doing this for a long time. Why would we seek out accreditation?
Accreditation for college and university programs gives higher education faculty the following:
- An opportunity to reflect on their teaching and the program curriculum. How are you teaching for each of the guidelines as noted in the Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators? How are you assessing students in regards to each of these guidelines? Self-reflection and reflecting on the full program allows you to see areas of weakness and areas of strength. Expand on what you are doing well and work to become stronger in all areas. Being accredited has helped UWSP faculty to clearly see how each course leads to stronger EE professionals.
- An opportunity to share with those across the university--environmental education is an important topic and something that can be integrated across other disciplines. Sharing a press release with others might spark new ideas and lead to future collaborations across campus.
- An opportunity to challenge others to do the same. How can we grow and improve environmental education offerings in institutions across the globe? Challenge and support others to include high quality environmental education. Teacher educators in Wisconsin are developing a review process (using the same guidelines) to help all programs deliver high quality EE.
So, what do you think? How might accreditation benefit you? Visit https://naaee.org/our-work/programs/higher-education-accreditation for more information.