EE Certification

Owl in tree

Professional certification ensures that individuals are fully prepared for work within a specific field of expertise. Certified environmental educators meet stringent requirements for proficiency in both the interdisciplinary content and pedagogy necessary to develop and deliver high quality, effective EE programs.

While it is not necessary to attain certification in order to be employed as an environmental educator, certification readily distinguishes highly qualified professionals and enhances the resumes of those who have attained it. Having a community of certified professionals also elevates respect for the profession.

Applying for Certification

EE certification is conferred on the state or provincial level rather than nationally, usually by the NAAEE affiliate organization. Currently, these states certify individual environmental educators. To apply or inquire, contact your state affiliate or the certification program that best meets your needs.

Certification programs vary from state to state, and may require a combination of approaches based on experience, courses, mentorships, and demonstrating achievement of specific criteria. All NAAEE certification programs are founded on NAAEE's Professional Development of Environmental Educators: Guidelines for Excellence. Most programs accept non-resident applicants and several can be completed entirely online.

Accreditation of Certification Programs

NAAEE accredits state and provincial certification programs that meet rigorous standards and undergo an intensive review process to ensure ongoing compliance with the Guidelines for Excellence and best practices in EE. All accredited programs must be criteria-based; that is, candidates must demonstrate their mastery of core competencies that NAAEE and its affiliates have identified.

Individuals certified through an accredited program have reciprocity with other state or provincial certification programs and can transfer their certification if they move.

NAAEE's accreditation program is relatively new. Currently, the number of accredited programs is small but growing. 

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Certification Background Documents

July 6, 2015

Environmental Education has a rich history. Here you will find links to some important documents.