Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Supporting states and provinces in developing certification programs
Currently, 14 states have developed programs for certifying individual environmental educators, ensuring that these individuals are well prepared to design and implement high-quality programs that meet the national Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education. These programs are based on the Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators, published as part of NAAEE’s National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education. NAAEE Affiliates operate most of these programs, with a few managed by other state agencies in cooperation with the Affiliate. NAAEE accredits state certification programs to ensure that state programs maintain a high level of rigor and to guarantee reciprocity among programs.
Through support from ee360, NAAEE convened a Certification and Accreditation Think Tank in July 2017. Key leaders from 11 states representing certification programs in varying stages of development participated, providing diverse perspectives to explore the certification process. Evaluation experts and advisors with long-term interest in NAAEE's certification and accreditation efforts also attended. The Think Tank explored the status, issues, and solutions related to both certification of individual educators and accreditation of state certification programs. The discussions yielded extensive information, which has been distilled into a series of recommendations for restructuring and promoting the program.
While the national focus has been on constructing a new vision for the overall program, 14 states have continued to operate existing certification programs and additional states continue to express interest in developing new programs.
To support environmental educators who are new to the field, NAAEE is developing a third online eeLEARN module focused on environmental education research and evaluation.