Professional Environmental Education Certification | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Professional Environmental Education Certification

I just received my Professional Environmental Education Certification in June so I wanted to start a discussion on how this certification is helpful to the field of EE. In the state of Kentucky where I live, people who are certified attend 4 weekends of coursework over three days, beginning Friday around noon and ending Sunday around 5 pm. Part of the reason it starts at noon is to allow for driving time and change in time zones since Kentucky is cut into two by Central and Eastern time zones. Over the course of the four weekends I learned a lot from my peers who were also taking the certification course. I especially enjoyed learning what other people do for a living (or a hobby) and how these relate to EE. I enjoyed talking with my peers and hearing new perspectives, especially from my peers who live in coal country. It allowed me to take a step back and appreciate other ideas, who I rarely interact with in my job as a university professor. The course allowed me to make new connections with people in my state (and another state as well), which is always helpful when writing grants or creating workshops.

Another part of my learning that was valuable was how it brought NAAEE guidelines and NGSS and Common Core standards into our learning. As an educator, I was aware of teaching standards, but enjoyed interacting with my peers in a nonformal setting to see how to best use NAAEE guidelines in their practice of teaching. I also enjoyed helping nonformal educators understand how objectives and assessment could help them in learning more about their teaching and their audiences. I also valued my time driving with a fellow EE peer, because this gave us more time to learn about each other and what each person's job entails. The two plus hours of driving time to most of the state parks seemed to go very quickly when we shared our passion for EE.

I also enjoyed the readings and writing reflections. I liked being able to interact with others who had read what I had read and hear their points of view. I also enjoyed the feedback I received from the instructors. I enjoy reading comments that show another person has read and processed my writing and provided me with other ideas to ponder.

I know that states have different types of certification programs. I would love to hear from others and what they have learned in the process of becoming an EE certified professional.