Friday, October 12, 2012

NAAEE 2012 EE--Certfication presentations

The primary reason for my attendance at this conference was to help present about Ohio's Environmental Education Certification program.  I was fortunate to be a part of the development of this program from the beginning and Jen Bucheit and I came out to sit in on two panel discussions to help other states that are interested in starting their own EE Certification program. They were called EE Certification 101 and 102.

If you're not familiar with the EE Certification program, it is a professional certification process that is guided and accredited by NAAEE across the country.  NAAEE provides the guidelines, standards, and general policies for an EE Certification program and it's the state affiliates' job to follow those guidelines and standards as they develop their programs in order to gain that accreditation. 

Ohio's program has been in development since 2006.  Our first pilot year was 2009 and we actually conducted two pilot years.  Our first full year was 2011 and we've just began our 2nd full year this past month.

The premise of the EE Certification program is to provide a professional certification to those working in the EE field.  Most professions have some sort of certification that provides consistency, best practices, and a general base knowledge that helps ensure that those in the field are all on the same page.  It lends credibility to the profession and it looks good on a resume'. 

Jen and I basically gave this information in our two sessions. We had fellow panel members from Kentucky, Utah, Maryland, Colorado and Pennsylvania to help with the presentation. There were a few states that had some questions, either because their state's programs were in disrepair or they didn't have a program at all. There were a lot of good discussions and it's always interesting to see how other states run their programs. Ours is fairly young and we "stole" ideas from several states, especially Kentucky. Collaboration is a great thing!

If you are someone who is new to the field of EE, would like to increase your own knowledge, boost your resume', are in need of professional development or graduate credit, and want to give yourself a competitive edge in the field, you can check out Ohio's EE Certification Program online at   The fee is $500 and that includes your meals, lodging and materials for three in-person meetings with instructors and your cohort throughout the school year.  The syllabus and application are on the website.

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