Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Environmental Education, Master of Education (MEd)

Program Contact
John Lisco 724-738-2596

Slippery Rock University’s Master of Education in Environmental Education benefits students who are interested in or are currently working in formal and non-formal educational institutions.  Emphasis is placed upon developing competencies in integrating environmental education, communication and outreach into curriculum and program development.  This program provides a unique opportunity for classroom teachers wishing to incorporate state and federal guidelines for environmental education into their lessons and assist their schools in advancing “greener” curriculum.  Natural resource professionals wishing to enhance the scope of their work through education and outreach will also benefit from this program while developing a comprehensive understanding of social interaction with ecological systems.


The courses in the environmental education graduate program are structured to provide both depth and breadth in a variety of relevant basic and advanced study opportunities.  Emphasis is placed on environmental education history and philosophy, methodology, and content necessary for preparing an environmentally literate citizenry.  

Slippery Rock University’s master's program in environmental education has been accepted for accreditation by the North American Association of Environmental Education.

SRU is now among a small number of colleges and universities in North America with NAAEE accreditation, which provides third-party, standards-based recognition of quality higher education programs that engage in the preparation and professional development of environmental educators. For accreditation to be awarded, a panel of NAAEE-trained environmental education professionals reviewed and approved a self-study audit submitted by applying institutions.

Some states, including Pennsylvania, offer certification through the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). While certification is not required; it can advance your career. In Pennsylvania, the requirements include, but are not limited to: a passing score on the Environmental Literacy Test, work portfolio, and attendance at a EE Certification Workshop.  Requirements vary by state, so please visit the NAAEE state affiliate where you work.   

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Environmental Literacy - students will be competent in the skills and understandings outlined in Excellence for Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (K-12).
    1. Students will demonstrate competency in questioning, analysis, and interpretation of skills
    2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of environmental processes and systems
    3. Students will demonstrate skills for understanding and addressing environmental issues
    4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of personal and civic responsibility
  2. Foundations of environmental education - Students will have a basic understanding of the goals, theory, practice, and history of the field of EE.
    1. Fundamental characteristics of EE
    2. How EE is implemented
    3. The evolution of the field
  3. Professional responsibilities of the Environmental Educator - Students will understand and accept the responsibilities associated with practicing EE.
    1. Exemplary EE practice
    2. Exemplary EE practice
    3. Emphasis on education, not advocacy
    4. Ongoing learning and professional development
  4. Planning and implementing environmental education - Students will combine the fundamentals of high quality education with the unique features of EE to design and implement effective instruction.
    1. Knowledge of learners
    2. Knowledge of instructional methodologies
    3. Planning for instruction 
    4. Knowledge of EE materials and resources
    5. Technologies that assist learning
    6. Settings for instruction
    7. Curriculum planning
  5. Fostering learning and promoting inclusivity - Students will enable all learners to engage in open inquiry and investigation, especially when considering environmental issues that are controversial and require students to seriously reflect on their own and others’ perspectives
    1. A climate for learning about and exploring the environment
    2. An inclusive and collaborative learning environment
    3. Flexible and responsive instruction
  6. Assessment and evaluation of environmental education - Students will possess the knowledge, abilities, and commitment to make assessment and evaluation integral to instruction and programs.
    1. Learner outcomes
    2. Assessment that is part of instruction
    3. Improving instruction
    4. Evaluating programs

Related Links

Environmental Education, MEd Program Page

Parks and Conservation Department Page

Environmental Education Fact Sheet

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

PCRM 616Aquatic Systems3
PCRM 617Terrestrial Systems3
PCRM 618Wildlife Education3
PCRM 655Social Science Research Methods in Conservation3
PCRM 656Environmental Issues3
PCRM 657Environmental Grant Writing3
PCRM 658Environmental Education3
PCRM 750Parks and Recreation/Environmental Education Internship6
Select a Free Elective3
Total Hours30

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Major Code: 9626