Educators involved in experiential place-based learning at Shelburne Farms.

Accelerate positive change in your school and community with an Education for Sustainability (EFS) Certificate of Graduate Study.

To accelerate transformative societal response to the interconnected environmental, social, and economic challenges of our time, the University of Vermont and the Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools established a partnership to offer two certificates of graduate study in Education for Sustainability (EFS). Coursework is designed for practicing preK-12, post-secondary, and informal educators as well as those working in museum education, outdoor education, parks and recreation activities, and other fields where natural and built environments are part of the curriculum.

Grounded in action research, transformative education, and youth leadership, the program prepares educators to empower learners in making positive changes in their communities to improve the quality of life for current and for future generations. 

Along with asynchronous and synchronous sessions online, coursework includes on-site experiential learning gatherings at Shelburne Farms, an education nonprofit and 1,400-acre working farm in Vermont.

EFS Graduate Certificate Pathways

Educators can choose to enroll in coursework leading to the 12-credit Micro Certificate of Graduate Study (mCGS-EFS) or the 18-credit Certificate of Graduate Student (CGS-EFS). Both pathways combine UVM’s commitment of high-quality teacher education with Shelburne Farms’ international reputation for EFS professional development for teachers. The innovative co-teaching arrangement and scholarship opportunities reduce costs for graduate students.

  • Aziza Malik and colleagues at Champlain Elementary School

    Spotlight on 2024 Vermont Teacher of the Year Aziza Malik

    Champlain Elementary School Teacher Aziza Malik is a recent graduate of our Leadership for Sustainability program where her work examined the connection of Burlington School District to our local Indigenous population.

Choose Your Pathway

Certificate of Graduate Study in EFS (18 credits)

All courses are 3 graduate credits.

Required Core Courses

Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy:

Elective Courses (choose two of the following courses)

  • CDAE 6210 Econ of Sustainable Food Syst
  • CDAE 6260 Community Economic Development
  • CDAE 6760 Communicating Science
  • FS 6450 Food Systems Science and Policy
  • FS 6400 Food Systems, Society and Policy
  • PSS 6110 Introduction to Agroecology (online)
  • PSS 6120 The Ecological Foundations of Agroecology (online)
  • PSS 6130 Participatory Action Research (PAR) & Transdisciplinary Approaches to Agroecology (online)
  • PSS 6140 Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Social Movements (online)


Scholarship Opportunities

Learn about Shelburne Farms scholarships and how to apply. 

Core Faculty



Contact Us

Please email us at if you are interested or have questions.

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"EFS helped me to see my role as bigger than just in my classroom, and how to affect change from within the education system. Now I see myself as a leader." - Julia Marchessault