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

The University of Vermont defines sustainability as the pursuit of ecological, social, and economic vitality that allows the needs of the present to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. UNESCO and its UN partners identified “building the capacities of educators” in relation to education for sustainable development as one of three top priority action areas.

To accelerate transformative societal response to today’s unprecedented and interconnected environmental, social, and economic challenges, UVM and the Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools established a partnership to offer two certificates of graduate study in Education for Sustainability (EFS). With two extraordinary campuses for a deep learning experience, the programs are 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

Coursework: Two Graduate Certificate Pathways

Grounded in action research, transformative education, and youth leadership, the EFS coursework prepares educators to empower learners in making positive changes in their communities while shifting societies to improve the quality of life for current and for future generations. Education for Sustainability nurtures and cultivates a relationship between students and their natural and human communities, builds an understanding of interdependence through systems thinking, and positions students to discover their value and purpose through community service and action.

Beginning in the spring of 2022, educators can choose to enroll in coursework leading to an 12-credit Micro Certificate of Graduate Study (mCGS-EFS) or an 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. 

Each pathway includes four core courses offered at Shelburne Farms’ campus or online. Elective courses in the 18-credit CGS-EFS are available to broaden educators' understanding of sustainability and develop a deeper understanding of socio-ecological systems within a local-to-global vision of sustainability to address social, environmental, and economic issues in partnership with students.

Micro Certificate of Graduate Study in Education for Sustainability (12 credits)

Required Courses (3 credits each)

EDCI 343 Foundations of Education for Sustainability
EDCI 344 Methods in Education for Sustainability
EDCI 345 Education for Sustainability Inquiry & Action
EDCI 346 Transformational Leadership in Education for Sustainability

Certificate of Graduate Study in Education for Sustainability (18 credits)

Required Core Courses (3 credits each)

EDCI 343 Foundations of Education for Sustainability
EDCI 344 Methods in Education for Sustainability
EDCI 345 Education for Sustainability Inquiry & Action
EDCI 346 Transformational Leadership in Education for Sustainability

Elective Courses (choose two of the following 3-credit courses)

CDAE 260 Smart Resilient Communities
CDAE 273 Project Development & Planning
CDAE 276 Community Design Studio
CDAE 321 Econ of Sustainable Food Syst
CDAE 326 Community Economic Development
CDAE 376 Communicating Science
FS 340 Food Systems Science and Policy
FS 345 Food Systems, Society and Policy
PSS 311 Introduction to Agroecology
PSS 312 The Ecological Foundations of Agroecology.
PSS 313 Participatory Action Research (PAR) & Transdisciplinary Approaches to Agroecology
PSS 314 Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Social Movements

Core Faculty

Contact Us

Please email us at efs@uvm.edu if you are have are interested or have questions.