Prepare to access local communities and environments as a context for action-oriented teaching and learning through our cross-college Place-Based Education (PBE) Undergraduate Certificate Program. Learn to design and implement curricula and interpretive materials based on the socio-political, cultural, ecological, historical, geographical, and pedagogical dimensions of specific places.
Developed in partnership with Shelburne Farms, the program provides unique opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the social-ecological system they are studying, actively engaging and deepening connections to people and places in the local community and environment. Through an interdisciplinary construct, students learn to address local social, cultural, and environmental issues with learners of all ages.
Fostering a More Sustainable Future
With UVM's strong reputation as an environmental university, we routinely attract students who hold a clear interest in environmental education, outdoor education, service learning, and experiential education. Place-based education is an important approach to understanding the past while fostering a more sustainable future.
In many cases, students’ interests are paired with concerns about sustainability and social justice. Some choose formal teaching as a pathway, seeking teacher licensure and a career as a classroom teacher. Others pursue roles outside of the formal classroom as park interpreters, museum educators, or ropes course instructors. Regardless of their interests, all are committed to a type of education that adapts to local conditions and fosters learning in the context of particular places, cultures, and communities.
Place-based education is an approach grounded in the local environment, its various narratives, and the lived experience of students. Our local environment – with its natural and human histories, economic and social issues, and political and ecological dynamics – provides a robust and integrative context for teaching and learning.
To earn the certificate, undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 credits, including 6 or more credits at the 100-level or higher. Specific courses included in the certificate are as follows.