To enter the program, applicants need at least 18 quarter credits (12 semester credits) in the natural sciences, as approved by the Director of the Environmental Education program. This ensures students are prepared to take graduate level biology courses and succeed. Typically pre-requisite course work includes a year of introductory biology and three additional courses such as ecology, and plant or animal natural history courses.
The Environmental Education Program is an integral part of the southern Oregon community. Graduate students regularly volunteer, intern, or work with local organizations to gain a wider breadth of experience. The EE program maintains strong partnerships with groups such as Southern Oregon Regional Environmental Education Leaders (SOREEL), Bear Creek Watershed Educational Program (BCWEP), and Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, often encouraging graduate students to represent Southern Oregon University. The time invested in these programs occurs outside of curriculum requirements.
Students begin the program during the second Summer Session, taking ED 557 and BI 523. This permits successful completion of the program at the end of fall term the following academic year. The curriculum consists of 52 graduate credits, 37 of which are core credits.
Environmental Education Courses:
EE 507 Selected Topics in Environmental Education (1 credit)
Seminar explores current topics in EE. Presented at Deer Creek Center, and offered in conjunction with EE 594 (Leadership in Environmental Education) and EE 595 (Teaching in Environmental Education).
EE 524 Concepts in Environmental Education (3 credits)
The field is explored from its beginnings to the present. The course considers the diversity of goals and practices in environmental education including place-based education. Students will visit, research, and evaluate EE programs and curricula including both local and national programs. Field trips to local programs.
EE 525 Special Methods in Environmental Education (3 credits)
Designed to compliment ED 557 (Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment), this course considers current educational methods for the classroom and adapts them for environmental educators in diverse settings, especially the field. Additional topics include the creation of field-based activities and interpretive signage. Co-requisite: ED 557 (Fall offering)
EE 526 Trends in Environmental Education (2 credits)
Focuses on environmental education as a profession. Current literature is analyzed to evaluate trends with the field. The course focuses on how professional environmental educators contribute to the development of the field, including research and publications.
EE 527 Place-based Curriculum Development (3 credits)
This field course studies the biological and physical environment at Deer Creek Center or another site in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion. Students investigate patterns of natural resource use by the community, and generate a place-based curriculum for implementation at the field station. Overnight field trips required.
EE 528 Environmental Issues (3 credits)
Relevant environmental issues important to today’s environmental educators will be investigated. The course prepares environmental educators to address a wide range of local, regional, and global issues facing society. Areas of study include the loss of biodiversity and strategies for preservation and recovery of threatened species, sustainable management of natural resources, and global issues affecting the welfare of the human population and the biosphere.
EE 529 Environmental Education Program Administration (3 credits)
This course focuses on the administrative elements necessary to design and implement safe and effective environmental education programs based on North American Association of Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence. Topics will include a strong focus on program evaluation and reporting in addition to contract negotiations, liability insurance, grant writing, certifications and accreditations, marketing, safety, personnel management, and more.
EE 593 Practical Applications of Environmental Education (a total of 2 credits are required)
Internship focuses on using the field as a classroom. Students work closely with environmental educators in either a non-profit organization or local, state, or federal government agency to develop and present activities and curricula.
EE 594 Leadership in Environmental Education (a total of 4 credits are required)
Students manage an educational program at Deer Creek Center. Includes marketing, communication with participants, coordinating and scheduling programs, and developing resources for future classes. Participation at Deer Creek Center requires part-time residence at the field station. Pre-requisites: EE 525, EE 527.
EE 595 Teaching in Environmental Education (a total of 4 credits are required)
Students present and assess an educational program at Deer Creek Center involving a variety of audiences. Teaching will be supervised by qualified faculty members from Southern Oregon University. Participation at Deer Creek Center requires part-time residence at the field station. Pre-requisites: EE 525, EE 527.
ED 557A Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment I (3 credits)
ED 557B Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment II (3 credits)
Studies classroom teaching processes to help the beginning teacher develop a repertoire of strategies for instruction planning and assessment in diverse elementary, middle, and secondary settings. Emphasizes effective strategies for standards-based education and the implementation of the Oregon Education Act for the Twenty-First Century. Addresses issues related to exceptionality, including mainstreaming and inclusion. Explores material related to the characteristics and needs of at-risk youth and considers how schools can respond to these needs.
BI 523 Natural History of the Pacific Northwest (3 credits)
This course provides a natural history component to the program. It enables students to understand forest, range, and water issues that affect our region.
Students must take several graduate level biology electives in addition to their core curriculum. Classes offered may include Ornithology, Herpetology, Conservation Biology, Animal Behavior, Plant Ecology, and Fish and Fisheries.