Environmental Education Since COVID-19: Program Policies and Resources

Navigating the Environmental Education Certification Program in the "New Normal" 

Extended Time Due to Pandemic-Related State of Emergency 

Due to closures, delays and shifts to online professional development that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs is granting individual extensions to those who were actively enrolled in the program during the pandemic-related state of emergency in North Carolina. This extension only applies to participants who had active accounts in the timeframe of March 10th of 2020 to August 15th of 2022. This extension does not apply to individuals who enrolled on or after August 15th, 2022. Enrollees who feel their completion schedule was impacted by COVID-19 should contact the EE Certification Program Managers for more information.

Online, Remote, Hybrid and Independent Study Credit Options

The COVID-19 pandemic also gave rise to innovations and restructuring of Criteria I, II and III credit options. While many live and face-to-face professional development opportunities and conferences have returned, the Office recognizes the need for continued flexibility to meet the needs of program participants. 

Criteria I. The pandemic resulted in increased awareness of available online Criteria I options, and encouraged the development of new ones.

The Basics of Environmental Education is a required independent study workshop that offers 10 hours of Criteria I and is online.

Mastering En-ROADS Training from Climate Interactive is a Criteria I Workshop, and is online and self-paced. 

The Environmental Educators of North Carolina now offers an online version of the Methods of Teaching Environmental Education workshop. They have also developed an additional online Criteria I, "Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in EE." Visit https://www.eenc.org/learning-opportunities for more information on these and other workshop offerings, which are also posted on the NC-EE email listserv. Also, the Criteria I NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence workshops are sometimes offered in online or hybrid formats. 

Other online Criteria I workshops are in development. Follow the NC-EE listerv and the Office on social media for updates. 

Criteria II. Independent study and remote Criteria II options are allowed in the program. Some program providers now offer remote and supervised independent study Criteria II options. Follow the NC-EE listserv check the calendar for opportunities.  Please email the EE Certification Program Managers for approval before starting your own independent study Criteria II or before offering a remote or supervised independent study Criteria II experience to the public. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences provides a series of self-guided Criteria IIs that can be done on your own time and at your location. 

Criteria III and Continuing Education. Note that webinars and online courses related to environmental education have always been eligible for Criteria III and CE. Please provide an EE Form and documentation of completion if possible. In some cases, EE Forms for online experiences will be accepted on the honor system if no documentation of completion is available.