Live Learn Teach: Graduate Programs in Environmental Education and Community Leadership

If you're looking for a progressive graduate program that blends theory and practice within a professional learning community the following programs have been identified by ANCA as unique graduate experiences. The programs are specifically designed for students who wish to establish a career in environmental education. All are associated with ANCA member institutions that provide a professional learning community, professional mentors, and a national network of academic and nonprofit partners and fit the following criteria –

  • These are intensive and immersive programs that follow a cohort model where the current students start and finish the program together.
  • All are graduate level programs (Master’s/PhD/EdD level) with credits provided by an accredited, degree-granting institution.
  • All provide graduate level coursework and focused mentoring.
  • There is dedicated faculty at the organization that has some status of higher education distinction by the university partner, e.g. Adjunct faculty.
  • They blend theory, practical application, and experience within an intentional professional learning community.
  • Many of these programs are residential with students living on site or in shared housing with fellow graduate students.
Antioch University New England
AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies which educates in a collaborative interdisciplinary setting, is founded on the principles of environmental justice and sustainability. The oldest environmental studies program in the country, AUNE offers environmental education opportunities for Master of Science (MS) and doctoral candidates in an engaged learning community. Through course offerings, professional internships, and graduate capstones, students are grounded in environmental education theory as they gain hands-on experience in environmental science, civic ecology and stewardship practices, cultural competency, social justice, community resilience, positive youth and community development and understanding cities as socio-ecological systems and dynamic “classrooms” for all ages. Learn more at
IslandWood offers two unique graduate programs to prepare leaders in innovative and inclusive education for a sustainable future.
The Graduate Certificate in Education for Environment & Community, offered in partnership with the University of Washington, focuses on building skills in culturally-responsive teaching and experiential, student-centered learning. This 10 month residential program is based on our 250-acre campus on Bainbridge Island, WA, a 35-miute ferry ride from downtown Seattle.
The Master of Arts in Education in Urban Environmental Education, offered in partnership with Antioch University Seattle, dives deep into environmental education with a focus on urban systems and social justice, creating change agents for thriving, sustainable cities. This five quarter program is based in Seattle, WA.
Learn more at
The University of Idaho
- McCall Outdoor Science School
Located on Payette Lake in the Rocky Mountains of central Idaho, the MOSS Graduate Residency prepares professionals to shape our future generations of citizens. Graduates may serve in the classroom, in the field, as formal educators, or as resource professionals and will have the skills to effectively educate a diversity of learners through experiential methods, using the outdoors as an integrating context for learning about science, place and community. Through blended coursework and teaching practice, students will learn and grow as educators, scientists and leaders. Students earn a Master of Natural Resources in 12 months. Learn more at
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen College
This holistic program will invigorate, expand and develop your teaching and leadership skills on our 1,200 acre preserve.Over the 33-credit, 11-month long program courses are delivered in class and in the field with February in the Bahamas. Our extensive teaching practicum combines seminars with a wide range of teaching experiences and audiences. Conferences and cross-disciplinary field trips explore nature centers, parks, city programs, and green schools A capstone project investigates a topic you choose, and applies it to regional needs through curriculum. Learn more at
North Cascades Institute
Establish your career in environmental education by earning a Master of Education while working with the Northwest’s best educators, naturalists and conservation leaders! North Cascades Institute offers a unique professional residency program designed to prepare students in all aspects of environmental education while living among the towering peaks of the North Cascades region in Washington State. Unlike many other graduate residency experiences, our professional residency is fully integrated into a degree program at Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.Learn more
Southern Oregon University
The Master of Science in Environmental Education at Southern Oregon University equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become effective educators and leaders in the environmental education field. This student led program is cohort based and provides opportunities for graduate students to create and implement all aspects of place-based environmental education field programs. The field element, called Fall in the Field, delivered at several sites around Southern Oregon, includes non-residential and residential environmental education experiences designed for K-12 learners. Participants develop critical thinking skills through hands-on standards-aligned lessons incorporating Citizen Science, service learning, and other place-based curriculum. Learn more at
Teton Science Schools
Based in Grand Teton National Park, Teton Science Schools Graduate Program weaves together academic courses and teaching experiences that position the graduate student to make an effective impact in their chosen field. The Graduate Program is a unique combination of academic and practical educational training with academic courses in ecology and education coupled with teaching experiences in Jackson Hole as well as in Wyoming public and independent schools. During their year of residency at Teton Science Schools, students can earn up to 32 transferable graduate credits through the University of Wyoming from their academic and practicum experiences. Learn more at
Walking Mountains Science Center
Come work, learn and play in our beautiful mountain community! Wallking Mountains Science Center is now accepting applications for our multi-faceted graduate fellowship. This is a unique 2 year and 3 month commitment through which Natural Science Educators will teach summer science camps and school field science programs while they simultaneously participate in a Master of Arts graduate program through the University of Norther Colorado and earn an M.A. in Science Education. Learn more at
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Wolf Ridge alumni continue to teach and lead the field of environmental education all over the world in formal classrooms, at state and national parks, in nature centers, zoos, museums, organic farms, and as artists and adventurers. Since 1974, the program has served almost 1000 adult students with diverse backgrounds who come to this learning community to sharpen their skills in environmental education. Employers seek these graduates for their commitment to excellence and demonstrated knowledge, skills and attitudes that lead to success in the education of and for the outdoors. You will leave as an independent, competent, and confident educator. Learn more at


PDF Comparison

For a more complete look at each of these programs, please download this PDF document, which offers a comparison of degrees granted, lengths of programs and their content, university partners, fees, available housing and much more.

Program comparison


To be listed on the Live Learn Teach webpage your graduate program must meet the criteria described above and you must have a current, institutional level membership with ANCA. Please complete this online form to have your program listed or to update your listing.