Educators can now go online to earn a master's degree in environmental literacy through a unique program offered by the Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ), an accredited college that is a department within the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE).
The TCSJ's Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Environmental Literacy concentration is the first of its kind in the state. It provides teachers with a close examination of the intersection between peoples, societies, and natural systems, and how to relate within those systems in a humble, sustainable manner. Educators learn to develop integrated curricula and learning opportunities that nurture K-12 students' understanding of the natural world outside the classroom, expand critical thinking skills, and prepare engaged citizens.
This M.Ed. concentration was designed in response to Senate Bill 720, which was signed into law in 2018 and requires local educational agencies in California to teach environmental principles and concepts throughout the state to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Although TCSJ has offered the Environmental Literacy M.Ed. since the fall of 2019, the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges approved the program to be offered 100% online on June 29, 2021. The online platform allows anyone in the state - and beyond - to access the program, providing even more educators the opportunity to build environmental expertise for their students and prepare them to assume leadership roles in their district as they implement environmental literacy programs and initiatives.
"Teachers College always wants to be on the leading edge of education in our community and beyond. With our Environmental Literacy master's concentration, this is just another way we are preparing educators for the future - not just here in California but nationwide," said Dr. Katie Burns, program advisor.
In addition to the Environmental Literacy, M.Ed. concentration, the college offers five other concentrations, two of which will also be offered fully online: Early Education and Special Education.
The TCSJ accepts applications for the M.Ed. program on a year-round basis. For more information about the M.Ed. Environmental Literacy Program and how to apply, call (209) 468-9164 or visit https://teacherscollegesj.edu/Masters/Environmental.