National Environmental Education Training Program
EPA supports environmental education (EE) and training for teachers and other education professionals through the National Environmental Education and Training Program (NEETP), informally known as the Office of Environmental Education’s teacher training program. The purpose of this program is to provide EE training and long-term support to formal and non-formal education professionals across the United States, bolstering their ability effectively teach about environmental issues.
Five multi-year cooperative agreements have been awarded under this program to date.
- In 1992, a consortium headed by the University of Michigan received the first award to fund a program entitled the “National Consortium for Environmental Education and Training (NCEET).”
- In 1995, a consortium headed by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) received the second award to fund a program entitled the “Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP 1).”
- In 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) received the third award funding a program also entitled the “Environment Education and Training Partnership (EETAP 2).”
- In 2005, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, received the fourth award to fund a program also entitled the “Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP 3).”
- In 2011, Cornell University received the fifth and most recent award to operate the current program, entitled the “Expanding Capacity in Environmental Education (EECapacity) Project.”
Program Design and Function
Each iteration of the teacher training program, while different in specific activities and methodologies, includes mandated functions and activities as part of their overall program. These include:
- Delivering in-service educator training that builds on existing quality EE programs.
- Delivering pre-service educator training that enables student teachers and faculty in education departments at colleges and universities to effectively include EE in their teaching.
- Developing, promoting and/or providing training on the national EE Guidelines for Excellence, which seek to improve the quality of EE. Supporting state “infrastructure” that enables educators to effectively teach about environmental issues (referred to as “state capacity building”).
- Developing and institutionalizing a materials review process that identifies, evaluates, and promotes quality EE materials.
- Supporting accreditation efforts to include EE in college and university teacher preparation programs.
- Supporting states in developing their own environmental educator certification programs.
- Facilitating access to EE information and materials online by expanding and enhancing existing resource centers.