Certification Registration is NOW CLOSED.

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Mark your calendars for the next registration window: August 8-26, 2022.

Designed with both formal and nonformal educators in mind, the Virginia Environmental Education Certification Program sets a statewide standard for exemplary environmental education practice, encourages exploration of environmental education resources, and promotes professional growth. This certification program is relevant for anyone in Virginia who educates about an aspect of the environment, would like to strengthen their environmental or pedagogical expertise, and is passionate about professionalism in environmental education. 

It has been developed with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) accreditation program in mind. That means you can trust in the quality of materials and the learning process of the program, and once accredited, your certification will be transferable to any state with an NAAEE accredited program.


From NAAEE: "Professional certification ensures that individuals are fully prepared for work within a specific field of expertise. Certified environmental educators meet stringent requirements for proficiency in both the interdisciplinary content and pedagogy necessary to develop and deliver high quality, effective EE programs.

While it is not necessary to attain certification in order to be employed as an environmental educator, certification readily distinguishes highly qualified professionals and enhances the resumes of those who have attained it. Having a community of certified professionals also elevates respect for the profession."

Benefits of Certification

How Much Does It Cost?

How to Get Started

Good for the field of Environmental Education:

Certification addresses the knowledge, skills, and ethical standards required to work as a professional in the EE field and builds the field’s credibility.

Good for you, the environmental educator:

Certification provides robust professional development opportunities resulting in more effective professional practice. Its focus on both theory and practice leads towards greater mastery. Due to this program’s multi-faceted nature, networking opportunities abound.

Once you’ve obtained your certificate, you can be contracted and paid by the VAEE to facilitate training workshops wherever you’re already located.

VAEE is working with environmental education organizations to incentivize and promote environmental education certificate holders.

Certification Candidate Manual

Read the Environmental Education Certification Manual to learn the details of the Virginia Environmental Education Certification Program.

Initial registration to gain access to program - Free

Application: $50

(Application is made when you register for the "Methods of Environmental Education" workshop.)

Required attendance at two workshops: 

  •  “Professional Development of Environmental Educators”      Guidelines workshop  (one day, lunch provided) $75
  • “Methods of Environmental Education” workshop               (two days, lunches provided $150) 

Program Completion Fee (end of certification): $50


TOTAL required fees: $325

Other expenses will likely be incurred over the course of the multi-year certification process in order to meet self-guided learning requirements including training/workshop/conference fees, travel, and lodging. Each candidate will determine how they will meet their own self-guided learning goals. Take a look at the Environmental Education Certification Manual to learn more.

If certification fees are a barrier to participation, please contact the Certification Administrator to inquire about scholarship options.


Keep your certification credential current!

Recertify within three years. $50 fee

The recertification process is currently under review.

You can begin planning your approach to

the certification program now.

Register to enroll January 3 - 21, 2022. At that time, interested candidates can register online to gain access to the online learning platform that houses all of the certification information, instructions, assignments, and opportunities to submit your work. 

Please check out our certification timeline below to learn about the program's schedule including: fees, workshops, trainings, online modules, and more.

Candidates have three years after paying the application fee to complete the certification process. 

Important Dates

Start planning your first year in the certification program now. Check out our registration, workshop, and course dates.

EE Certification Completion Timeline

Overview of Certification Requirements

Criteria 1 – The Basics of Environmental Education online learning module (15-20 hours)

Criteria 2: In-Person Learning three total workshop days (18-24 hours)

2.1 Attend “Professional Development of Environmental Educators” Workshop – one day

2.2 Attend “Methods of Environmental Education” Workshop – two days

Criteria 3: Self-Directed Learning  (75 hours)

3.1 Individually Chosen Learning Opportunities (minimum 30 hours)

3.2 Exploration of Virginia’s Regions (minimum 30 hours)

3.3 Required Further Learning (minimum 15 hours)

Criteria 4: Lesson Planning and Teaching (40 hours)

Criteria 5: Environmental Literacy online module (24+ hours)

Criteria 6: Capstone Project (minimum 20 hours)


How does the VAEE Annual Conference relate to the Certification Program?

The "Professional Development of Environmental Educators" workshop is required early in the program and is being offered at the 2022 Annual Conference in February. You can register for the workshop even before registering for the Certification Program. Also, those who have registered for the Certification Program can earn a full credit hour per 50-minute conference session towards Criteria 3. Once you  have registered, watch your email inbox for more details on attending conference sessions as part of Criteria 3.

I want to start the program, but I have already completed the previously released Criteria 1. Do I have to do it again? 

Criteria 1 has seen minimal changes, and you can submit the work that you have already completed as soon as you have access to Canvas. Please note that some new assignments may have been added to Criteria 1, and they will be most useful, so be sure to look for those and complete those as well. Every candidate in the program will be required to complete the entirety of Criteria 1.

I enrolled in the certification program in 2019. What can I expect?

Any candidate who was previously enrolled and wishes to continue in this certification program must register to join. Registration is free. Candidates who paid to enroll in the certification program in 2019 are permitted to submit Criteria 1, 3, and 4 work that was completed as early as one year prior to their original enrollment date. This is an exception for the 2019 cohort. Also, candidates who completed the “Professional Development of Environmental Educators” workshop will be able to check that off of their accomplishments. Likewise, if those same candidates also subsequently took the “Methods of Environmental Education” workshop, you have also received credit for that part of Criteria 2. Contact the Certification Administrator to learn your status. Candidates who paid their initial application fee in 2019 will not be required to pay another application fee. 


The VAEE would like to extend its heart-felt thanks to the volunteers who serve on the Certification Advisory Board (CAB) for their dedication to carrying the dream of a Virginia EE Certification program forward. Certification program development was begun by the Virginia Office of Environmental Education, but when it was closed in 2016, the VAEE chose to continue this work. A couple of intrepid volunteers kept the process going, and soon the CAB was formed and started on the path to making Virginia EE Certification a reality.


Virginia Environmental Education Program Code of Ethics

VAEE Photograph and Publicity Release Form


Virginia Association for Environmental Education

1501 Lakeside Drive
Lynchburg, Va 24501

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