This certificate is offered by AU New England.
The Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Certificate program in the Department of Education at Antioch University New England trains teachers, administrators, and founders of nature preschools and forest kindergartens. The forest kindergarten movement has been thriving in Europe for the last three decades and has recently taken root in the United States. Simultaneously, there has been a growing number of nature preschools in the United States. Both nature preschools and forest kindergartens have a uniquely different approach to curriculum than conventional indoor early childhood programs.
The objective of the program, especially for the Professional Development participants, is to make the courses as practical as possible. Therefore, the goal for each course will be to have each student generate a product that is tangibly useful in his/her work situation. This will include program brochures, policy development, business plans, curriculum documentation materials a la Reggio, grant proposals and parent newsletters. Program faculty will provide assistance in content and tone so that founders of new programs can be supported in developing materials to launch their programs.
This is a teacher/administrator professional development option for current early childhood education professionals. The program takes 13 months and starts in the summer. The courses are offered as continuing education credits or for graduate school credits. The program requires 6 to 8 courses and 12 to 15 credits. If taken for credit, these courses will bear in the range of 12-15 credits. Participants who take these courses for credit will be able to transfer these credits into the Elementary & Early Childhood Teacher Certification/Integrated Learning Program within five years if they are interested in a master’s degree.
Professional Development Certificate Programs (12-15 credits)
- Required Courses (7 credits)
- Nature-based Early Childhood Curriculum
- Business Planning for Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens
- Risk Management for Nature-based Early Childhood Education
- Working with Parents and Community
- Elective Courses (at least 5 credits required, 3 could be internship or practicum)
- Early Childhood Education Pre-K to 3rd
- Childhood and Nature
- Landscape Analysis and Design for Nature Play and Learning
- Natural History for Early Childhood
- Movement and Storytelling in the Pre-K Classroom
- Advanced Topics in Nature-based Early Childhood
- Other Integrated Learning courses in Elementary/Early Childhood program
- Internship/Practica (optional, not required, for certificate students)
- Internship in Nature Preschool or Forest Kindergarten
- School Change Practicum in Nature Preschool or Forest Kindergarten
The goals of this certificate program are:
- To provide training and professional development for teachers who wish to teach in nature preschools and forest kindergartens.
- To provide training and professional development for entrepreneurs and administrators who wish to create and administer nature preschools and forest kindergartens.
- To provide training and professional development for early childhood education professionals who would like to incorporate more nature/outdoors programming in their existing early childhood programs.
- To create a network of nature preschools and forest kindergartens in New England to support visitation and support.
- To create resources, (i.e. a website, policy books, parent education material) which support the development and evolution of these programs.
- To create living examples, documentation, and research
How to Apply
- Complete the online admissions application, including:
- Essay questions, admissions and program-specific
- Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)
- Non-refundable $50 application fee
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities where you earned a degree or certificate.
- Two letters of recommendation are required, from people who are in a position to evaluate your professional or academic work. The person making the recommendation may not be related to you.
- There are additional requirements for International applicants and applicants without a Bachelor’s degree
- Interview with a faculty member of the department to which you seek entry if selected. This can be in person, by phone, or via Skype.
- Master’s and Certificate Programs do not require the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions. We consider all of your application materials, and evaluate your academic potential in a variety of ways.
Official transcripts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03431-3516
All application materials submitted become part of an applicant’s file and cannot be returned.
Spring Entry: December 1
Summer Entry: May 1
Fall Entry: July 1
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