New GVSU program: “Place-Based Education for Environmental Stewardship and Community Engagement”

Grand Valley State University’s College of Education is excited to offer two pilot courses in a potential* (see below) graduate certificate program in Place-Based Education for Environmental Stewardship and Community Engagement.  Through an interconnected sequence of four courses, the certificate program will prepare learners to:

  • Understand the principles and implementation of place-based education that nurtures and augments academic and ecological literacy
  • Develop insight into the cultural, historical, economic, and environmental character of one’s place
  • Recognize the unique issues that threaten the health and well-being of the inhabitants (both human and non-human) of a particular place
  • Cultivate a sense of responsibility, agency, and empowerment in facing these challenges and designing sustainable solutions


The program will be designed for anyone working within K-12 educational settings as well as individuals outside of the field of formal education who have an interest in issues related to sustainability, community problem-solving, and community well-being. The certificate program can be completed within 12 months and all courses will be held on Grand Valley State University’s Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids.  Please see the attached flyer for descriptions and meeting times for the first two pilot courses in the anticipated certificate sequence.  Enrollment is currently open and the first course in the program begins the week of May 5, 2014.

This potential certificate program will also be available to undergraduate students.  Interested GVSU undergraduates taking graduate courses through the dual-credit process may be admitted to a graduate certificate program.  The credits for these courses may by applied either as undergraduate elective credit or toward completion of the graduate certificate.  However, an undergraduate student may NOT be awarded a graduate certificate until they have been awarded a baccalaureate degree. Non-GVSU students without a bachelor’s degree will be considered for the program on an individual basis.

*We anticipate the certificate program will be approved and officially established through the University curriculum process by Spring, 2015.  In the event that the program does not move from “pilot” to permanent status, credits earned can be applied as graduate or undergraduate electives depending upon the level of the student.

All interested individuals can apply to Grand Valley State University and register for courses with graduate non-degree-seeking status. Please visit https://www.gvsu.edu/admissions/graduate/apply-to-grand-valley-19.htm for further information about applying to Grand Valley State University with graduate non-degree-seeking-status and registering for courses.

All questions and inquiries about the program can be directed to:

Dr. Kevin Holohan
Grand Valley State University
College of Education
489C Richard M. DeVos Center
616.331.6229
holohank@gvsu.edu

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