Program Path


Summer: Place-based Learning Field Course
Students get to know their new home by engaging with the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades through field excursions across the region. This intensive six-week course includes canoeing on the Skagit River, learning about local communities and sustainable agriculture, hiking in alpine areas, cohort community formation and a culminating 10-day wilderness backpacking experience.


Fall: Teaching Practicum in Natural and Cultural History 1
Join our collaborative community, working learning and living at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center.

Develop skills as an environmental educator through interdisciplinary training and teaching experiences in our Mountain School program. Students focus on understanding and expanding their identities as educators.

Explore the natural world with knowledgeable experts through a series of seasonal natural history retreats meant to spark curiosity, provide a foundation of naturalist skills and enhance your knowledge of the surrounding landscapes


Winter: Leadership and Nonprofit Administration & Curriculum Courses 
Engage curriculum design theory by creating lesson plans and curriculum projects in an area of environmental education. Integrate practicum course pedagogies into practice as an educator.

Build your foundation of nonprofit administration skills through coursework and participating in the behind-the-scenes operations of North Cascades Institute. Learn from Institute staff as you work toward earning your Certificate in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration. Topics covered include fundraising, organizational development, finance, program management, marketing and operations.


Spring: Teaching Practicum in Natural and Cultural History 2
Hone skills as an environmental educator during the spring season of Mountain School. Receive constructive feedback and support from instructional experts and take your teaching skills to the next level. Grow as a naturalist and pursue a specific Pacific Northwest natural history research project.



Summer #2: Leadership Tracks
Hone in on an area of interest for a summer of professional development and develop and practice leadership skills in environmental education. Leadership tracks include facilitating wilderness expeditions for high school youth; collaborating with the National Park Service and Forest Service in areas of interpretation, restoration and conservation; coordinating a local camp focused on literacy and helping local nonprofits advance.


Fall/Winter #2: Western Washington University Courses 
Moving to Bellingham, students connect their residency experience and the educational theory that supports it through two quarters in the classroom at Western Washington University. Courses include foundations in environmental education, conservation psychology and assessment and evaluation and culminates in a Capstone project focusing on a personal area of inquiry.
Celebrate your accomplishments with family and friends at an intimate graduation ceremony hosted at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center!

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big_quotation_mark.pngIf you want to be a leader in Environmental Education, we designed this program with you in mind. I invite you to come visit the North Cascades Environmental Study-JoshuaLearning Center and see for yourself!

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