Environmental Science Licensure
Why Environmental Science Licensure?
The number of environmental science courses being taught in
Wisconsin high schools is increasing every year. Growing environmental
concerns such as climate change and sustainability emphasize the need
for educating the next generation of decision makers. Districts are
becoming more aware of this need and responding by developing
environmental science/studies courses.
Having an environmental science teaching license ensures educators
meet state requirements and have the necessary background to teach these
courses. Holding environmental science licensure makes teachers more
marketable and provides options for them and their district to expand
There are two types of environmental science teaching licenses teachers can obtain in Wisconsin:
- Environmental Studies (615) – most common, has been around the longest
- Life and Environmental Science (606) – created under PI 34
A) Preservice or continuing education students: If you would like to
obtain an environmental science teaching license there are several
universities/colleges in Wisconsin that offer licensure in environmental
science programs. There is an up-to-date list of the
universities/colleges on the DPI website
B) Inservice teachers: If you are a licensed teacher and would like to
add a 615 Environmental Studies teaching license, your requirements will
be based on several factors including the current license(s) you hold
and your educational background. The following are options for adding
the 615 license:
EXCEL Center offers add-on licensure for in-service teachers. A 615
Environmental Studies teaching license can be obtained through the
Center without leaving your current employment. The program requires 9
credits in Environmental Science content, 6 credits in teaching methods
and 6 credits in Environmental Science issues. Courses can be taken
through any 2 or 4-year UW institution, and credit for prior learning
may be requested in place of a course requirement in some cases.
UW-Stevens Point – Add-on Licensure
of Education and College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point
partner to offer a 615 Environmental Studies add-on teaching license.
Your educational background and previous coursework taken determine your
requirements for completing the program. If needed, additional
coursework is offered online or can be substituted from an institution
other than UWSP.
Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) at UWSP offers the
615 license as a part of their Extended Masters in EE for Teachers
program. The program is designed to work with a teachers’ schedule by
offering courses in the summer and online. If you are interested in
adding the 615 license discuss this with your advisor early in your
are eligible if they hold a current Wisconsin teaching license and have
or can achieve the equivalent of a minor or concentration in
environmental studies. The added license is based on an evaluation of
transcripts and portfolio as well as observations of teaching showing
knowledge, skills, and dispositions in environmental studies.