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 existing curriculum.
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:
- UW-Oshkosh – EXCEL Center
The 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
The School 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.
Program Overview | Application Procedures
- UW-Stevens Point – Master’s of Science in Natural Resources/Environmental Education
The 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 program.
- EdNova – Add-on Licensure
Teachers 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.