Education and the Environment

The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University has been a long-standing leader among California’s public and private universities by offering a Bachelors Degree with a focus on education and the environment. As a Multiple Subject Preparation program, our curriculum prepares students for teaching positions in public and private schools as well as for careers in the field of outdoor education and leadership. Our academic program is:

  • approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (multiple subject preparation program)
  • designed for students who may ultimately be interested in an elementary teaching credential
  • structured to meet all of the prerequisites for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program
  • excellent preparation to pass the California Subject Matter Examination for Teachers (CSET)
  • an innovative curriculum integrating content and pedagogy with a focus on the environment

Career – or – Credential Bound?

This degree track prepares students to either go directly into teaching in informal settings (such as nature centers outdoor schools, zoos, museums) – or continue on for a teaching credential.

After completion of this study plan, qualified students may apply to any School of Education to complete their professional coursework and student teaching, ultimately obtaining a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.  The credential, which can be acquired at many universities throughout California, qualifies the candidate to teach in the public school, generally at the elementary level.

Students interested in expeditionary learning, outdoor recreation, or other related fields should consider the study plan in Outdoor Leadership.

A Great Environment to Study the Environment

Sonoma County and the greater Bay Area offer an incredible array of environment-based learning opportunities that we use throughout our curriculum.  We also work with numerous school districts, non-profit organizations, and businesses to provide opportunities for our students to refine their skills through internships. 

The SSU campus has many unique learning resources, such as:  Fairfield Osborn Preserve (where our students can teach children while spending the day out on the trails); the Kenneth M. Stocking Native Plant Garden (where there are several plant propagation projects underway); Copeland Creek (the focus on a student-faculty led restoration effort), and the Environmental Technology Center (our high tech “green” center and classroom).  Not far beyond campus there are rugged beaches, Oak and Redwood forests, the vine country, and a world-class city just over the Golden Gate Bridge.