North Carolina Environmental Education Certification
The North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program offers a professional development program leading to recognition as a certified environmental educator. This program does not provide certification to teach in NC public schools, but the certificate is potentially a good credential for working at places like the Piedmont Environmental Center (High Point) or Natural Sciences Center (Greensboro). Other benefits include professional recognition and networking opportunities, including networking with potential employers. The program is geared toward students and adults who are interested in advancing their knowledge about the environment, sharing a sense of environmental stewardship with others, and learning about relevant teaching methods. To become certified, program enrollees must complete a specified number of hours in five areas: instructional workshops (total of 70 hours), experiences in the out-of-doors (total of 50 hours), knowledge of environmental education resources and facilities (total of 30 hours), teaching experiences (total of 30 hours), and community partnership (total of 20 hours). Participation in any of these areas within the year prior to enrollment in the certification program may count toward the total hours. The enrollee develops online portfolio to document fulfillment of these hours. The program enrollment fee is $50. More information about the program is available at http://www.eenorthcarolina.org/certification.html.
Students interested in obtaining this certification would probably need to start in their junior year and seek out an appropriate internship from the list on the ENV internship page.
Certification as Registered Environmental Health Specialist
The NC State Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners certifies individuals as Registered Environmental Health Specialists, a credential required to work in county Environmental Health units. These units, which exist in every county, inspect various facilities, including restaurants, wells, swimming pools, runoff holding ponds, etc., for compliance with state environmental laws. The certification requires completion of 30 hours of natural science, work as apprentice under the supervision of a Registered Specialist for two years, completion of additional training courses in Raleigh, and passing a national exam. Details about the certification are available here: http://www.ncrehs.com/rsboard-old/. Students interested in this certification should be sure to complete 30 hours of natural science, perhaps including a minor in Biology, Chemistry, or Geography, and strongly consider an internship with the Guilford County Health Department.