The IslandWood Graduate Program in Education for Environment and Community prepares knowledgeable educators for a more equitable and sustainable future. During your first year, you'll complete a ten-month residency at IslandWood’s Bainbridge Island campus, an award-winning environmental education center near Seattle. The IslandWood Graduate Certificate completes the first year of a University of Washington College of Education Master’s in Education and fulfills the prerequisites for application to the Master’s in Teaching in Elementary Education. For current IslandWood students accepted into the MEd program, we have a Resources and FAQ's page

Learn more or request information about the Graduate Program at IslandWood.

The IslandWood Residency

The IslandWood Graduate Program is an immersive residency in justice-oriented environmental education; experiential, student-centered learning; and culturally responsive teaching and curriculum development. This intensive and rigorous program includes a mentored teaching practicum paired with academic coursework, as well as regular evening programs, trainings and professional development. Our talented faculty, forested campus and proximity to a dynamic urban center distinguish IslandWood as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to begin or enrich a lifelong commitment to equity, education and the environment. Graduate students have the option to live on IslandWood’s sustainable 255-acre campus, which includes a marsh, bog, pond, ravine and forests with a nearby estuary.

Kelvin's Story from IslandWood on Vimeo.

Graduate Program Highlights

  • Justice-oriented education involves examining our personal relationships to systems of oppression, developing asset-based understandings of the youth we work with and leveraging youths’ cultural and linguistic resources to design inclusive teaching and learning environments.
  • Knowledge of ecology and natural habitats is essential to creating healthier relationships between human communities and the natural world.
  • Education is most successful when teachers honor the cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious diversity in their classroom.
  • Meaningful education grows out of thoughtfully guided experiences and reflection.
  • In learning communities, everyone can contribute as both teacher and student.
  • An integrated, experiential curriculum combining science, technology and the arts allows individuals with different learning styles and aptitudes to succeed.
  • Education should help students balance their individuality with their responsibilities as members of human and natural communities.
  • Environmental and experiential education is most effective when it relates to real-life experiences in the student’s home community.
  • A sustainable future depends upon strengthening our respect for one another and the natural world.

Student Portrait: Lan Nguyen

Lan completed her residency at IslandWood during 2013-2014 and completed her master's at UW College of Education.

Lan Nguyen always greeted her School Overnight Program field groups in her native Vietnamese. “It was a way to build trust,” says Nguyen, who made history as the first official international student in the IslandWood Graduate Program. “I was telling them, ‘We all have a story. This is mine. I want to know yours’.”

Learn more about Lan and other alumni of the IslandWood Residency.

IslandWood Photo Gallery