The Graduate Program at IslandWood prepares knowledgeable educators who are passionate about the environment and their communities. During your first year, you'll complete a residency at IslandWood, an award-winning outdoor learning center located on Bainbridge Island near Seattle. Following your residency, you'll complete your graduate degree requirements at the College of Education. For current IslandWood students accepted into the MEd program, we have a Resources and FAQ's page.
The IslandWood Residency
The Graduate Program at IslandWood is based on the principle that a more sustainable future demands knowledgeable, committed and reflective educators. During your time at IslandWood, you'll take courses on a variety of topics while guiding outdoor experiences for a diverse population of elementary school students (primarily from nearby Seattle). 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 children, 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.
Graduate Program Highlights
- Be an educator and role model for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from communities around the Puget Sound region. More than half of our students come from low-income schools, and many experience the joy of learning in nature for the first time.
- Learn the best practices of environmental, experiential and multicultural education while completing the first year of a two-year Master's in Education or coursework prerequisites to apply to the Master in Teaching program through the nationally-ranked University of Washington College of Education.
- Become a part of a community built on shared living and teaching experiences, team teaching, group projects and outings, and 1:1 mentor relationships with IslandWood faculty.
- Create lasting connections between students’ experiences at IslandWood and their home communities through pre- and post-visits to classrooms in our partner schools.
- Open the door to a wide range of careers, including teaching, nonprofit management and other green jobs in public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Student Portrait: Lan Nguyen
Lan completed her residency at IslandWood during 2013-2014 and is now in the second year of her graduate program at UW's 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 last fall as the first official international student in IslandWood’s graduate program. “I was telling them, ‘We all have a story. This is mine. I want to know yours’.”