Summit on environmental education nurtures student pipeline

Students pursuing careers in the environmental sciences will see those opportunities blossom, thanks to a recent summit of environmental educators who are building a network in northern Illinois.

During the June 8 Regional Summit on Environmental Education, environmental educators from community colleges and even high schools learned what their students need to accomplish before enrolling at four-year colleges and universities, such as NIU or finding jobs in their desired field.

Participants also chatted about what’s working in their classrooms as well as how to better coordinate their ideas and efforts, said Melissa Lenczewski, director of the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, which hosted the event.

Ryan Cumpston, an instructor at the College of Lake County, applauded the collaboration.

“Not only can the students at my college benefit,” Cumpston said, “but if we all get the framework together and the pipeline built together, all the students that we serve can then feed into a school like NIU.”

Other topics included sustainable energy systems, implementing a blended classroom and incorporating ethics into environmental education curriculum.

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