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“The videos are fabulous and just the right length. The questions and material are thought provoking and thus effective. I find this course so engrossing that I often do not see time fly by and suddenly I realize I have been working on it for 3 hours! I also had hesitations about on-line courses in general, but now I am ‘sold.’”
- Annette Sampon-Nicolas

"I am a LEED-AP BD+C, and working on graduate level material in environmental management. As a consultant that deals in education for sustainability, I am always looking for opportunities for professional development with certification / accreditation."
- GEF Member

"It would be another endorsement for my teaching license"
- GEF Member

“I have never seen a course on Moodle as nice as this.”
- Course Participant

“I think these units are terrific. I can't wait to incorporate these ideas into my already green classroom.”
- Course Participant

"As we have specialists in all areas of the curriculum, we could have this as a specialist designation to help with the implementation of green education in every school."
- GEF Member

GEF Institute Courses

About GEF Institute

GEFinstitute LOGOsmGEF Institute, a division of Green Education Foundation (GEF), is a virtual classroom established to meet increasing market demand for sustainability focused courses. The Institute builds on GEF's expertise in K-12 sustainability education and STEM concepts by offering affordable courses and certificates in sustainability to educators, students at the high school and undergraduate level, and professionals. Many of the Institute's courses are available for professional development or academic credit.

Student Electives & Professional Development Courses


GEF Institute online courses incorporate dynamic instruction methods, video narration, application based activities, discussion forums, assessments, and more. Each course is entirely online and self-paced. Some of these courses are eligible for professional development or academic credit through the Institute's partnering university. 

This approximately 1.5 hour online course introduces participants to sustainability through an exploration of its purposes, challenges and requirements.  

This self-paced, 3-hour online course is designed to equip participants with a strong foundational knowledge of sustainability and the balance between environmental, social and economic systems. It's recommended that students complete Introduction to Sustainability prior to this course. Those who complete both are eligible to earn the Sustainability Professional Certificate. 

This approximately 10.5 hour, self-paced course provides participants with a thorough expansion on sustainability topics such as ecosystems, energy and water challenges, life-cycle analysis and new technology. It's recommended that you complete Introduction to Sustainability and Core Concepts in Sustainability prior to this course. Those who complete all three are eligible to earn the Sustainability Fellow Certificate as well as 1.5 CEUs or 1 academic credit.

This 7.5 hour online course consists of five units designed specifically for K-12 educators and administrators interested in integrating sustainability education into their classrooms and schools. It's recommended that teachers complete Introduction to Sustainability and Core Concepts in sustainability prior to enrolling in this course to establish a strong foundational knowledge of sustainability topics. By complete all three of these courses, teachers are eligible to earn the Sustainability Specialist Certificate in K-12 Education Strategies as well as .75 CEUs and .5 academic credits. 

This approximately 3.5 hour course is a comprehensive treatment of the environmental, social and economic concerns associated with water and sustainability. This course is appropriate for newcomers, as well as those who have familiarity with the topic and water a greater breadth and depth of understanding.

Classroom Based Curriculum

GEF Institute's blended learning curriculum focuses on green building principles and practices and provides everything you need to conduct successful sustainability lessons and building audits. Customize your own full-year program or select  individual 30-hour units. Each unit is complete with digital textbook, scripted lessons, pacing guide, teacher manual, presentation slides, transparencies and handouts for the teacher. Students can login to the online learning management system to access pre-assessments, readings, videos, quizzes, glossary and discussion forum. For those opting for a full-year program, you'll also receive instructions for a capstone project in which students audit their school and make recommendations for improvements. This curriculum is designed for high school classrooms. Download a free sample lessons, handout and transparency.  

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Blueprint for Sustainability LiteracyBlueprint Icon

GEF Institute’s Blueprint for Sustainability Literacy is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide for integrating sustainability into existing K-12 coursework. With the growth in green jobs outpacing that of all others combined, it’s becoming increasingly important to educate students on core topics of sustainability. Additionally, with anthropogenic activities increasing the rate of environmental degradation and jeopardizing the well-being of communities worldwide it is critical to educate young students about their social responsibility towards efficiently managing their resources. The Institute’s Blueprint aims to provide a successful path for instructors to integrate core sustainability concepts into they are already teaching by using ready-made teaching tools and guidelines. Learn more...