Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children – Design Certification

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North Carolina State University Certificate Program
The Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children Certificate
is a fully online, distance education program presented by the Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University,
and supported by the BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation.

Learning Outcomes
• Describe how outdoor environments can be designed to
encourage children 0-7 years old to be active, practice
motor development skills, participate in outdoor play, learn
fruit and vegetable gardening, engage in healthy eating,
and use natural materials, objects, and settings to support
play and learning processes.

• Explain how improving OLE quality can positively impact
physical activity and healthy eating in young children.

• Apply methods for creating and managing high quality
environments to support outdoor experiential learning.

• Recognize outdoor learning environments as spaces
where children’s developmental capacity can be extended
and enhanced.

• Demonstrate OLE quality improvement as a health
intervention and system-change strategy.

• Earn 2.4 (approximately 24 hours over 3 months)
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from North Carolina
State University

Program Modules
Program Modules are intended to immerse the learner in
thinking about the meaning of environmental quality of young
children and improvement of the outdoor settings of their daily

Content includes:
• Introduction to environment-behavior approaches to

• Preventing Obesity by Design overview

• Implementation of best practice indicators in child care
centers as shown in the Outdoor Learning Environment
Toolkit (2014)

Who is the Certificate for?
• Early childhood educators
• Cooperative Extension agents/ Master Gardeners
• Parks and Recreation professionals
• Volunteers with an interest in advancing outdoor quality for
young children

Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children
Fall course begins September 2017. Pre-register now, space is limited.
Pre-register online