Course Description

Designing Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children is a non-credit, distance-learning certificate program for landscape design professionals and academic institutions teaching design-related disciplines (landscape architecture, landscape design, landscape management, landscape contracting, horticultural science, garden design, etc.), as well as extension agent training programs. This certificate program consists of 8 modules to be completed. See specific content information below in sections "Expected Outcomes" and "Attend and You Will Learn."

Why You Should Attend

The goal of the Designing Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children certificate program is to transfer knowledge about participatory design processes and tools to improve outdoor learning environments for young children in childcare, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, and other institutions with the objective of supporting healthy, active lifestyles, and learning in and through nature.

Attend and You Will Receive

  • A Certificate of Participation
  • 2.4 CEUs

Attend and You Will Learn / Expected Outcome

Expected Outcomes

  • You will identify design methods to encourage 0 - 7 year old children attending childcare centers and other outdoor settings to be active, practice motor development skills, engage in outdoor learning, and be connected with nature.
  • You will be able to explain the influence of design on physical activity and healthy eating in young children.
  • You will be able to describe how to create high quality environments to support outdoor experiential learning.
  • You will be able to recognize landscape design as a human/environmental health intervention and system-­change strategy.

Attend And You Will Learn

  • Module 1: An environment behavior approach to design
  • Module 2: About young children
  • Module 3: Design thinking
  • Module 4: Design principles and guidelines
  • Module 5: Best practice design for childcare centers
  • Module 6: Project implementation
  • Module 7: Managing site development
  • Module 8: Capstone Project

Notes / Additional Information

Program Resources

  • Movies
  • Ted Talks
  • Videos

How to Register

  1. Click the registration link and use the "Add to Cart" button to register for the certificate course.
  2. Once you register, you will receive  a verification email from NCSU Continuing Education (ContinuingEducation@ncsu.edu) with subject line "McKimmon Center for Extension & Continuing Education Enrollment Notification". Please review information to ensure accuracy.
  3. On a separate email from NCSU Continuing Education (ContinuingEducation@ncsu.edu), you will receive the receipt for your registration to the certificate course.
  4. Once the registration process is complete, you will receive an email from NCSU Learn Tech stating your username and password for you Moodle Outreach account.  Please look out for an email from Learn Tech (learntech@ncsu.edu) or Debbie Crawford (djcrawfo@ncsu.edu) with the subject line "Moodle Outreach: New User Account" and follow the instructions on that email to access the online certificate Moodle site.
  5. Please change the password and save your username and password for future logins to the certificate Moodle site.

Drop/Withdrawal Policy

To drop the course and receive a refund, send a notification by email to both Laura Lloyd (ljlloyd@ncsu.edu) and Debbie Crawford (djcrawfo@ncsu.edu) no later than the drop deadline May 24, 2019, 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

After the drop deadline, if unable to complete the required coursework, participants may withdraw at any time with no refund. To receive the certificate, participants are welcome to re-enroll in a future session paying the corresponding registration fee and completing all required coursework again.

Registering online or by fax is secure.




Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.