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. Complete the registration process and checkout. Payment is due at the time of the registration into the course.

  3. Once you register, you will receive an email from "reporter_registration@ncsu.edu". Please review the information to ensure accuracy.

  4. This is an online self-paced training with content hosted in Moodle. To access this course please follow these steps:

  5. Log in using your ID at go.ncsu.edu/reporter

  6. Once logged in, find the title of the course under Upcoming Courses

  7. Click the blue Access Online Content button to launch the course

  8. There are quizzes after each module and a Capstone Project that needs to be completed as part of the course

    If you have questions regarding modules, the Capstone Project or curriculum issues, please contact the instructors through Moodle
    If you have registration questions or issues, please contact the Program Assistant, Debbie Crawford at djcrawfo@ncsu.edu or at 919.513.2161

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 stated in the confirmation email.

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.