FSTI Certificate Program
Forest School Leadership (w/Focus in Administration or Teaching)
I. Program Overview
• Qualifications and Characteristics to enter FS Leadership training
◦ Experience as a formal educator or as an informal educator (i.e. working as volunteer or staff at a nature preserve, summer camp, nature-based program for homeschool children, or other nature-based venues)
◦ Possessing a love of nature and being outside
◦ Being a lifelong learner
The Forest School Leadership Certificate requires the completion and documentation of 3 Core Competencies plus 2 Star Competencies in Administration or Teaching.
• 3 Core Competencies will be attained during the intensive session through classwork, individual assignments and group projects.
• 2 Star Competencies
◦ Individual and group work during the intensive session can be applied to 2 Star Competencies.
◦ Completion of star competencies after the intensive can be documented through professional experiences and projects (both current and past), email courses, workshops, webinars and other activities.
• An Individual Development Plan for Forest School Leadership will be created by each participant during the intensive, working with an FSTI faculty advisor. Together they will assess current competencies and what additional development can be attained through projects and/or coursework.
• Professional portfolio: Documentation for completion of the FS Leadership training will be collected in a portfolio (online or notebook format.) The portfolio will document competencies as a FS teacher or administrator and can be a valuable tool for job interviews, stakeholder meetings and fundraising purposes.
• Time requirement for completion of the certificate will depend upon the participant’s competency status and goals. Average completion time is 3-6 months.
• Completing a Forest School Leadership Certificate is a prerequisite to enter training to become an FSTI Leadership Facilitator
II. Program Timeline
To Complete the Leadership in Forest School Certificate program, participants will:
1. Attend a 6-day Orientation Session that will include:
a. 15 hours of Forest School observation and debrief
b. 20 hours of core and star competency classes and group projects
c. 12 hours of naturalist training
d. 1 hour of individual consultation with faculty advisor for IDP development
2. Complete additional star competency requirements per participant’s own time table, by the following means:
a. webinar presentations TBA
b. workshops at various regional locations TBA
c. email classes
d. documentation of previous experiences: (1) power point presentations, (2) videos and photos (3) correspondence, (4) certificates of completion, and (5) others
FSTI Faculty and Advisors
Dr. Jean Lomino, Founder and Director Forest School Teacher Institute
Dr. Jiyoun Shin, Vice-Chair of the Korean Forest Kindergarten Association
Dr. Carl Swafford, Graduate Dean, Southern Adventist University, Chattanooga, TN
Matt Harris, Director of Innovation, Walker County Schools, Lafayette, GA.
Dr. Jim Tucker, McKee Endowed Chair, School of Psychology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Ryan Devlin, Founder and Director of Thrive Nature Preschool, Louisville, Ky
Bonnie Cretton, Founder and Director of Woodsong Nature Preschool, Cleveland, TN
Amina Hoosain, Founder and Director of Blooming Good Nature School, Cape Town, South Africa.