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Certificate in Environmental Interpretation

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Why Environmental Interpretation?

Many agencies with natural resource protection and recreation responsibilities have specific “interpreter” and “public information” positions including the U.S. National Park Service, state park systems including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service and river authorities including the Lower Colorado River Authority. These agencies seek qualified and certified interpreters. In addition, the rapidly growing ecotourism industry employs certified interpreters as guides, which are the core of the experience offered to ecotourists.

What skills does an Environmental Interpretation certificate provide?

The Certificate in Environmental Interpretation provides a relevant background to prepare students to work as interpretive guides in parks and other tourism venues and to work in the professional areas of public information/education in resource management agencies. Educational objectives are (1) to know and apply the concepts, principles, and methods of environmental interpretation (2) to know geographic concepts and skills that support holistic and thematic interpretation of places and regions, as specified by interpretive principles

What are the admission requirements for undergraduates with no degree?

Admission Requirements

 Students with an undergraduate degree should contact the Texas State Graduate College at 512.245.2581 or visit their website. You may also download a graduate application. The cost of a complete graduate college master's application is $10 in U.S. currency along with a formal transcript of credits. The department must approve the application before the student will be activated into the CATS registration system. Once approved, the student can register through CATS, providing the prerequisites have been met.

The intent for the certificate program is to target students in a degree seeking status OR post baccalaureate.
Students with NO undergraduate degree should contact the Texas State Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 512.245.2364 or visit their website.
A. Special Student Options
(certificate-seeking student, non-degree status)

Option I. Completed college work with 2.25 GPA or higher
• undergraduate application: (Texas Common Application www.applytexas.org and select the non-degree special student option)
• $40 U.S. currency fee.
• undergraduate Admissions Special Student Form
• cumulative GPA of 2.25 in previous university work
• not on suspension, dismissal or enforced withdrawal at another institute of higher learning
• not eligible for financial aid
• application for special student status must be made prior to registration, and student must reapply each semester. Initial application fee is $40 and each subsequent reapplication fee is $10. Reapplication must be made prior to registration; thus, it is recommended that the student reapply early in the semester to take advantage of advance registration. Advance registration will provide better selection of class lecture and lab times. Enrollment as an undergraduate special student is limited to the GIS courses and cannot exceed 24 credit hours.
• must clear Texas Success Initiative Program (TSIP) status. The Texas State TSIP office is located in ASBN 101; phone 512.245.3942, website
If you have not been a Texas State student, your previous institution can provide your TSI record.
• approval must be granted by the director of admissions and the Department of Geography. Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.
Option II. Completed high school diploma or GED and have not been enrolled in any secondary or post-secondary coursework for the last three years.
• undergraduate application: (Texas Common Application www.applytexas.org and select the non-degree special student option)
• $40 U.S. currency fee
• high school diploma or equivalent and not enrolled in any secondary or post-secondary institution for the last three years
• not be suspension, dismissal or enforced withdrawal at another institution of higher learning
• not eligible for financial aid
• application for special student status must be made prior to registration, and student must reapply each semester. Initial application fee is $40, and each subsequent reapplication fee is $10. Reapplication must be made prior to registration; thus it is recommended that the student reapply early in the semester to take advantage of advanced registration. Advanced registration will provide better selection of class lecture and lab times. Enrollment as an undergraduate special student is limited to the GIS courses and cannot exceed 24 hours.
• must clear TSI status. The Texas State TSIP office is located in ASB 101; phone 512.245.3942, and website. If you have not been a Texas State
student, your previous institution can provide your TSIP record.
• approval must be granted by the Director of Admission and Department of Geography. Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.
B. Student with no prior college experience and completed high school less than three
years ago (degree-seeking status)
• required to meet general admission requirements (Texas State Undergraduate Catalog 2006-2008, page 18) and must go through
new-student orientation.
• Texas Common Application: (www.applytexas.org) for Freshman Admission including one essay and information on extracurricular activities, $40 application fee and all credentials by the required deadline.
• submit high school transcript with class rank and SAT or ACT
• take the SAT I or ACT and have your test results sent directly to Texas State
• complete the Texas Recommended High School Program
• acceptance letter will be sent to the student. Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.
Current Texas State students - non-geography major
• provide name and student ID number to the undergraduate administrator, or 512.245.0372.
• verify that prerequisite requirements have been completed.

What are the required courses?

GEO 4322 – Interpretive Environmental Geography
GEO 2410 – Introduction to Physical Geography

• 9 hours from the following courses:

GEO 3313 – Natural Resource Use & Management
GEO 3325 - Geomorphology
GEO 4313 – Environmental Management
GEO 4316 - Landscape Biogeography
GEO 4309 – Cultural Ecology

What are the certificate requirements?

• no grade lower than a C in any of the required Environmental Interpretation courses

• minimum 2.5 overall GPA for the four required Environmental Interpretation courses

• only two courses from other institutions can be given credit and must be approved by the undergraduate
  advisor.

• during last semester of the certificate program complete Application form (PDF format). Download by clicking
   the link or picking up in ELA 130

• students will receive a Environmental Interpretation certificate, and the completion of the certificate will be
   noted on the transcript.