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Environmental and Sustainability Education

OISE’s Environmental
Learning Circle & CCR 

There are many ways to deepen your knowledge and understanding  about Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) while at OISE:

The Environmental Learning Circle is a discussion group for OISE students. This is a great way to meet other students with an interest in ESE; gain access to ESE resources; and network with faculty working in this area. You can join the EL Circle without committing to the CCR. There are four meetings a year; please join the ESE List Serv or follow the ESE Events page for upcoming meetings.

The Environmental Co-Curricular Credit Opportunity records your learning about ESE on your official U of T co-curricular record (CCR).  Details of what is required and how to sign up are found below.

Faculty Contact:  Dr. Hilary Inwood

CCR logoU of T   
Co-curricular Credit Opportunity in ESE



This learning opportunity offers OISE students a way to deepen their learning about Environmental & Sustainability Education (ESE). It offers special recognition of students' commitment to and learning in this area while at OISE, and we hope offers an edge when applying for teaching positions as sustainability is an area of focus for many school boards. It also contributes to the development of the next generation of EcoSchool leaders and community educators working in and with ESE.

Cost: None! This award is a voluntary undertaking for OISE students; there is no extra cost for it, but there is a commitment above the normal requirements for your degree program. 

Timing:  You can  work towards the Environmental CCR Opportunity at any time during your academic program; you have two years to complete it.  Your submission to demonstrate completion of the CCR designation must be submitted by April 30th so they can be validated  by U of T's CCR Office in May.

** Please note: The CCR designation is replacing the 'Environmental Leadership Award' in 2020/2021. While the criteria is similar to that neded for the ELA, the process for applying has changed. 

CCR Designations in ESE

There are now three CCR designations for OISE students in Environmental & Sustainability Education (ESE):

  • Level 1 - Sustainability Explorer (attends 5 ESE events and writes a 250 word reflection on ESE learning)
  • Level 2 - Sustainability Steward (attends 5 ESE events, one OISE conference in ESE, and writes a 350 word reflection on ESE learning)
  • Level 3 - Sustainability Leader (attends 5 ESE events, an OISE
    conference in ESE, completes 15 hours of service learning in ESE, and writes a 500 word reflection on ESE learning)

Details of each component:

ESE Events Component: Attend a minimum of five (5) co-curricular learning events focused on ESE while at OISE. These can include workshops, talks, lectures, field trips, ELC meetings, or other ESE events. Click here for a listing of what is on offer. (Levels 1-3 must complete this.)

ESE Conference Component: Each year OISE partners with the TDSB to offer a one-day conference focused on ESE.  Attend the conference, the keynote(s) and at least two workshops to complete this component. (If you are unable to attend the annual OISE conference, reach out to us to get approval on an equivalent conference.)  (Levels 2-3 must complete this.)

Service Learning (SL) Component: Demonstrate leadership in ESE by volunteering for and/or leading ESE activities, research projects or initiatives at OISE, in a local school, or in a community organization. These can include (but are not limited to) working with a school's Green Team/Eco-Club; doing an ESE-related internship; volunteering for ESE projects at OISE. OISE students must provide evidence of completion by having a host teacher or supervisor sign off on your hours. A minimum of 15 hours of service learning must be completed. We have a range of possible SL sites and partners (for suggestions email us at but you are also welcome to set up your own SL placement. (Level 3 must complete this.)

Reflection Component
Write a reflection of your learning in ESE as the last component of the CCR designation. This can describe and analyze what you have learned as you have worked your way through the other components, reflect on the benefits and challenges of your service learning work, articulate questions you have about the practices in ESE you've learned about, and/or identify what you'd like to do with your learning in ESE moving forward. (Levels 1-3 must complete this.)

To Apply for the CCR in ESE:

1. For all levels, attend ESE events and/or the ESE conference (for Levels 2+3) as required. It is your responsibility to keep a record of the name of each event and conference workshop you have attended as this info cannot be provided for you. If you are attending events in person, be sure to sign the attendance list (not required for online events.)

2. For Level 3, complete the SL hours and maintain an activity log and name and contact info of your supervisor. 

3. Complete your written reflection (250- 500 words, depending on the Level you are applying for.) 

4. Complete the CCR submission form with the information about your ESE learning.

Check your CCR on the Career Learning Network by May 31st to ensure that the validation process has been been completed successfully.

If you have questions, email

Environmental Leadership Award Recipients

Click here to for names of previous recipients of the ELA.