Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see your question answered below? Please reach out to our Recruitment Manager, Kathie Bradford at or 206-855-4324.


How many years has the Education for Environment & Community (EEC) graduate program been in existence?

Groundbreaking and construction on IslandWood’s site began in 2000. The first class of students graduated in 2002.

How many students are admitted into the program each year?

We admit between 15 and 32 applicants each year. We strive to build a diverse community of learners each year that will enhance our professional learning community in positive ways.


How competitive is the application process?

As a small community, we are discerning about who is accepted and find that the design of the program attracts a self-selected group of individuals who value education in and for the planet. The admissions committee looks at applicants holistically and seeks to admit a diverse group of learners with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. As we build a professional learning community, some of the dispositions that are valued include:

  • A demonstrated commitment to equality, equity, and inclusion.
  • A willingness to embrace adventure in learning and in teaching.
  • Resilience, stamina, and perseverance.
  • Collaboration to advance and improve practice.

Are there any requirements for admission or prerequisites to apply to the program?

We require applicants to have -

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A demonstrated interest or experiences in culturally-responsive teaching, environmental and social justice issues, experiential education, and working with youth.

There is no prerequisite coursework required and we welcome those from all academic backgrounds to apply.


How do students pay for the program?

Students can use a combination of loans, scholarships, and education awards to pay for the program. As matriculated students through an accredited university, EEC program participants are eligible for federal loans and grants as awarded through the FAFSA and University of Washington’s Financial Aid office. Similarly, University of Washington acts as the qualifying institution when using military discounts and education awards.In our effort to make graduate school more accessible, IslandWood also offers tuition discounts, scholarships, and a fellowship in partnership with YMCA’s BOLD/GOLD program. To see the current list of funding opportunities, visit the Cost & Aid page.


What does the teaching practicum consist of?

Graduate students in the EEC program participate in a 600-hour teaching practicum as field instructors in IslandWood’s residential School Overnight Program. This program serves over 4,000 students yearly in a 4-day, 3-night exploration of the campus that covers a range of topics related to stewardship education.


Is research a part of the program?

Our practices and philosophy are based in research but IslandWood as an institution does not conduct research currently. Research projects often play a part in coursework for Natural History & Ecology and Education Research methods. University of Washington is known for being one of the top research universities in the country and there are opportunities to pursue a more formal research project during the second year of the Master’s program.


Is a thesis required to complete the degree?

A thesis is one of three options for M.Ed. completion. The other options being additional coursework or a curriculum project.


Are pets allowed on campus?

IslandWood does not allow pets in graduate housing. We can recommend housing options on the island for people with pets.

Can my partner or child(ren) live with me on-campus?

Housing is for graduate students only. We can recommend several housing options on the island for students wanting to live with their partners and/or children.


What is there to do on Bainbridge Island?

Although sleepier than Seattle, Bainbridge Island is home to many restaurants, bars, two movie theaters, stores, wineries, a brewery, bike paths, beaches and parks with many trails for walking and hiking.


How many alumni are hired as staff by IslandWood?

IslandWood regularly hires alumni as staff. There are currently between 10 and 15 alumni working in various positions both on our Bainbridge campus and in Seattle with the Urban School Programs team.