Graduate Program

An IslandWood graduate students sits in a circle with students in the School Overnight Program. Behind them is the suspension bridge.

The IslandWood Graduate Program in Education for Environment and Community is a 10-month immersive residency in justice-oriented environmental education; experiential, student-centered learning; and culturally-responsive teaching and curriculum development.

We strive to contribute to a more diverse educator workforce that mirrors the demographics of our society. Our students come from a variety of life experiences and backgrounds and share a commitment to justice-oriented education. Here are some of the ways we support our students:

  • Individualized Mentoring: You will be paired with a faculty or staff mentor. Weekly sessions create the space to talk about individual strengths and challenges.
  • Financial Support: We offer low-cost, on-campus housing, a monthly stipend, and scholarship opportunities to help put our program in reach of all students.
  • Diverse School Populations: You will teach students who reflect the full cultural and socio-economic diversity of our region.
  • Networking Opportunities: We are intentional about fostering a strong campus community and will also help you develop your professional network.
  • An Inclusive Learning Organization: We invite you to read our Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity statement

Our Partnership with the University of Washington College of Education

Our program is offered in partnership with top-ranked University of Washington College of Education, whose mission is to transform inequitable systems of education to create just, sustainable, and culturally-thriving democracies. The IslandWood Graduate Certificate completes the first year of a UW Master’s in Education and fulfills the prerequisites for application to the Master’s in Teaching in Elementary Education.

An IslandWood graduate student prepares to examine an object through a microscope with a student.

Program Details

Discover the change you can make as an educator with graduate-level coursework in environmental and justice-oriented education (equity and anti-bias work), biweekly teaching experiences, and 1:1 mentoring.


Applications are now closed for the AY 2020-2021.  Check back in August for updated admission information for AY 2021-2022.  Our first priority deadline will be in November!


Deadlines for admission to the Fall 2020 quarter are as follows:


IslandWood Priority Deadline IslandWood Tuition Discount UW Deadline UW Admissions Decision
November 30, 2019 $750 January 6, 2020 March 2020
January 6, 2020 $500 January 6, 2020 March 2020
March 15, 2020 $250 May 1, 2020 June 2020
May 1, 2020 $100 May 1, 2020 June 2020
July 1, 2020



July 1, 2020


late July 2020


IslandWood provides equal opportunities to all applicants for admission without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Cost and Aid

We are committed to making graduate-level education accessible, and offer scholarships, service awards, and tuition discounts to applicants.


Apply for IslandWood Financial Aid

The YMCA will not be offering the Dudley Edmondsen Fellowship for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. For more information, please contact Theresa Song at


IslandWood is a proud partner of the YMCA GOLD/BOLD Dudley Edmondson Fellowship. This 15-month graduate degree fellowship provides adults of color with the opportunity to lead outdoor expeditions with low-income youth as a YMCA GOLD or BOLD instructor during two consecutive summers while completing the IslandWood-UW M.Ed program. Dudley Edmondson Fellows receive a scholarship from IslandWood.

To make graduate-level education more accessible, we offer service awards to students affiliated (members, alumni, interns, staff, etc.) with service corps, military, and partner organizations, as well as teachers and paraprofessionals.


This following list is not comprehensive. To learn about eligibility and rates, or to inquire about organizations not listed here, please contact us at



  • Teachers
  • Paraprofessional educators

Service Corps 

  • AmeriCorps National
  • Serve Washington
  • AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)
  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • FEMA Corps
  • Peace Corps
  • Teach for America
  • City Year
  • Student Conservation Association
  • Washington Conservation Corps
  • Veterans Conservation Corps
  • Puget Sound Corps
  • EarthCorps
  • Food Corps


  • Active Duty
  • Veterans

Undergraduate Institutions

  • Antioch University
  • University of Washington

Community Organizations

  • College Success Foundation
  • IslandWood
  • Natural Leaders
  • Doris Duke Conservation Scholars

Once accepted and enrolled in the UW Master’s in Education degree program as a matriculated student you are eligible for federal financial aid.


Students wishing to receive federal financial aid through the UW are encouraged to complete the FAFSA application by January 15 or as soon as possible. Please contact the University of Washington’s Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) with specific questions regarding the financial aid process.


Opportunities to forgive, cancel, or discharge your loans are available through several programs, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more info.

Paid on-campus work opportunities are available at IslandWood in various departments for all graduate students, regardless of financial need. Examples of on-campus employment opportunities include: blogging and photography, research assistant, lab assistant, art studio assistant, gear room assistant, garden assistants, facilities assistants, and event assistants.


Students will be invited to apply for employment during orientation training in September. The hourly wage for 2019-2020 graduate students is $15.00. Because employment is on top of meeting the responsibilities of being a full-time graduate student, most IslandWood graduate students work an average of 5hrs/week.


We can also help connect graduate students to off-campus work opportunities on Bainbridge Island. These opportunities commonly include childcare, house-sitting, pet-sitting, yard work, and other odd jobs.

The following websites offer searchable databases for scholarships. In addition, these sites include general information on applying for and receiving Financial Aid, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA is required for individuals seeking federal loans), and resources for students of color, students without documentation, and military veterans.


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399 alumni who are building the capacity of youth to create a more equitable and sustainable future


After graduation, our alumni work in a variety of different fields: 38% work in schools; 27% in nonprofit/public management and leadership positions; 18% in zoos, aquariums, and other learning centers; 8% in higher education; 3% in sustainable food management/gardening; and 7% in other fields.

Connect with Us

In our program, we intentionally focus on fostering strong relationships and a supportive learning community. This relationship-building starts the moment we connect. Let’s get started!

Attending a virtual or in-person event is the perfect way to learn more about the program, meet our team, and get your questions answered. For a full list of upcoming events, please visit our Events Calendar.



May 23, 2019 @ 4:00 pm

May 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Location: Online


Learn More →


June 14, 2019 @ 9:30 am

June 14, 2019 @ 1:00 pm

Location: IslandWood Bainbridge Campus


Learn More →