Courses Offered

For a detailed view of upcoming courses and blocks offered by the CC Education Department, take a look at our Education Department Course Grid, online.

Critical Foundations of Environmental Education


Upcoming: Block 2, 23-24 (TREE Semester)

This course focuses on the overarching goals and methods of environmental education, the progression of the field of environmental education, and fundamental aspects of pedagogy and learning theories as they relate to education. Teaching experiences in the outdoors and in classrooms allow for experiential reflection on these topics with a focus on understanding how environmental education is implemented.

In conjunction with other TREE Semester courses, students begin a course project portfolio that, when completed, meets expectations for environmental education certification from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE). 

Meets GenEd requirement: Equity & Power (U.S. Context)

1 unit. ED225 Course Catalog. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor, participation in TREE program.

Educational Psychology


Upcoming: Block 5, 2023-2024

This course covers the intersection of Developmental Psychology, Learning Sciences, and other social, cultural, and cognitive theories of learning and pedagogy. We focus on how people learn as individuals and in communities, how development and learning interact across childhood, and what teachers do to understand and cultivate their students' cognitive and social skills. 

1 unit. ED311 Course Catalog. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor & ED101 and one of the following: ED210, ED211, ED218, ED222, ED225, ED235, or ED255. 

Meets degree requirement — Critical Learning: SHB

"This Land is Your Land": A critical exploration of environmentalism(s), past and present 

CC104 (CC FYP)

This course will explore environmentalism and environmental movements from a critical historical perspective. From Thoreau to Carson, Bullard, Thomas, Kimmerer, and Thunberg, we will cover the most prominent (and silenced) voices encouraging collective action for the earth and its people. We will mostly focus on mainstream and marginalized environmentalism in the United States but will also explore international movements, foreshadowing the global, place-based contexts of the Fall Semester Abroad. 

As the first course in the Shaping the Landscape FSA series, we will introduce questions addressed from many epistemological perspectives throughout the semester. How have local and global landscapes impacted students’ lives and the lives of others throughout history? How will they, as students and young adults, shape the landscapes of their futures? 

Following David Orr’s words that “all education is environmental education,” students will explore how “the environment” and the ways we think about it influence their academic and personal lives. As a place-based CC100 experience, the course will encourage new undergraduates to reflect on their sense of place as CC students, new (or continuing) Colorado residents, and young adults in this inevitably climate-focused 21st century.

1 unit. Prerequisite: CC FYP and Fall Semester Abroad (FSA) enrollment

Meets GenEd requirements: CC100 (Critical Inquiry) and Historical Perspectives (HP)

Contemporary Environmental Justice: Education, Policy, & Action

ED250: Topics in Education

This course will examine questions around education, justice, and action in the context of environmentalism. Using a critical theory approach, we will unpack historical and contemporary environmental movements, critiquing and reimagining the traditional separation between “Mainstream Environmentalism” and Environmental Justice. 

Topics include: environmentalism throughout U.S. colonization, expansion, and resistance; environmental education and action in the context of COVID-19, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Green New Deal; inclusivity and equity in outdoor spaces; intersectional environmental justice—concerning race, gender, nationality, and socioeconomic status—in the US and globally; and the promises and challenges of individual and collective action for the environment. 

1 unit. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor

From Multicultural Education to Critical Pedagogy


This course provides an introduction to critical multicultural education in the context of the sociopolitical issues surrounding U.S. schools today. The course begins with the examination of culture as a framework through which our identities are shaped. Students will analyze how oppression and power operate in the context of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, language, dis/ability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in the public school system. Students will examine critical multicultural education as a platform for civil rights and social justice through coursework and weekly observations at a local urban high school.

Students will critique the current structure of public education that perpetuates inequities, while also celebrating practices that disrupt inequities and foster critical hope. As a culminating learning experience, students will participate in a community based “Project for Change” proposal to advance critical multicultural education in our local community.

Meets GenEd requirement: Equity & Power, U.S. contexts (EPUS)

Teacher and Teaching Identities (MAT course)


This course is designed to ensure teacher candidates understand why culturally responsive pedagogy is necessary in U.S. public schools. By taking an intersectional approach to identity development, we will examine how many aspects of students’ identities combine to create learners with unique needs. Though we will discuss identity development in relation to common demographic markers (e.g., economic, racial, linguistic, etc.), the lens will not be on students, but on ourselves. The primary goal of this course is for teacher candidates to recognize their own cultural identity and identify how it affects pedagogical choices and practices, both implicitly and explicitly.

1 unit. ED572 Course Catalog. Prerequisite: Open to M.A.T. candidates only.