Are you considering enrolling in a professional development (PD) course with EPI? We know there are lots of questions you may have before preparing to embark on an overseas science adventure, so we thought we’d share a little more information about how the process works—from enrollment to arriving at the program site.
Before we begin, let's talk about some frequently asked questions that often come up when an educator is considering a professional development program with us.
Professional Development FAQs
Q: What's included in the price of the program?
A: Your program price includes ground transportation, accommodations, food, activity/park fees, and instruction. It does not include airfare, traveler's insurance, or optional graduate credit.
Q: Do you offer scholarships?
A: Yes! We have a small pool of scholarship money available for PD participants. Awards range from $300 - $600 for our full-length courses and $100 - $250 for our workshops. Applicants must be enrolled in a course or workshop with their initial $250 deposit paid to be considered. You can access our scholarship application here.
Q: Do you have a policy in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19?
A: Absolutely. Although our policies are subject to change based on the health requirements of our program sites, we do our best to keep our COVID-19 policies up-to-date on our website.
Q: Can I earn college credit on these PD programs?
A: Yes! Opportunities are available through our partnerships with Hamline University (for our international PD programs) and the University of Montana (for our domestic PD programs). A separate registration process and tuition fee are required, but our staff can help you get the process started.
Q: What's the lodging like?
A: The accommodations for our professional development programs vary by program, and can generally be described as rustic, yet comfortable. On Yellowstone summer programs, for example, you can expect to camp at a developed campground just outside the park. In Costa Rica and Baja, you're more likely to be staying in dormitory-style accommodations at the EPI field campus.
Now that you're up to speed, here's how the enrollment process works:
Step One: Planning and Enrollment
To get started, we recommend that you:
Head over to our Professional Development webpage and choose the PD program that speaks to you. Be sure to check out the brochures and course syllabi attached to each program option!
If you're ready to sign up for a program, fill out our online enrollment form or contact our Field Experience Coordinator to sign up. Pay a $250 deposit to secure your spot on the course.
We’ll reach out and answer questions about lodging, course curriculum, travel insurance, or anything else that may be on your mind.
Once a PD program has enough participants to run the program, the course is confirmed! Don't purchase airfare until our staff have reached out to confirm the course.
Step Two: Pre-Departure Prep
Before you head into the field, we will:
Set up your participant login portal where you’ll upload paperwork and flight information
Provide a handy packing list and our PD handbook
Open up a Google Classroom where you can meet the other participants and get started on any pre-course assignments
Advise on how to obtain graduate credit (a separate registration process and fees will apply)
Step Three: Traveling and Arrival
When you arrive at your destination, our staff will:
Meet you at a designated location and transport your group to the field site
Notify our U.S. office that the group has made it safely
On course, you will:
Dive into the curriculum! You'll do hands-on research, conduct wildlife surveys, and analyze data
Create lessons that align with the NGSS to bring back to your classroom
Have fun! Everything we do is fun. We’ll make sure to leave time to enjoy the people, location, and experiences we’re having.