Reflect, learn, and collaborate with a group of teacher colleagues from across the country and globe through a 3-day retreat in July. Additional online sessions for graduate credit. 

Each module will explore a different essential question.

Module 1: What is Education for Sustainability?
Module 2: How do we design and educate for sustainability?
Module 3: How is place part of who we are? How does who we are impact how we teach?
Module 4: What can I offer and what can I gain from a network of EFS leaders?

Immersion is a professional learning program best suited for PreK-12 practicing educators, though all types of educators are welcome.

Save the date for our next offering of Immersion: July 23–25, 2024. Express your interest to be notified when registration opens.

What You'll Learn

This action-oriented course expects each participant to create an EFS portfolio that includes an EFS Action Plan, an EFS unit or project design, and a Sustainability Ethics and Values Statement.

  • Deepen your understanding of EFS in order to apply its associated pedagogies; and analyze and evaluate your curriculum.
  • Design and create EFS projects/curriculum that incorporate opportunities for student voice and that are relevant to your community.
  • Share your sustainability ethic and values as an educator.
  • Using a sustainability lens, self-assess your values in comparison to EFS key competencies.
  • Reflect upon and practice leadership skills for personal transformation and collaborative changemaking.
  • Apply principles of systems thinking to your practice and teaching/learning context to help strengthen or make change in your school system.
  • Work collectively with a network of educators and leaders – within this course and in your own setting – to work collectively at a variety of scales to shift systems to wholeness, equity, and joy.

What Participants Say

The Immersion experience was my introduction to EFS. My background was in environmental education and nature-based learning, but the social justice and economic vitality components of sustainability were new to me. Without this Immersion course, I would have been sorely unaware of the basic concepts of the integrated nature of sustainability. This course gave me access to a network of educators and resources that helped establish a foundation from which I was able to launch into the EFS world.

  • Bear Cieri

    Join colleagues for a weekend retreat at Shelburne Farms.

  • Andy Duback

    Reflect, learn, and collaborate with a group of teacher colleagues from across the country and globe.

  • Andrea Estey

    You'll design and create EFS projects with student voice and community relevancy.

  • Andy Duback

    Engage with a network of educators and leaders.

Meet the Core Instructors

  • Jen Cirillo, Director of Professional Learning, Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools
  • Aimee Arandia Østensen, Professional Learning Facilitator, Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools
  • Simon Jorgenson, Associate Professor - Elementary Education, The University of Vermont


Aerial view of the University of Vermont campus in springtime. Large towering buildings stand in foreground with grassy school green in middleground. Rolling hills stand in background.
UVM Spatial Analysis Lab

Our Partnership with the University of Vermont

Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools and the University of Vermont share a belief in the transformative power of education to shape a healthier, more sustainable future. Our programs combine the Institute’s international reputation for EFS professional learning and unique campus with UVM’s research capacity, land-grant mission, and track record of high-quality teacher education. As a student, you’ll have the opportunity to tap into the resources, support, and knowledge of both institutions.


Immersion is offered once each summer with an in-person retreat at Shelburne Farms and optional additional online sessions for graduate credit. Save the date for our next offering of Immersion, July 23–25, 2024. Express your interest to be notified when registration opens.

Scholarships may be available for our programs on a need-based scale. Please fill out the scholarship application prior to registering for a program. For any questions about scholarships, email

Create Your Learning Pathway

Immersion is designed for those who already have a strong foundation in Education for Sustainability. To grow your knowledge, take our series of three EFS-focused courses:

  1. First, Foundations in EFS;
  2. Second, Immersion in EFS; and
  3. EFS Leadership Academy third.

Or, take all of these classes within the Education for Sustainability Graduate Certificate.

Interested in graduate credit? Some of our programs, including Immersion, are typically offered for optional credits for an additional fee. Contact us to learn more.

Start a conversation with Director of Professional Learning Jen Cirillo at or 802-985-0315 to talk about our programs and available graduate credits. Or, complete our request for information form and someone will be in touch.