Key Area 2

Ensuring Environmental Literacy through Graduation Requirements

Current Context

photo credit: Prescott ConservancyState requirements for high school graduation were last reviewed in 2005. They include:

1.  Arts Education: 0.5 unit
2.  Computer Education 0.5 unit
3.  Health Education: 0.75 unit
4.  Industry Arts or Technology: 4 units
5.  English: 4 units
6.  Mathematics: 2 units
7.  Physical Education: 1 unit
9.  Science: 2 units
10.  Social Studies: 2 units
11.  Open Electives: 7 units

Different school administrations may have additional requirements such as community service hours or a community service project. In New Hampshire the local school administrative units are responsible to develop curriculum to meet the graduation requirements.


Incorporating environmental literacy competencies for graduates would involve collaboration between NHEE, NH Department of Education and other state agencies, service-learning providers, nonformal environmental education centers, and schools and school administrative units.

  • Partnerships will work together to identify strategies to increase the number of environmental literacy opportunities, including service learning projects*, environmental science classes, community clubs and extended learning opportunities.
  • NH Department of Education will encourage schools to meet existing science and social studies frameworks.
  • Additional recommendations for ways of achieving and demonstrating environmental literacy will be provided to school administrative units.

Short Term Outcome:

  • An increase in the number of place-based and service learning projects that incorporate environmental literacy

Medium Term Outcome:

  • An increase in the number of districts that include an elective class on environmental science/literacy at the high school level.

Long Term Outcome:

  • Fully integrate environmental education across the curriculum.
  • Districts develop a requirement for Environmental Competency

 photo credit: Beaver Brook Association