ccording to the Environmental BusinessInternational’s Report, the U.S. environmentalindustry has grown rom less than $20 billion in
employs more than 1.6 million proessionals in green careers. Asindustry proessionals, we all ace similar challenges. Our conversa-tions oten center on limited unding, ineciencies o environmentalregulations, and a host o complex political issues. Nevertheless,we all can agree that the world is changing drastically beore oureyes, and as environmental proessionals, it’s our responsibility toimprove the environment and the lives o its inhabitants. More thanever beore, our proession needs emerging leaders and a bold visionto drive change. As part o that vision, NAEP and APU created aneducational partnership to develop proessionals who will ultimatelyshape the uture o the industry.
As the proessional associationdedicated to the promotion o ethicalpractices, technical competency,proessional standards, and the advance-ment o the environmental proession,NAEP chose APU as its rst highereducation partner. Both organizationsare committed to promoting and deliveringquality and relevant education to NAEPmembers.This relationship is designed to builda strong educational oundation byoering academic degree and certi-cate programs that enhance proessionaldevelopment through online, asynchronouslearning.
Evolution of aBold Partnership
Fm naEP PesidetP ley
Over the last severalmonths, I havebeen privilegedto lead an eortto partner with
APU and helpdevelop neweducation possibili-ties or members o the Association. Our eortstems rom a strategic planning initiative thatstarted in 2008. At that meeting, we realizedthat while we espoused ourselves as an edu-cational association, we were not providinga means or our members to easily seek andobtain relevant educational opportunities.Our strategic initiative team researched solu-tions or how to remedy this insufciency.
Flash orward to late 2010. I was ap-proached by an APU student asking that shebe given all o the inormation available toorm a student chapter at her university. Iwanted to know where the university waslocated and then things got interesting.APU is a completely online university. Thisstudent was in Ohio, but her ellow studentswere located throughout the nation. Thispresented a dilemma, our normal denitiono a student chapter would need to change.The denition o a student would need toconsider distant learning students presentedby APU. Could we orm an eective stu-dent chapter or this unique situation? (Hint,we eventually did so this month). It sparkedcuriosity in me to learn more about APU.Enter, Dr. Carol Pollio and Tatiana Sehringo APU. They saw the genius o an educa-tional alliance and proposed it to NAEP.The idea o online education was oreignto me. My initial oray into the digital agestarted with computer punch cards (not un,believe me). Ater in-depth research, I discov-ered that APU is a well-respected universityand that the ormat or course oerings isan ideal t or what NAEP hopes to provideour members. As we discussed the potentialpartnership, several positive aspects becamemore apparent to me. First, the online col-laborative method o teaching is similar to theway many environmental proessionals nowmanage their projects. Today, many envi-