How To Host a MEECS Workshop
How to Organize a Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) Workshop
Listed below are seven steps for organizing a MEECS workshop.
If you have questions, you may seek assistance from the following contacts:
Central Michigan University (CMU)
|Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Thomas Occhipinti, Environmental Education Coordinator
PRE-PLANNING AND LOGISTICS
- Determine a Location
Select a date and location for your event, considering the needs of your audience. The Michigan Mathematics and Science (M/S) Centers Network has partnered with MEECS and provides venues for workshops. A complete listing of M/S Center locations can be found online at www.mimathandscience.org
You may consider and propose other locations; however, you should work with a qualified MEECS trainer to ensure that the facility is adequate for training. Other potential venues may include nature centers, intermediate school districts, school districts, etc.
- Find a MEECS Trainer
A CMU-recognized MEECS trainer is needed to present the MEECS materials for each workshop. Click here for a complete list of trainers, including their individual contact information.
Trainers are typically compensated with a stipend for their presentation and travel expenses. By selecting trainers who reside near the workshop venues, the expenses for travel and overnight lodging may be reduced or eliminated.
- Set a Budget
Create a budget for the MEECS workshop. Expenses should include publicizing the workshop, trainer stipends, facility fees, refreshments, and MEECS materials, (see step 6 for material costs). It is the responsibility of the host organization to determine workshop costs and how they will be covered. MEECS workshops are generally inexpensive, and organizations typically cover the expenses through a combination of co-sponsors, donations, and registration fees.
SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Promote the Event
Develop a simple marketing plan to determine how you will advertise your event to ensure success. After the workshop logistics have been confirmed, (e.g. date, time, location, registration and information contacts, etc.), send the details to DEQ and to CMU SMTC. DEQ will feature the event in the DEQ Web site calendar, and will work with you to provide additional marketing. Typically, you should begin workshop marketing no later than SIX WEEKS prior to the event.
FIVE TO SIX WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Arrange SB-CEU and College Credit
The facilitator and the host organization should work together to determine the type of academic credit that is appropriate for the workshop. They should work together to seek and apply for State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEU) or college credit.
SB-CEU Credit: SB-CEU should be provided to workshop participants by working through a university or M/S Center that will submit an application to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Each hour of workshop time is equal to 0.10 SB-CEU, and a typical MEECS workshop runs for four hours. A minimum of THIRTY DAYS is needed to obtain approval from the MDE in order to offer SB-CEU. Offering credit is a good attraction; most teachers need to earn six credits of continuing education every five years.
College Credit: Some workshops may also be eligible for university credit. To offer university credit, the trainer or workshop sponsor should work through a local university. The course proposal procedures, registration procedures, cost per credit hour, and requirements for earning credit will vary depending on the participating university.
TWO TO FOUR WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Order Materials
MEECS unit materials are available for purchase from the CMU Web site.
When arranging a workshop you should pre-order the materials as soon as possible, but at least TWO WEEKS prior to the event, to guarantee adequate supply and timely delivery. For assistance, contact the CMU EMC.
Order Quantities: Materials should be ordered in quantities slightly greater than the expected attendance. An order can be reduced at a later date, or unopened materials can be returned after the event for full reimbursement. Overestimating an order ensures that the materials will be in stock for the workshop.
Cost of Materials: For an individual who is not associated with a workshop, the purchase of one unit costs $75.00; however, CMU-recognized trainers can order units for workshops at a rate of $50.00 per unit. CMU and DEQ seek donors to further reduce the cost for MEECS workshop attendees. We try to subsidize materials to a rate of $20.00 per unit, provided sufficient donor funds are available. As you are determining your workshop budget and prior to the time of order, contact the CMU SMTC; they will verify the availability of sufficient donor funds to provide materials at the $20.00 rate.
- Evaluation and Follow-Up
Following a workshop, the host should submit registration lists; participant sign-in, attendance, and contact information; quantity of materials used; and workshop evaluations to the DEQ and to the CMU SMTC.
For additional questions, contact Pat Perry, CMU SMTC, or Thomas Occhipinti, DEQ Environmental Education Coordinator, (contact information listed above).