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Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


Jason Douglas


Community, Environment, Justice, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Youth

Subject Areas

Environmental education; Environmental justice; Education


Urban environmental education programs afford opportunities for youth to learn about environmental issues and take action to improve urban environments. Moreover, these programs may promote positive youth development for those that participate. Many programs and organizations strive to engage youth in environmental education and community service. The Student Conservation Association school year program combines service learning with an environmental justice curriculum. For this study, 16 students were recruited. In order to understand youth experience and outcomes in this program, the methodology used included semi-structured interviews, surveys, photovoice, and participant observations. Results showed a deeper understanding of environmental justice issues from pre- to post-program. Participating youth also exhibited changes self-efficacy, self-determination, sense of community, and future orientation during the program, and in post-program results. Students who completed the school year program developed new perspectives on themselves, their community, and their future.