Education, counseling and leadership in support of the United Nations manifesto for environmentally sound personal growth and social justice

Institute of Global Education
Special NGO consultant to United Nations Economic and Social Council


Project NatureConnect NSTP Training
in support of degree programs at
Greenwich University
Applied Ecopsychology/Integrated Ecology

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

Updated January 10, 2002


Frequently Asked Questions

(History, process, accreditation, validity, time, quality, advantages)


How long has the IGE-GREENWICH program been operating?
It has serviced the public "offline" since 1959 and became available as online courses and degree programs in 1994.

Why is the program relatively inexpensive?
There is a critical need for people trained in the IGE form of Applied Ecopsychology and Integrated Ecology yet the increasing costs of education make the training unavailable to many excellent applicants. To meet this challenge by organizing cooperatively, reducing operating costs and obtaining scholarship funds, the program is accessible to most people who qualify for it.

What makes the IGE-Greenwich program unique?
Although many universities and students teach our courses and use our books, to date, (1/2/02) no other American university offers a degree program in it. IGE also services non-scholarship programs overseas that offer degrees in NSTP.

Further information:
Some ot the programs that incorporate NSTP are listed at the opening page of the Orientation Course.


How may I make practical use of the expertise I gain in this field?
The Natural Systems Thinking Process will become a supportive component and new dimension of your present field of interest, or you may use or teach the NSTP as a discipline of its own.


How have students applied this program?
They teach it as part of their profession or as part of the IGE program. Below are some Natural System Thinking Process (NSTP) applications by our students:

  • -A hypnotherapist has added NSTP to her practice increasing its effectiveness and clientele.
  • -An Outward Bound school director has created successful NSTP therapeutic programs.
  • -A counselor has developed an NSTP recovery program with high school students at risk.
  • -An art therapist has written a training manual for using NSTP to diminish eating disorders.
  • -An alternative health worker centers his wellness program around NSTP.
  • -An elementary school teacher uses NSTP to improve class relationships and learning.
  • -A psychologist uses NSTP to gain support for land trusts.
  • -Instructors develop NSTP courses at many universities.
  • -A mother is home schooling her son and his friends with NSTP.
  • -A doctor gives prescriptions that require patients to do NSTP for stress related disorders.
  • -A geologist uses NSP to teach an Earth Science program.
  • -Several students operate healing programs that utilize NSTP
  • -An educator teaches NSTP as part of a University Energy Medicine program

What is the difference between Applied Ecopsychology and Integrated Ecology?
They are the same . Some people think of themselves as ecologists, others psychologists so we accommodate both areas of expertise. The difference, therefore, is the way you spell them.

How can I tell if this program is right for me?
Before being accepted to the program, students are required to visit Project NatureConnect's descriptive, interactive web site and complete an Application Form. You may identify outcomes of the program that appeal to you by recognizing them in our participant survey.

How long has the IGE program been operating?
It has serviced the public "offline" since 1959 and became available as online courses and degree programs in 1994.

What make the IGE-Greenwich program special?
Although many universities and students teach our courses and use our books, to date, (1/2/02) no other American university offers a degree program in it. IGE also services other programs offer courses and degrees in NSTP.

Are all the tuition and fees listed at Greenwich applicable to this program?
Yes except we have a special scholarships and tuition schedules for them and payments in this program are made directly to IGE. A radical student aid program based on exceptional trust is also available.

Why is the program relatively inexpensive?
The state of the world demands it. There is a critical need for people trained in the NSTP form of Applied Ecopsychology, yet the increasing costs of education make the training unavailable to many excellent applicants. To meet this challenge by organizing cooperatively and reducing operating costs in addition to obtaining scholarship funds has made program accessible to most people who qualify for it.

Are the courses only available to students at IGE-GU?
Through the Institute of Global Education. Project NatureConnect, students from any program or setting are eligible to take parallel core courses and transfer them to their IGE program to partially fulfill the requirements of a similar courses at IGE

How and why does the Institute of Global Education (IGE) service Greenwich and other degree program students?
As Director of Integrated Ecology Department at IGE , Dr. Michael J. Cohen, also serves as Director of the Applied Ecopsychology program at Greenwich. In order to make available IGE financial assistance and other customized academic services, at IGE he guides and teaches for Greenwich in conjunction with a professional IGE graduate student cooperative. The IGE cooperative brings each new student into its professional training program and organizes and teaches all the Degree Program course work in consultation with Greenwich. Students then automatically complete their work with Greenwich.

What special qualities is this program looking for in its students?
Please read "Disconnected Education" We welcome people who appreciate its essence, insights and direction. We support dedicated individuals from any walk of life who applaud Karen's integrity and recognize a vital part of themselves in her experiences. We are dedicated to helping people who want to learn and teach the nature reconnecting techniques available to us now that were not available to Karen.

Do you have to be in a Degree Program to learn and teach Reconnecting With Nature skills?
Not at all. They may be learned directly from the training books and/or our core email
courses and workshops, many of which are guided by the Graduate Students Cooperative members. You can help the program by letting others know about it by sending them a copy of our Homepage or Degree Program address.


What is the time and fee structure for the Degree Program?
The Applied Ecopsychology program may be completed in 1-2 years MS, and 18 months to 3 years Ph.D. Additional years may be added with special permission. Tuitions parallel the University schedule but the total is known before you start and have made the program financially possible for you via available scholarship or grants.

Students who commit to the student cooperative works/study learn and earn program, have the opportunity to help facilitate courses and thereby earn back some of their tuition fees. Several financial assistance programs are available to qualified applicants.

Are there additional costs to the IGE-Greenwich program?
This depends upon how a student chooses to independently participate in and fulfill the course requirements. All distant learning course fees are covered by tuition. However, as is common at other universities, the fees of appropriate workshops, transfer courses, conferences, training programs, internships, special mentors, rental equipment, transportation etc. are all additional when a student elects to use them to achieve his or her academic and professional goals.

What makes the IGE-Greenwich program special?
It is designed specifically with the professional program goals and experiences of the student in mind. Each course contains a nature reconnecting Natural Systems Thinking Process component you may add to your present of future livelihood. This differs from taking one or two courses in your area of interest and many additional courses in required academic areas.

All courses in the program may be learned through distant learning procedures, although they may also be optionally offered on-site as well.

In the IGE-Greenwich program, appropriate experiences or skills the student already has attained, for which they have not received academic credit, will apply to their program and course work required, once the experience is properly documented. The documentation consists of the student writing up the past experience as a course and showing the knowledge that was gained, its appropriateness to their degree and how they would integrate NSTP in it.

What is the difference between receiving an accredited or unaccredited university degree?
Although our core course are accredited, Greenwich is not an American university and is not subject to the accreditation system. See
Non-accredited Degrees for further information.

Our program goal is to help each participant become a documented master technician in areas of special interest to them in Applied Ecopsychology or Integrated Ecology. They then independently use, represent and offer the public their own personal skills and competence, not just the name of an institution, accredited or not. Our courses and program equate with those required in most other graduate degree programs.

What is the online education process used by some of the courses?
It is education that links students and faculty from around the world into shared experiences and interactive learning groups through internet communications. Students have a working knowledge of email and the internet by the time they complete their applications.

How do the online programs operate?
As part of our admission orientation process, students learn-by-doing how to participate in an online Orientation experience in order to become adept to how our online courses work. On these courses, you use computer communication on a short but frequent basis each week to participate in the topics you're studying.

The online courses are, by consensus, self-organized and paced between people in each interactive study team.

Do students have to sit down at their computers at the same time every day?
No. You do all of your communication and work while offline, and only go online to send and receive material to and from your class group. In other words, you leave your written comments or work for others to see, and check in at a later time to pick up the responses to those messages, and in turn, respond to them.

Wouldn't it be better to have real-time discussion just like in a more traditional face-to-face classroom?
Because students have an opportunity to take their time reviewing comments, and also take as much time as they need to compose their responses, the material and concepts are approached at an individual rate. "Chat-mode" communication is also used optionally

Another advantage of an online class is that all students have an equal opportunity to participate in the discussions, not just the extroverts. Potentially discriminating factors such as race, handicap, gender and appearance disappear. Experiences, thoughts, feelings and making sense of NSTP become the major focus.

Can you describe how a typical online instruction is conducted?
Typically, the interact study team reads the assignment from the training manual, does the activities involved, shares their thoughts and feelings from the activity via an email to their interact team, reads other team postings and shares their reactions to them. The mentor and other experienced participants are part of the 4-6 person study team.They may elaborate on the material, and provide discussion questions related to the topic. The online courses are team efforts. Participants share their daily experiences and learn from the knowledge shared by others in their study group.

Can I talk to the instructor or other students in private?
Yes. Telephone calls best serve this function.

Does the lack of physical contact detract from the educational process?
Not really, since students are often working person-to-person in their local communities while on a course. They are encouraged to use the telephone when they need to clarify issues immediately.

Does it matter what type of computer equipment an individual uses?
Most IBM compatibles or MacIntosh computers equipped with a modem will work.

How do I know I'll get a quality education from an online course instead of a more traditional course?
You will be able to demonstrate your skills in applying the program and using the support system it provides continually. You will be trained to measure and evaluate your effectiveness.

In 1987, Phoenix University reports that it undertook a project to measure the learning outcomes of online education. It is one of the most comprehensive assessment of adult learning of any college or university in the United States. Every student who entered program took a Comprehensive Cognitive Assessment to measure their subject-matter knowledge, judgment, and problem-solving skills, and then took it again at graduation so learning was measured to determine whether they have reached the learning outcomes specified in the curriculum.

Generalized results from the outcomes assessment program indicate that online students have performed as well or better in subject-matter achievement, when compared to their peers in classroom programs. Online students' employers indicated they were very satisfied with the quality of graduates.

What is the typical monthly phone bill for a student enrolled in an online course?
Students should expect to use approximately 4-8 hours of online connect time per month. All communication is developed "offline" and modem connections are only used to send and receive, keeping actual connect time to a minimum.

Can I complete my entire degree program online, or do I have to come to a campus for part of it?
Some of the courses optionally offer participation in workshops at your own expense. Utilizing conferences, workshops and courses at other times is always a valuable option, but is not required nor included in the fee structure of the program.

How many hours per week do students devote to their online degree program?
Students generally spend between 3-5 hours per week on a course if working at minimum output. They can take as many courses between 6-15 credits, as it convenient during any six month semester. Course participants may choose to slow their pace to accommodate personal schedules as well as take a leave of absence. Course work includes reading and doing activities, writing, studying, and computer time and telephone time required for correspondence.

What would my schedule be like?
That would be up to you in conjunction with your study team when you do an online course. Other courses you do at your own pace.

Do I have to be an expert in computers to take classes this way?
No. You should however, know how to use your computer; how to save and retrieve files; how to use the simple functions of your word-processor; e-mail and internet access.

Where can I get further information about the program and its process?
Carefully look through the materials in the
Contents and at the Institute of Global Education


Return to Degree Program table of contents

Department Chair Office Information

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Chair
Post Office Box 1605,
Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
(360) 378-6313

Dr. Cohen is also the director of
at the
Institute of Global Education
A special NGO Consultant to the
United Nations Economic and Social Council
He also serves as Adjunct Faculty for
Portland State University School of Extended Studies.




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Institute of Global Education

Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council



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P.O. Box 1605 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360-378-6313



The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

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