The Sustainability and Environmental Studies certificate is intended for those individuals who want an improved knowledge of the relationship of the environment and environmental policies to their business or future career, those who seek work in developing or implementing environmental policies for business or government, or for those who possess a strong personal interest in global ecological relationships and how their roles as workers, consumers, leaders, and everyday citizens interact with our global commons.
The courses are graduate level but current Truman seniors are eligible to participate! Visit the "Undergraduate Option" page to find out how.
Courses will be offered in a ten-week or semester format (for required courses) and an eight-week format (for elective courses), though some options of reduced or greater length may be available.
The Sustainability and Environmental Studies Certificate is a great alternative to a full-fledged degree in environmental studies for those who could benefit from a greater understanding of the scientific, economic, policy, and regulatory environment of sustainability.
The program meets a special need for working professionals who may wish to acquire skills in the area of sustainability to better position themselves in the workplace but who lack the time or the financial resources to commit to a full Master's program at the present time. Such training is particularly well-timed to respond to government initiatives to stimulate the development of "Green Industries" and to encourage appropriate workforce development in response to the state of the current economy.
Beyond the individual benefits, this certificate affords businesses an opportunity to obtain continuing education for their employees in an area that could have tangible effects on the corporate bottom line.
An interdisciplinary team of faculty across several departments has come together to create the certificate. The certificate is staffed by some of Truman's most respected faculty, and includes instruction from three department chairs and the University's former Director of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Students completing the Sustainability and Environmental Studies Certificate will:
grasp the fundamental scientific concepts that inform our understanding of sustainability;
explore the social conditions and motivations that frame the interaction of humans with their environment;
appreciate the policy framework and political environment in which environmental policy is enacted;
analyze and evaluate the economic motivations for developing sustainable practices and the consequences of adopting or not adopting them;
learn to apply their learning in practical contexts by developing an understanding of how sustainable practices can influence the bottom line and how doing business sustainably can have concrete, constructive impacts on their workplace, their company, and the local, national, and international economy.
Is This Program Right for Me?
The certificate is intended for practicing professionals in a range of fields - but primarily in business and industry - who want to augment their workplace leadership skills with knowledge of the emerging field of sustainability studies. The certificate also serves to assist those students thinking about pursuing broader graduate coursework or research in environmental studies to ascertain the value of such a track.
The program is ideal for the student wanting to improve his or her career training who does not have the time or financial resources to enroll in a full degree program.
For students who are unsure about graduate school, the Sustainability and Environmental Studies Certificate provides a low-cost, convenient way to sample the graduate experience while preparing essential skills for graduate school.
Truman has one of the most affordable tuition rates in the region at just over $300 per credit hour for in-state students.
For Truman graduates, the certificate adds outstanding value to an already outstanding degree.
Highly qualified Truman faculty and experienced practitioners offer the certificate courses entirely online.
Boeing employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement under Boeing's Learning Together Program. Other businesses may also qualify. Ask your employer!
The entire program can be completed in one calendar year or less!
Coursework is offered entirely online.
The Sustainability and Environmental Studies Certificate requires completion of four classes: two required courses and two elective courses selected from a prescribed list.
IDSM 620G Sustainability: From Science to
IDSM 621G Applied Sustainability: Optimizing Value from Concept to the Boardroom to the Bottom-line
IDSM 620G Sustainability: From Science to Society [3 credit hours]
This course begins by investigating the scientific knowledge informing our sense of ecological challenges to sustainability, including climate change, loss of biological diversity and ecosystem services, and invasive species. Primary literature will provide most of the resources for this portion of the course. The course then proceeds to address responses to these challenges, from local grassroots efforts to international treaties. Here, various sources are relevant, addressing diverse endeavors ranging from the building of a seed savers network; to considering regional and national carbon trading schemes (and legislation/regulation); to international efforts to minimize species introductions, ozone-depleting atmospheric pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions.
IDSM 621G Applied Sustainability: Optimizing Value from Concept to the Boardroom to the Bottom-Line [3 credit hours]
This course will examine the practical application of implementing sustainability in business, real estate, and products; focused on minimizing total costs, maximizing total benefits, and optimizing true value and total return on investment. We will study best practices, lessons learned, barriers, opportunities, risk management, and rewards of implementing sustainability in an increasingly complex and dynamic legal and regulatory environment. Included will be exploration of topics such as socially responsible investing (SRI), environmental and social governance (ESG), the triple bottom-line, cradle to cradle, sustainable real estate development and sustainable community development, and sustainable facilities management. Examples of innovative business models and sustainable enterprise software tools will be touched upon as ways to enhance longer-term value, capitalize on opportunities, manage risks, and bridge the split incentive dilemma that sustainability often presents in the short-term.
POL 620G The Politics of Sustainability [3 credit hours]
This course will study the politics and policies of environmental sustainability. The focus will cover both domestic and international aspects of the issue, with a concentration on the role and actions of relevant institutions such as Congress, courts, bureaucracy, and international bodies; local and grassroots politics; social justice and sustainability; and the sustainability philosophies and perspectives of radical movements.
ECON 620G The Economics of Sustainability [3 credit hours]
This course examines the economics of the sustainable use of natural resources, and the consequences of failure to do so. Topics covered will include: problems associated with optimal usage and management of common-pool resources; environmental regulation; the impact of government taxes and subsidies; environmental benefit estimation methods; cost-benefit analysis; sustainable agriculture; energy policy; transportation policy; and urban design. The EXCEL spreadsheet program will be used to do cost-benefit analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 201 or Equivalent
The purpose of this course is to convey to students a geographically based critique of current, socially and environmentally unsustainable interactions of humans with their natural environment, and of practical strategies to promote more sustainable economic development that addresses the concerns of diverse sectors of society and are adapted to the specificities of different places.