School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in Public and Nonprofit Organizations is a 12-credit, graduate level program which consists of three courses and three Saturday workshops. The courses are taken on-line. In-person workshops are offered on the Grand Valley downtown campus. On-line classes are offered in a six-week format. They will be offered on-line, in sequence, in the Fall of 2014 and Winter of 2015.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in Public and Nonprofit Organizations provides a unique opportunity to pursue a theoretically based and practically oriented education in leadership for public, nonprofit, and business professionals who want to understand sustainability issues and how to steer their organizations toward sustainable practices and resiliency. This program offers public and nonprofit managers the up to-date professional skills and perspectives required to guide their organizations in a rapidly changing and increasingly important area.

The primary instructor for the Graduate Certificate is Dr. Haris Alibasic (email: alibasha at gvsu.edu), Director of the Grand Rapids’ Office of Energy and Sustainability, and a longtime adjunct faculty with GVSU, and with the support of the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration and the Sustainable Community Development Initiative.

Program Content

Content includes providing an overview of ecological, energy, climatic and consumption issues impacting local communities and guidelines for transitioning organizations to sustainable methods and practices. Students will develops a sustainable decision making framework to identify alternative courses of action, evaluate options for sustainable choices, and guide the implementation of management decisions to provide positive social, environmental and financial returns.

Program Audience

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in Public and Nonprofit Organizations is for individuals working in public and nonprofit organizations who want to lead their organizations toward are expressing sustainability principles in organizational planning, budgeting and decision-making. We welcome current Grand Valley graduate students and alumni who wish to develop expertise in an additional area, and all others employed in public and nonprofit organizations. Courses and workshops taken in the certificate program may be applied toward the Master of Public Administration and Master of Health Administration degrees. These courses are part of a Sustainable Development concentration, paired with a “health and built environment” courses.

Program Requirements

The Graduate Certificate requires the completion of 12 credit hours of graduate study:

PA671 Building Sustainable Communities (3 credits): Provides an overview of ecological, energy, climatic and consumption issues impacting local communities. Through a multidisciplinary approach, students study the relationship among society, organizations, and the natural environment. Students examine how local governments and nonprofit organizations develop sustainable built landscapes, educate about sustainable best practices, foster green economic development, and learn the concepts of community resiliency.

PA672 Building Sustainable Public-serving Organizations (3 credits): Provides guidelines for local government and nonprofit managers who are transitioning their organizations to sustainable methods and practices. Students learn how to measure and analyze an organization's environmental footprint and social impact. They are also introduced to change management techniques useful for implementing new sustainability practices.

PA673 Practicum for Decision-Making in Sustainability (3 credits): Develops a sustainable decision making framework to identify alternative courses of action, evaluate options for sustainable choices, and guide the implementation of management decisions to provide positive social, environmental and financial returns. Students will develop sustainability plans for governmental or nonprofit or private sector organizations.

Three designated PA550-3 Workshops (1 credit each)

The 2014/15 schedule is as follows:

FALL 2014 (8 credits):

  • CRN 16736, PA553.01 Public Administration Workshop – Introduction to Sustainability, 9:00 am-5:50 pm on 09/13, 201D DeVos Center
  • CRN , PA671.02  - Building Sustainable Communities, from 08/15 to 10/11, ONLINE          
  • CRN 22418, PA672.01 - Building Sustainable Public-serving Organizations, from 10/13 to 12/13, ONLINE   
  • CRN 21686, PA551.02 - Second Sustainability Workshop, 9:00 am-5:50 pm on 10/11, DEV 205D ????     

WINTER 2015 (4 credits):

  • CRN 31422, PA673.01 - Practicum in Decision Making for Sustainability, from 01/05 to 02/27, ONLINE        
  • CRN21687, PA552.03 - Third Sustainability Workshop, 9:00 am-5:50 pm on 03/7 or 03/14, DEV 203D???     

Inquire

If you would like more information, fill out this inquiry form, or send an e-mail to Mark Hoffman hoffmanm@gvsu.edu

Application Procedure

If you are a graduate of the GVSU MPA program, you do not need to formally apply. If you have not attended GVSU for two semesters, complete a Petition to Return. Then contact Dr. Mark Hoffman (hoffmanm@gvsu.edu., 616-331-6587) and let him know you want the Graduate Certificate. He will then issue you permits for the courses.

If you are a current MPA student, or have graduated in the last two semesters, contact Mark Hoffman (hoffmanm@gvsu.edu, 616-331-6587) and let him know you want the Graduate Certificate. He will then issue you permits for the courses.

If you are not an MPA graduate or current student, please apply through the Online Graduate Admissions. Applicants must hold an advanced degree or a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, a one-page statement of your objective, and three references (names and e-mails).

Applicant with a minimum of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate work and some experience working in a public or nonprofit organization will be given preference in admission decisions. Admission decisions are made on a rolling (first-come, first-served) basis until the program reaches capacity.

Page last modified April 10, 2014