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Course Descriptions & Schedules

The 12-credit Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program begins with a weeklong residential immersion experience in late July and/or early August. During the academic year, course meetings occur on alternate Saturdays. Students progress through the course sequence as a cohort and complete the program in less than one year.

Additional courses for the remaining credit requirements of the 33-credit Master of Arts in Sustainability Leadership are offered on a schedule that accommodates working professionals (evenings, weekends, and/or on-line).


2015-2016 Schedule for Certificate/Master of Arts Core Program

Sustainable Development Leadership (SUST 650)
July 25 – August 1 (resident immersion) and August 22, 2015

Ecological Sustainability (SUST 651)
September 5 – December 5, 2015 (9/6, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5)

Social and Economic Sustainability (SUST 652)
January 23 – April 30, 2016 (1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 4/30)


Detailed program schedules for SUST 650, SUST 651 & SUST 652:

Graduate Certificate/Master of Arts Core Program (12 credits)

Sustainable Development Leadership (SUST 650, 4 credits)
Residential immersion experience
This mostly residential course provides the foundation for the Sustainability Leadership Program. It creates a community of reflective learners that support each other in becoming effective social entrepreneurs and sustainability change agents. We introduce major approaches to and measures of sustainability (e.g., ecological design, permaculture, biomimicry, life-cycle analysis, triple bottom line, natural capitalism, ecological footprint, The Natural Step, Transition movement); explore relationships among sustainability, economic development, and social justice; and apply systems thinking, change leadership and sustainability principles to specific issues. We also use existing models and team projects to examine how personal values, goals, and communication styles influence our roles as change leaders, and we practice a variety of methods (e.g., Scenario Thinking, Appreciative Inquiry, World Café, Open Space) that can promote networking, public engagement, planning, and participatory decision-making on sustainability issues. Prerequisites: Admission into Sustainability Leadership Program or consent of instructor.

Ecological Sustainability (SUST 651, 4 credits)
In the second course of the Sustainability Leadership Program, we use an ecological framework to explore the scientific basis of sustainable systems and the extension of principles of ecology and natural systems design into the realms of organizational change leadership, social science and humanities. We focus on the functioning of natural systems at multiple levels of organization, with emphasis on the fundamental roles of energy flow, nutrient dynamics, and hydrological cycles in ecosystem and biosphere function, and we examine the application of these concepts to social and economic systems. We work extensively with principles of ecological design, resilience, and restoration, and we critically analyze key sustainability indicators and reporting frameworks (e.g., ecological and carbon footprints, green building certifications, Global Reporting Initiative, Genuine Progress Indicator). Key related concepts include: ecosystem services, risk perception, precautionary principle, permaculture, biomimicry, deep ecology, integral ecology, indigenous knowledge systems and ecospirituality. Prerequisites: SUST 650.

Social and Economic Sustainability (SUST 652, 4 credits)
How is public policy made, and how can we best facilitate systematic change toward sustainability in our organizations and communities? In this course, we consider the challenges to such change presented by global trends and by traditional socioeconomic and public policy models, and we introduce alternative models aimed at meeting these challenges: ecological economics, sustainable development, social innovation and participative democracy. We discuss how deeper knowledge of human perception and behavior can help us formulate transformative communication and education strategies and practices. Key concepts include: social capital, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, social equity, urban design, transformational leadership and ecopsychology. Prerequisites: SUST 651.


Additional Required Courses for Master of Arts

Urban Community-based Sustainable Development (with UW-Madison) (SUST 751 3 credits)
Practical application of broad-based sustainability principles to the design of infrastructure, neighborhoods, and watersheds in the urban environment. Students and instructors will collaborate with community leaders, from grassroots activists to agency staff and elected officials, in developing and implementing sustainability plans. Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in any of the following areas, depending on their own interests: watershed management; green infrastructure; ecological design; community engagement; placemaking; liveability; walkability. Prerequisite: SUST 652 or consent of instructor

Innovative Leadership in Community Well-being (SUST 752 3 credits)
How can we best lead change within our organizations and communities to increase sustainability, resilience, health, and happiness? Partnering with local community leaders and organizations, our interdisciplinary group of students and faculty will create a "social innovation lab" that works to build and support collaborations among community members, non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies aimed at improving social, environmental, and economic "well-being" in impoverished, marginalized neighborhoods. Using tools of participatory, transformative leadership (including asset-based community development, collective impact, and crowd-sourcing), we will work toward the achievement of sustainability goals that build social capital; improve public health; prevent violence; increase access to open space, public transport, and healthy foods; encourage social entrepreneurship; promote community economic development; and support community and youth leadership development. Prerequisite: consent of instructor

Sustainability Leadership Capstone Completion (SUST 759 3 credits)
Students apply concepts and skills of sustainability leadership to complete directed projects under the supervision of Edgewood faculty and community mentors. Students are expected to synthesize relevant theoretical, practical, and technical content; identify appropriate social change processes; and implement a focused sustainability plan that integrates multiple academic and stakeholder perspectives and generates support for change through the effective use of communication skills. Prerequisites: SUST 652 and consent of instructor

Additional Elective Courses for Master of Arts (12 Credits Total)

IC 800 Ethics (3 credits)
IC 850 Studies in Change (3 credits)
BUS 616 Business Ethics (3 credits)
BUS 603 Organizational Development and Behavior (3 credits)
PSY 603 Organizational Interventions (3 credits)
PSY 606 Adult Learning & Organizational Development (3 credits)
ED 620: Leadership and Organization (3 credits)
BUS 606 Strategic Marketing (3 credits)
ED 618 Diversity/Culture/Literacy (3 credits)
BUS 738 Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
BUS 755 Consumer Behavior (3 credits)
BUS 792 International Study Tour (1 credit)
BUS 793 International Study Tour II (2 credits)
NRS625 Healthcare Systems & Policy (3 credits)
NRS 635 Foundations of the Healthcare System (3 credits)

Electives from University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management Graduate Program (up to 9 transfer credits can apply)
SMGT 720 Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line
SMGT 730 Policy, Law, and the Ethics of Sustainability
SMGT 740 Economics of Sustainability
SMGT 760 Geopolitical Systems – Decision Making for Sustainability on the Local, State, and National Level
SMGT 782 Supply Chain Management
SMGT 784 Sustainable Water Management
SMGT 785 Waste Management and Resource Recovery