Course Descriptions

It is recommended that students have a basic level of proficiency in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Course Sequence – Hybrid Online Part-Time Program
Course Sequence – Weekday Program
Course Sequence – Weekday Program with Accelerated Option
Course Sequence – Weekend Program

Introduction to Sustainability (3 credits)
Competency Area: Natural Systems
This survey course focuses on understanding the theoretical foundation of sustainability with a focus on complex ecological systems as essential to the origins of the concept. Beyond systems, students will explore the history of sustainability, and its emergence as a contested concept, which helps to explain its multiple interpretations across different individuals and organizations. Upon gaining the theoretical and historical perspective, students will explore how sustainability is applied in organizations through the lens of organizational sustainability. Students complete assignments designed to help them to understand the challenges and myriad interpretations of sustainability in a variety of organizations, as they begin to develop their own interpretations of sustainability.

Teamwork and Diversity (3 credits)
Competency Area: Collaboration & Group Dynamics
Effective teamwork is essential in today’s organizations, and working effectively with human diversity is at the heart of successful teamwork. Students develop awareness of the dynamics of workplace diversity within a global context. Within this context, they apply models of group dynamics to better understand group experience and practice leadership behaviors to best address group needs. They develop skills in task productivity, collaborative decision-making, managing conflict, self awareness, and giving and receiving feedback.

Finance I (3 credits)
Competency: Finance & Economics
In this course the connection between financial accounting and managerial accounting is explored with emphasis on the financial aspects of operational management and the use of managerial accounting to drive strategic results. The course covers budgets, activity based management, financial modeling, expense vs. capital, cash flow, and reporting. Overall focus is on developing the financial skills necessary to effectively manage at the project, program, or organization level utilizing both financial and non-financial performance metrics. An extension of traditional managerial accounting to the emerging measurement systems of sustainability accounting is made with investigations of Sustainability Accounting Standards, the Global Reporting Initiative, and best practices in managing and measuring in a triple bottom line context.

Earth Systems in Organizations (3 credits)
Competency Area: Natural Systems
Prerequisite: Intro to Sustainability

This course employs a systems approach to understanding the intersections of business and earth systems, also known as the evolutionary corporation. The Earth systems of atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and pedosphere are analyzed through field trips to local organizations, readings, and discussions. Students work closely with one organization to research and problem solve an organization’s earth system challenge.

Developing Human Resources (3 credits)
Competency Area: Management & Decision Making
Human beings and the organizations they work in depend on one another. Effective managers know how to foster workplace culture, practices, and relationships that support learning, satisfaction, and strong performance among employees, who in turn commit their knowledge, skills, and energy to the organization’s success. This course provides an overview of principles for effective and sustainable human resource practice for managers. We then focus on specific aspects of that practice, including hiring, onboarding, performance development, and dealing with unsatisfactory performance. Students will also conduct independent research projects on relevant human resource topics, policies, and issues.

Finance II (3 credits)
Competency: Finance & Economics
Prerequisite: Finance I and Excel Proficiency
Built on the foundations established in Finance I, this course focuses on capital, its creation, management, and use to drive strategic results. Financial Statement analysis is expanded to its use in the assessment, planning, financing, and evaluation phases of a company’s capital management processes. Capital markets and securities, governance and legal forms, taxes, initial public stock offerings, dividend decisions, working capital management, financial risk management, valuation and deal structures for mergers and acquisitions, and the time value techniques in capital management are covered both for ongoing ventures and for start-ups. The impact of sustainability initiatives are explored through the lens of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Sustainability Investing. We will study how financial markets are responding to the need to price externalities and explore how the existing financial paradigm of shareholder wealth maximization (SWM) might further evolve to more explicitly incorporate the goals of global sustainability. The similarities and contrasts among financial, human, social and natural capital will be explored. Students will complete the business plan that was started in Finance I.

Ecological Economics for Social Entrepreneurs (3 credits)
Competency Area: Finance & Economics
Ecological economics addresses the complexity inherent in the process of determining how we decide, utilize, and prioritize resources in a way that does not jeopardize the future well-being of the natural and human systems. This course will survey the breadth of current application tools for measuring efficiency in sustainability terms, primarily through the lenses of social entrepreneurship and business applications. Alternative measurement systems will be compared to neo-classical tools for their ability to measure a sustainable direction. Students will develop quantitative skills for measuring and analyzing sustainability, focusing on project and business scale applications.

Supply Chain  (3 credits)
Competency Area: Management & Decision Making
This course provides an enhanced understanding of key concepts in supply chain management. The systems approach and a process orientation are explored at the individual-firm level and from the perspective of collaborative relationships among participants in logistics supply chains. The course provides opportunities to investigate individual supply chain topics such as approaches to planning and managing inventory across supply chains, value creation through alignment and realignment of supply chain capabilities, the distinction of supply and value chain in sustainable businesses, integration of technology and supply chain performance metrics. Sustainability is woven through out the case studies and class discussions.

Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Leading Change (3 credits)
Competency Area: Leadership & Self Development
For organizations to thrive in today’s complex environment, business leaders and managers increasingly need knowledge in leadership theory and how to engage organizational members in systemic change directed toward the fulfillment of clear and meaningful objectives. In this course, students will develop skills as adaptive, entrepreneurial leaders. Students will explore models of leading change in entrepreneurial corporations, nonprofits, social ventures, and ecopreneurial organizations.

Integrative Strategic Management (3 credits)
Competency Area: Systems & Strategic Thinking and
Competency Area: Natural Systems

In this capstone course, students will merge ecological and organizational theory to develop strategic systems thinking management approaches. Students will develop skills to evaluate sustainability procedures and policies in a variety of complex systems – biological, ecological, environmental, organizational, social, political, and/or economic. Students will explore the field of Human Ecology as way to advance their strategies for solving complex organizational and environmental challenges. Case studies in managing IT resources, market competition, board development, social entrepreneurship and others will be used to demonstrate integrative strategic management approaches and solutions.

Marketing & Communication Strategy (3 credits)
Competency Area: Systems & Strategic Thinking
This course explores marketing as an essential component of an organization’s broader communication strategy in the context of organizational sustainability – defined through the triple bottom line. Specifically, sustainability marketing initiatives will be addressed through the lens of authenticity, driven by an organization’s mission and purpose. The course combines both theoretical and practical elements and is intended to facilitate students’ understanding of specific marketing strategies and tactics as nested within a broader organizational marketing strategy and communication strategy. Students will read a variety of literature and will work with an organization in a consulting capacity, while simultaneously developing a marketing plan.

Practicum (3 credits)
Competency Area: Purposeful Systemic Change
The practicum is a facilitated, independent project. Students identify a focus, conduct research, identify a project and implement project management tools to create and meet the goals of the project. Activities include: brainstorming possible learning goals, conducting a review of the relevant literature, creating a reference list, specifying goals and expectations for a project, and preparing a strategic plan for the implementation of the project. Students complete this course by implementing their strategic plan and conducting the project or activity. In the weekend program practicum is a two semester course with Practicum Strategy & Research in the Fall II semester and Practicum Implementation in the Spring II semester. In the accelerated program practicum is a 6-week course that combines research, strategy and implementation.

Total Credits: 36