The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability is administered through the Academy for Sustainability in the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning. The certificate recognizes the need for participants to work across topical disciplines. And whether citizens are educated as designers or function as participants in the design activity, they collectively must arrive at strategic agreements, implement tactical applications and measure the effectiveness of their efforts to achieve a carbon free circular economy, assure social equity, and acknowledge nature as a service provider rather than a source of consumable goods – all foundational considerations of sustainability.
Moreover, the certificate reaches out to the existing workforce by confronting the realities of day-to-day family obligations, job commitments, and community engagement, which significantly limit the flexibility of adults seeking to become more knowledgeable about sustainability. Thus we offer 1-credit hour courses of immersion in social, economic and environmental content; each are five weeks in duration.
Not only does this modulation provide convenience to subscribers but it is in tune with the variety of interests that may arise; those seeking to enhance knowledge and skills, those seeking to expand responsibility in their current job, or those seeking a career change to Sustainability leadership.
Most importantly, completion of the 12 credit hours certificate is a steppingstone to a 30 credit hour graduate degree in sustainability for which students will complete a graduate level thesis of their choice.
To complement this graduate certificate offering, Ball State University has partnered with the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP). Students participating in the program are automatically enrolled as members of ISSP and through this network can build connectivity to job opportunities. Finally, completion of the certificate prepares students for ISSP credentialing which, not unlike the licensure that follows many of the degrees in our college, provides an additional level of demonstrated values, understanding and abilities.
Ball state is unique in its offering of this certificate and the breadth of backgrounds and roles of the students currently participating attest to the timeliness of its availability.
By Robert J. Koester AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Professor of Architecture, Director for the Academy for Sustainability and
Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES)