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Leadership for Sustainability Certificate

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 Evidence Based Coaching Certificate
The Leadership for Sustainability Certificate addresses an increased demand for professionals who can lead change based on a deep understanding of sustainable practice. Leadership development is critical for practitioners, executives, and consultants seeking to position themselves as experts in sustainability. This certificate provides an intellectual understanding of the principles of sustainability and the development of the leadership skills required to implement those principles.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of sustainability through an interdisciplinary systems perspective that integrates ecological, economic, cultural, and organizational theory and research.
  • Explore cultural and ideological forces that helped shape modern conceptions of sustainability.
  • Understand a global perspective on the nexus between human activity and the environment.
  • Develop leadership skills that address sustainability issues and challenges.
  • Acquire practical strategies for implementing sustainability principles in organizations.

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The curriculum consists of a required online orientation and two terms of online courses: ODL-614 and ODL-615, for a total of 8 semester credits of coursework in order to graduate. 

Effective date: 05/01/2013

To view course descriptions, click on the hyperlinked course number/title below. Printing the page will print all course descriptions.

Required Courses

ODL-600 Online Learning Orientation, 0 semester credits
Designed to introduce students to the online environment and practices in Fielding's ODL program, this online seminar takes place prior to the beginning of the first academic trimester. Students will learn to use Fielding's website and software to navigate, post and complete initial assignments. Students will meet online and begin building community with their entering cohort and receive course introductions in preparation for beginning the academic term. Faculty and staff participate in facilitating dialogue and increasing online skills as the seminar progresses. Certificate students participate in the orientation for two days; master's students participate for four days.
ODL-614 Sustainability and Organizational Change, 4 semester credits
The primary focus of this course is to gain understanding of the concept of sustainability, using a systemic mental model, and applied in an organizational leadership context. Students will examine different theories of sustainability, with an emphasis on the larger social, cultural, economic, and environmental realms in which they exist. Case studies and literature from both the United States and abroad will provide international comparisons used to illustrate similarities and differences. Examples of theory as they relate to practice will begin to build a student’s understanding of influences underlying organizational change and aid in building repertoire about sustainability leadership skills, research, and practice.
ODL-615 Ecological Frameworks for Sustainability Practitioners, 4 semester credits
This course offers a tour of ecological frameworks used by sustainability practitioners, such as The Natural Step (TNS), Ecological Footprint, Cradle to Cradle, Natural Capitalism, Industrial Ecology, and Biomimicry, aimed at practical implementation of sustainability principles in organizations.

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Did You Know?

Clean-energy patents reached an all-time high in 2010, up almost 170 percent over 2009, far outpacing technology in general. - 2011 State of Green Business Report, Joel Makower

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