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Western Kentucky University

Global Pathways to Sustainability - Diversity & Community Studies

Graduate Certificate: Global Pathways to Sustainability

The Global Pathways to Sustainability (GPS) Graduate Certificate prepares professionals working in organizations and institutions to understand complex environmental and social problems and to apply community-based solutions. The certificate offers a multidisciplinary study of the environmental, social, and policy dimensions of sustainability.

The GPS certificate requires two core courses and four electives, for a total of 15 credit hours. Courses may be taken in any order, but students are encouraged to take the core courses as soon as possible in the certificate program. Electives must include at least one course from three of the following categories. Additional electives may be approved in consultation with the advisor.

Two 3-hour core courses (6 hours)

1) SUST 512 Foundations of Sustainability
2) SUST 514 Environmental Justice & Public Spaces

Three 3-hour electives (must select at least one from each of three categories):

1) Social and Human Impact

     a. GWS 575 Gender, Justice & Sustainability
     b. SRSC 515 Utopias, Dystopias, & Intentional Communities
     c. SRSC 525 Place & the Problem of Healing
     d. GERO 581 Global Aging

2) Environment, Health, & Business Sustainability

     a. BA 545 Survey of Business Sustainability Issues
     b. BA 546 Sustainable Business Operations
     c. BA 547 Sustainability, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship
     d. ENVE 560 Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues
     e. PH 584 Principles of Environmental Health
     f. GEOG 474G Environmental Planning

3) Policy and Practice

     a. SRSC 520 Community-based Research
     b. SWRK 678 Environmental Justice: Theory, Policy, & Practice
     c. SUST 517 Sustainable Places
     d. SUST 518 Organizational Change for Sustainability


Course Rotation

Spring 2016

Social and Human Impact

SRSC 525 – Place & the Problem of Healing, with Dr. Jane Olmsted

This course draws on memoir, non-fiction, fiction, and cultural criticism to examine the ways in which selves and communities are fragmented and how they go about rebuilding themselves—reconstructing new identities and ways of living in the world. What are the inter-relationships among healing and individual human or animal suffering, community, and place? Of particular interest are the processes of healing, as well as the negotiations between violence and peace, silence and voice, language and expression, and ritual and sharing.


Environment, Health, & Business Sustainability

BA 546 – Sustainable Business Operation, with Dr. Ismail Civelek

Prerequisite: Graduate Student standing with the University. Exploration and development of definitions of sustainability and sustainable operations. The value chain perspective is taken to implement sustainability measures and different motivations for companies to engage in sustainable efforts.


PH 584 – Principles of Environmental Health, with Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPH program or permission of instructor. A study of the traditional, emerging and controversial issues associated with environmental health. Biological, chemical and physical threats to human health are included.


Policy and Practice

SUST 518 – Organizational Change for Sustainability, with C. Ryan

An examination of approaches to organizational change for comprehensive sustainable performance, including analysis of institutional barriers and examples of successful change strategies.


Summer 2016 (Tentative)


SUST 512—Foundations Sustainability, with Dr. John All

Examination of the social, economic, and environmental principles of sustainability, with a focus on case studies at both local and global levels.

SWRK 678—Environmental Justice, with Dr. Gayle Mallinger

Examines the relationship between environmental practice and social inequity, with grounding in relevant theories, policies, practice and evaluation of micro, mezzo, and macro intervention. Repeatable 1 time for a maximum of 6 hours.



For more information about the cost of the program, average time to complete the program, and other important information, please click here.

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 Last Modified 11/9/15