Professional Certificates in Cultural Sustainability

Advance your career with flexible professional certificates focused on the skills you need. 


Post-baccalaureate certificate

This certificate program is grounded in ethical practice that honors and interrogates community identity and self-representation, skills most often associated with the liberal arts. Through our approach to community documentation, students will gain a deeper mastery of critical inquiry, dialogical research principles and deep listening.

Certificate Application

Program Details
Credits 12
Timeline 12 months
Next start date August 19, 2024
Post-baccalaureate Certificate Cost $6,300
Student & Technology Fees $780
Total estimated program cost $7,080

*Please note that the cost listed above is an estimated program cost. Tuition and fees are re-evaluated every year and are subject to change each summer for the following academic year.

Course Descriptions

Required Courses 

CSP 600: Introduction to Cultural Sustainability (3 credits)
Students are introduced to the basic ethical and cultural implications for working in any community, including documentation.  What practices, orientations, and frameworks are helpful and important to effectively work with communities to support the culture that matters to them?  Students gain insights into the interdisciplinary theoretical foundations of cultural sustainability through readings, discussion, and reflection on cultural activism and inquiry.

CSP 610: Cultural Documentation (3 credits)
Cultural documentation provides an orientation and foundation in the methodologies used to understand and engage with the cultural processes and assets of value to communities. This course introduces best practices in cultural documentation, the use of ethnographic fieldwork and digital media to record and understand culture, and the ethical and practical issues involved in appropriately and effectively engaging with people in a variety of community contexts.

CSP 660: Oral History (3 credits)
Oral history is both a process (doing an interview) and a product (the recorded interview); both fun (listening to another person’s story) and challenging (making sense of another person’s story). It is a form of first-person, personal narrative, a mode of self-representation that includes ethnography, storytelling, and memoir. This course is divided into three broad topics: doing oral history (project planning and interviewing), interpreting oral history (issues of memory and narrative), and using oral history (putting oral history to work in the world). Legal and ethical issues, digital media, and activism are also important aspects of oral history as it is practiced today, and discussion of these topics will be addressed throughout the course.  For their major assignment, students will follow professional practice for oral history as they plan, conduct, follow up on, and interpret one or more interviews with a person/people on a topic related to the student’s academic and/or professional interests.

CSP 671: Critical Perspectives in Community-Based Research (3 credits) Students in this course analyze the historical, conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of ethnography to articulate a unique perspective on research methodologies grounded in the principles of cultural sustainability and embracing of the power of collaboration within and across communities to co-create representations of culture.  This course explores multiple research approaches and modalities to understand the implications of fieldwork and the critical role of research in working with communities.  Students examine issues of subject position, representation, mediation, collaboration, and action.  Finally, students analyze extractive and colonizing histories in ethnography to shape alternative approaches that are community-based and community-driven.  Prerequisite or Concurrent with: CSP600



Post-master's certificate

This certificate will strengthen the student’s capacity and confidence as a leader in the social sector by exploring leadership and self-development in the context of culture, community, and advocacy.  

Certificate Application

Program Details
Credits 15
Timeline 12 months
Next start date August 19, 2024
Post-master's Certificate Cost $6,825
Student & Technology Fees $975
Total estimated program cost $7,800

*Please note that the cost listed above is an estimated program cost. Tuition and fees are re-evaluated every year and are subject to change each summer for the following academic year.

Course descriptions

Required Courses

PMGT 601: Leadership and Self-Development (3 credits)
This course will help students define leadership styles and set personal goals. Students will integrate conceptual knowledge and self-awareness within the context of ethical practice, social responsibility, and innovative practice. 

CSP 615:  Cultural Partnerships (3 credits)
What are effective strategies for scholars and organizations to work with communities to help develop the capacity for those communities to make choices about what matters to them? This course explores ways that effective enduring partnerships and programs can be developed to reflect the voices and aspirations of communities, their stakeholders, and the cultural organizations that serve them.

CSP 628: Principles of Cultural Mediation (3 credits)
Without the recognition of difference of opinion, viewpoints, and individual value systems, conversations around divisive issues can often be dominated by polarized and destructive debate. Creating a space for dialogue can allow for these multiple viewpoints to be shared. Students will reflect on how their own cultural background frames their understanding of themselves and others, and will develop an understanding of how intercultural dialogue and mediation can be utilized to work successfully and ethically in partnership with communities.

CSP 650: Organizing Communities: Advocacy, Activism and Social Justice (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the methods and perspectives of community organizing. Cultural sustainability is often a matter of social justice and self-determination, and knowledge of community organizing strategies provides a critical tool for Cultural Sustainability practitioners. Organizing, advocacy, and action strategies will be shared and assessed particularly as they pertain to matters of cultural democracy.


PMGT 626: Nonprofit Leadership and Management (3 credits)
This course provides the broad knowledge necessary to understand and successfully contribute to the nonprofit organization.  Topics covered include: understanding the place of nonprofits in society; developing, guiding, and managing a board; program development and evaluation; volunteer development and management; fundraising and development; ePhilanthropy; and other selected topics.

PMGT 620: Leadership and Self-development II: The Creative Professional (1.5 credits)
This course focuses on the real-world applications of planning, teamwork, marketing, and networking that help independent artists and commercial artists thrive and build long-term careers. Students will develop an understanding of the workflow for creating elaborate multimedia works and learn individual business practices and teamwork skills necessary to achieve success in today's multimedia professions. Practical issues such as the role of unions, agents, and personal managers, and the practice and development of professional networking strategies, the value of artistic content or services, and related topics will be discussed. 

PMGT 650: Models of Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
This course explores different organizational models of how people are working to change the world in positive ways. Looking beyond the traditional categories of non-profit, for-profit, government and education, innovative models that are being developed to address the pressing social and environmental issues faced by communities are identified and analyzed. The topics include: earned income, social ventures, hybrid organizations, crowdsourcing, cooperatives, community engagement, grasstops partnerships, and co-working. Students evaluate existing models to determine their strengths and opportunities for improvement related to their context, resources, power relationships, and their value as solutions to specific problems.