About Sustainability and 21st Century Business Solutions 

In this interdisciplinary 15-credit hour certificate program, you will learn how to design economic- and business-based solutions to 21st century problems that will impact the triple sector. After completion, you will be able to lead your business or organization through the transition to value-driven economic decisions that generate revenue while making society and the environment more equitable and sustainable. 

The certificate in sustainability and 21st century business solutions is designed to prepare students for identifying economic-based policies and practices that drive unsustainability and to demonstrate the impact of production and consumption habits on economic, social and environmental systems.  The certificate builds on this knowledge to equip recipients with the language, tools and practices necessary to advocate for changes within organizations while helping organizations meet other goals such as profit maximization or maximum social impact.

Where can a certificate in Sustainability and 21st Century Business Solutions take me?

The certificate in sustainability and 21st century business solutions will strengthen your skills in microeconomics; in project management; thinking in systems; understanding emerging economic, social, and environmental trend lines and how these will impact business practices;  improve the way you think about relationships between humans and their environments; and provide you with the tools to innovate solutions within your existing or future job settings.

Professionals: In this certificate program, you will learn how your business can effect change and influence others by using a value-driven approach. You will learn how to develop partnerships between for-profit and not-for-profit businesses to maximize change. You will understand how you and your business can succeed financially while also leading a sustainable business practice that contributes in positive ways to social and environmental systems. By learning about sustainable business solutions, you will add value to your company by attracting investors and building social capital. 

Perfect for 

  • Chief executive officers 
  • General and operations managers 
  • Industrial production managers 
  • Transportation, storage and distribution managers 
  • Communication experts
  • Business policy and legal experts, especially related to social and environmental issues

Students: As businesses and organizations grow, they will be looking for leaders like you who can implement change. Prospective employers are looking for individuals like you to implement change and find creative solutions for the complex social, economic and environmental problems facing the 21st century. 

Career Opportunities 

  • Accountant 
  • Business operations specialist 
  • Compliance officer 
  • Project manager 
  • Human resources 
  • Occupational health and safety specialist 
  • Logistics

Required Coursework

Students in the sustainability and 21st century business solutions certificate are required to take four 3-credit hour courses and an additional 3-credit hour elective. The four required courses include a project-learning based capstone:

  • ECON 200 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ENVT 200 Introduction to Environmental and Sustainable Studies
  • PMGT 301 Introduction to Project Management
  • PRST 490 Applying Sustainable Business Solutions

    Then, you will choose one additional course from a list of nine elective courses, which can be found here. These courses range in topic from communication to entrepreneurship to environmental policy.

    Our 1-year Promise

    At the School of Professional Studies, we work to align our programs with the needs of the professionals within our community. With that in mind, we make every effort to schedule our courses so that you can graduate with a certificate within one academic year (2 semesters). Students can begin the certificate in either the spring or fall semesters. The schedule follows the College of Charleston academic calendar.

    Our academic advisors will work with you every step of the way to make sure you are taking courses that fit your life and also meet your personal and professional goals.

  • Questions?

    The School of Professional Studies has dedicated staff members who are happy to help you with your decision. If you have questions about this program, please contact certificate co-directors Ashley Lavender, PhD, at lavenderal@cofc.edu or Todd LeVasseur, PhD, at levasseurtj@cofc.edu.

    Meet Your Advisors: