Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability is offering a new professional certificate program in international sustainability consulting, open only to Virginia Tech alumni during its first year.

“We designed this program to give working professionals an opportunity to enhance their resumes and expand their networks as globalization spurs the need of businesses and organizations to hire people with international experience,” said center director Michael Mortimer. “The program will help professionals build their consulting and cross-cultural skills to work at the international level.”

The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, is headquartered in the National Capital Region. Its offerings cater to working professionals around the world looking for education and development to further their careers.

The certificate program in international sustainability consulting is geared to those who have a background in natural resources, environmental studies or science, or sustainability. The five-part curriculum includes four self-paced online course components and an international residency.

The Consulting Skills course, estimated at 20 hours, covers consulting frameworks, personal assessment, problem and project definition, project implementation, and field skills. Two additional courses — Cultural Competency and Sustainability 101 — are estimated to take 10 hours each.

The fourth element is a 10-day international field experience that will entail 70 hours of work, including preparation time. The final online course, taking 5 to 10 hours, will lead participants through individual development planning and a business exercise.

“The center is committed to providing a framework for professionals to use with their work to create a more sustainable world,” Mortimer explained. “In addition to our graduate degree programs, we have developed this short-term program to help professionals build their knowledge, skills, and experience to enhance their careers in sustainability consulting.”

Application deadlines are Oct. 3 for the field experience in Bali, Indonesia, and Feb. 13, 2015 for South Africa. Students will see firsthand the sustainability issues in these rapidly developing regions and interact with the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability's various partners.

For this pilot round of the program, the field experience component is offered at cost of $2,900 plus airfare and the four online courses, valued at $2,500, are offered at no cost to Virginia Tech alumni.

Enrollment in the certificate program is limited to 15 participants for each trip. A $300 deposit is needed to confirm enrollment. Interested alumni can apply online. For more information, email Courtney Kimmel or call 540-585-4985.

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