As part of a comprehensive distance education initiative, Unity College now offers an M.S. of Professional Science degree online — the first graduate degree ever offered at America’s Environmental College, and the first degree it’s ever offered completely online.

Answering a demand for advanced professional credentials in environmental sciences, Unity College is unveiling its M.S. of Professional Science degree in two tracks: Sustainability Science and Sustainable Natural Resource Management.

Officials said the degrees offer an advanced version of Unity College’s unique sustainability science curriculum in an affordable, flexible format for professionals seeking to advance their careers while working full-time or at a distance from the residential campus.

“The master’s degree online is designed to meet the needs of a world that increasingly demands high-quality sustainability solutions, independent of location,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “We are committed to bringing our curriculum to those who seek it, in a way that meets their needs and the needs of the world around us.”

Khoury said the online master’s degree is the first of a series of distance education initiatives that will be rolled out in the coming months.

The Sustainability Science track combines technical sustainability with skills based in the social sciences and humanities. More and more companies are looking for managers capable of understanding issues surrounding sustainability.This degree is for those looking to create effective change within the context of political, economic and cultural concerns. New graduates, career changers, and those interested in pursuing sustainability roles within their current organizations are a great fit. Corporate or government workers who want more experience and knowledge about sustainability, and current sustainability coordinators seeking to upgrade their skills en route to a promotion, will find this a valuable investment.

Graduates of this track are well prepared to become sustainability coordinators and directors, program directors at nonprofits, community organizers, project managers in any field, municipal employees, entrepreneurs, consultants, and environmental policy practitioners. It’s also designed for environmental lawyers seeking deeper credentials in sustainability science.

The Sustainable Natural Resources track uses a transdisciplinary process for understanding and managing the natural world and physical sciences, including important factors such as climate change and habitat disruption. Understanding the management of the changing environment will be crucial to adaptation and creating sustainable management practices over the coming century. The central distinguishing feature of this degree is its focus on understanding the environment in the context of sustainability science. Students will be expected to be highly inquisitive about the ramifications, motivations, and costs of global responses to environmental issues, while exploring their own individual ideas.

Ideal for students who are already working in science-related fields, graduates of this track are well prepared to become environmental policy makers, environmental advocates, land trust managers, and research biologists to advance work at the state and federal levels.

Priced at $850 per credit hour, the degree is an affordable way to attain high-level training in an emerging field, with no hidden fees. The degree also offers students the opportunity to go at their own pace, with five convenient start dates each year. Because Unity College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, courses are taught by world-class faculty and credits are transferable.

To implement the program, and to emphasize the school’s long-term commitment to quality distance education, Khoury said he’s created and staffed a full-time executive-level Chief Distance Education Officer position and a full-time online concierge, and is in the process of creating another executive-level post, the Distance Education Dean of Curricular Integrity.

The first-ever Chief Distance Education Officer is Dr. Michelle Caminos, who Khoury said “brings a rich mix of online teaching and distance education program development success to this critical position.”

Caminos has held posts as Assistant Director and Lecturer for the Archer Center for Leadership Development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and as Associate Dean at the School of Professional and Continuing Education at The Sage Colleges. Most recently, she was a fellow at the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.

Caminos presents nationally on the use of technology for individualized learning and has taught courses ranging from psychology and leadership to engineering design. Caminos holds an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the Esteves School of Education, The Sage Colleges; an M.S. in Organization Management from Sage Graduate School of Management; an M.S.Ed. in Health Promotion from Virginia Polytechnic Institute; and a B.A. in Psychology from Sage College of Albany.

Caminos will be responsible for leadership, planning, coordination, and evaluation of all aspects of Unity College’s distance education offerings, and is “very well prepared to provide leadership for Unity College distance education projects for the foreseeable future,” Khoury said.

Khoury said the school’s commitment to distance education is just beginning.

”We are a place-based educational institution, and our residential experience will always be the cornerstone of a Unity College education,” he said. “But we can no longer limit the benefits of a Unity education solely to the traditional residential experience. The world needs more Unity graduates, not fewer.”

For more information or to register for Unity College’s M.S. of Professional Science degrees, visit Unity College Online at

Tuesday, June 14, 2016