With two new certifications from Unity College, professionals looking to blend sustainability solutions into their current career paths and Environmental Scientists interested in expanding their skills with geographic information sciences have the opportunity to advance in their fields without committing themselves to the full monetary and time investments of a master’s degree.

“Unity’s mission is more than just the education of our students. The College aims to bring about clear and dramatic changes in the health of our planet, and fulfilling that mission requires us to extend our reach to as many students as possible,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “The creation of new online graduate offerings and certificates help Unity deliver its sustainability mission to a whole new populations of students, established in their careers, and truly enhances our ability to bring about genuine change.”

The new certificate programs offer a short-term education option for working professionals, boosting resumes and enhancing available skill sets for those interested in sustainability or environmental sciences. School officials understand that many working adults are overwhelmed by the financial  and time commitments associated with an online degree — and that the fear of starting and not finishing a program can deter students from even applying in the first place. Unity’s certificate programs cut that commitment in half.

The Sustainability Certificate is intended as a way to gain knowledge in sustainability that can be applied to a student’s current profession or business. Mitigation of environmental problems, community resilience, and adaptation to climate change are emphasized, along with biodiversity and resource conservation. Students within this certificate program should expect to explore, debate, and research possible sustainability solutions from a variety of viewpoints. Courses align with Unity College’s Sustainability Science MPS.

Students within the Environmental GIScience Certificate program can take the five technical GIS and remote sensing courses associated with the existing Master’s in Professional Science track. Knowledge in this area is extremely useful for environmental scientists, federal and state biologists, and others working in an environmental field who would like to obtain GIScience technical skills but do not necessarily need to pursue a Master’s degree. Hands-on experience through online projects and research engage students in course activities and allow for increased comprehension of the science, concepts, and skills they need to become leaders in their chosen environmental fields.

Credits gathered during certificate programs can be applied toward the associated Master’s program if a student decides to continue their education, making certificates a great way to get a taste of online Master’s education while still resulting in official documentation of learned skills. The certificates are also a great choice for students who already have a graduate degree but want to complement their current skill set with more knowledge and experience.

“In today’s world and economy, accessibility to this kind of education is key. We don’t want any deserving student to pass up the opportunity to expand their skillsets due to limited time or financial ability,” Chief Distance Education Officer Amy Arnett said. “The more Unity College students we have in the world, the brighter the future becomes.”