The program requires that 4 courses be taken, each taking 2 weeks of study time. The program will take about 60 hours to complete. Each course in this program will require approximately 15 hours of learner’s time. The program has 4 mandatory courses:
- Writing Strategies for Environmental Professionals (February 5 – 16, 2024)
- Oral Communication Strategies for Environmental Professionals (February 19 – March 1, 2024)
- Effective Multimedia Strategies for Environmental Professionals (March 4 ‒ 15, 2024)
- Environmental Communication Strategies for Social Change (April 1 – 12, 2024)
Each course focuses on learning practical tools and strategies for designing engaging and effective communication practices. The use of existing case studies is a key element in each course.
Courses must be taken in sequential order, as they build on one another, but may be taken individually, in different sessions within a two-year time frame, to receive the micro-certificate.
Course 1: Writing Strategies for Environmental Professionals
In order to design effective communication, one first requires a working knowledge of the audience, what appeals to the audience, and how to write appropriate and relevant sustainability goals. Students will learn to design effective communication, how to assess the target audience’s demographics, preferences, and values, as well as stay updated on the latest trends and concerns within the target audience’s sphere. From an informed view, students will learn how to craft tailored messages that resonate with the audience and address their specific needs resulting in successful communication. By employing the strategies, students can create impactful communication campaigns that not only promote their initiatives but also inspire engagement and collaboration from their audience.
Course 2: Oral Communication Strategies for Environmental Professionals
Building on the materials in Course 1, Oral Communication Strategies for Environmental Professionals is a specially designed course aimed at helping students develop essential oral communication skills for effectively engaging with diverse audiences. This course will guide students through a variety of topics, such as public speaking, presentation skills, and impactful storytelling, while also teaching techniques for conveying technical information to non-technical audiences. Throughout the course, students will learn to utilize visual aids and other tools to enhance oral presentations and make them more engaging. By the end of the course, students will have gained the confidence and knowledge needed to effectively communicate their ideas and advocate for issues in various settings, making a lasting impression on the audience.
Course 3: Effective Multimedia Strategies for Environmental Professionals
Effective Multimedia Strategies for Environmental Professionals is a dynamic course designed to help students develop the skills needed to communicate environmental information and ideas using a variety of multimedia platforms. Throughout the course, students will explore topics such as visual aids like infographics, photographs, and videos, as well as leveraging social media, web design, and other digital tools to reach diverse or targeted audiences.
Students will learn how to create and use multimedia content to convey complex environmental information in an engaging and accessible manner. Additionally, the course will teach students how to establish and maintain an online presence and utilize analytics to measure the success of their multimedia campaigns.
Engaging in hands-on activities and projects, such as creating infographics, videos, and social media campaigns, students will gain practical experience in multimedia creation. Students will also explore case studies of successful multimedia campaigns in the environmental field. By the end of the course, students will have the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate environmental information and ideas using various multimedia platforms, making a significant impact on their audience.
Course 4: Environmental Communication Strategies for Social Change
Environmental Communication Strategies for Social Change is an engaging course designed to help students develop the skills needed to effectively communicate environmental issues and inspire social change. This course covers a wide range of topics, including storytelling, public speaking, and social media, all aimed at raising awareness and involving communities in environmental action.
Throughout the course, students utilize strategies on how to identify key stakeholders, learned in Course 1, target their messages, and design compelling campaigns that promote environmental action through the use of rhetorical appeals. Additionally, students explore data visualization and multimedia techniques for presenting complex environmental information in an engaging and accessible manner.
The course features hands-on activities, case studies, and opportunities to develop and execute communication campaigns to encourage environmental action. By the end of the course, students will have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively communicate environmental issues and drive social change, making a real difference in their community and beyond.