UMassOnline Announces New Offerings in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Environmental Public Policy, and a Green Building Professional Development Series

UMassOnline Announces New Offerings in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Environmental Public Policy, and a Green Building Professional Development Series

Timely Trio of New Online Programs for Fall Semester are the First of More to Come Addressing Growing Global Energy, Environmental, Ecological and Sustainability Mandates

SHREWSBURY, MA – May 18, 2009 - - UMassOnline, the online learning division of the University of Massachusetts, today announced a timely suite of three new program offerings in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Environmental Public Policy and Green Building. These UMassOnline programs were collaboratively developed by, and are being offered through, UMass Amherst Continuing & Professional Education and its University Without Walls (UWW) unit, and UMass Dartmouth.

“These quality programs have been developed in quick response to some of the most pressing environmental and ecological challenges facing our planet and a future generation of local, regional, national, and international business and community leaders,” said UMassOnline Interim CEO Mark Schlesinger.  “These innovative offerings and the speed at which they have been tailored for quality online learning,” added Dr. Schlesinger, “speak to the University of Massachusetts’ online learning vision and our commitment to matching its educational programs, online and on-campus, with the ever-changing contemporary learning requirements needed to meet 21st century career opportunities.”

The Sustainable Entrepreneurship offering, comprising a mix of online as well as blended learning courses, is a bachelor’s degree completion program developed by UMass Amherst’s University Without Walls. This new concentration, designed to teach adult learners the new art of sustainable entrepreneurship, will draw on courses from many UMass Amherst departments including holistic health, sustainable food and farming, geothermal energy conservation, and green building. Overall, the Sustainable Entrepreneurship concentration is designed to help students obtain the skills and knowledge they need to take a lead role in the emerging green economy, with a focus on the implications for people, the planet, and profits, or what is often called today’s ‘triple bottom line.’

The newly announced Environmental Public Policy graduate certificate developed by UMass Dartmouth’s School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement comprises two required and two elective courses, all of which are entirely online.  The required courses are: Public Institutions and the Policy Process; and Environmental Policy. Electives include Environmental Consequences of Globalization, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, and Ocean Policy and Law. These courses, as well as five additional courses also offered by UMass Dartmouth in their Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate program, may be substituted for the blended learning programs in the UMass Amherst UWW program, thereby enabling students anywhere in the world the option of pursuing a Sustainable Entrepreneurship degree completion program entirely online. The five additional courses in UMass Dartmouth’s Sustainability Studies Undergraduate Certificate program are Quantitative Reasoning in the Environment, Principles of Sustainability, Environmental Policy, Special Topics and Readings in Sustainability, and Sustainable Living.

In a related announcement, UMass Dartmouth said that credits earned through its graduate certificate program will be transferable into its Master’s degree in Public Policy anticipated for calendar year 2010.

“We’re seeing increased interest for more advanced courses such as these in sustainability and environmental policy,” said Jennifer Brady, UMassOnline Director of Marketing. “As the world moves toward better energy, environmental, ecological and sustainable practices and technologies, UMassOnline, through the UMass system offerings, aims to sustain its leadership position for rich and contemporary content, and for the ongoing innovation of the most advanced technology platform for global delivery.”

A third set of courses slated for fall semester are the Green Building Professional Development Series, developed as part of the Building Materials and Wood Technology program in the Department of Natural Resources Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment on the UMass Amherst campus. This program is designed for architects, engineers, builders and building officials who wish to enhance their knowledge of sustainable building methods and materials; for design and construction professionals who desire a deeper understanding of the environmental impact of construction and ways to mitigate it; for real estate professionals seeking a program that provides practical training; and for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) AP professionals looking for a program that will compliment their credentials. Courses offered in this program include Sustainable Building and LEED Certification, Energy Efficient Housing, The Built Environment, Green Building and Indoor Environmental Quality, and Sustainable Sites for Green Building. According to this program, every year, buildings are responsible for 39% of U.S. CO2 emissions, use 71% of the nation’s electricity, and account for 70% of all landfill waste. Green buildings can significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and energy dependence, by using less energy, water, and natural resources and creating less waste.

Complete program details about the Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Environmental Public Policy and Green Building Management can be viewed on the UMassOnline website at

About UMassOnline

UMassOnline, the online learning consortium of the University of Massachusetts, provides the highest quality education offered by the UMass system in a flexible, online format enabling students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 86 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 courses, UMassOnline offers one of the largest accredited online programs available. Programs span the disciplines for which the University is best known: liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology, and other disciplines. For more about UMassOnline, go to or visit our blog at
Date: 5/18/09

Media Inquiries:

Jennifer Brady, 508-856-1030