CSK: Career Skills and Leadership

CSK 101: Advocacy and Change

This course examines methods of successful advocacy and ways to identify and overcome resistance to change. Students review theories and effective behaviors for advocating for causes, explaining viewpoints, managing conflict, and achieving consensus. Videos, cases, and exercises provide students with experience in formulating a clear message, eliciting support, and seeking compromise with local and global examples of sustainability. Students consider effective ways of using the media, forming partnerships and alliances, introducing change, and unfreezing seemingly intransigent perspectives.

1 credit

CSK 102: Working in Teams

This course recognizes that considerable work is accomplished in groups (committees, boards, design and development teams, task forces, project management teams, quality improvement teams, coalitions, and community groups) with members representing diverse perspectives and disciplines. Students consider how to form and lead groups that have members with the requisite talent, time, and task understanding. Participating in group exercises, students learn ways to promote cooperation and collaboration, value diverse perspectives and cultures, and facilitate group process.

1 credit

CSK 103: Behavioral Decision Making

Students consider topics in behavioral decision making such as risk assessment and risk aversion (prospect theory) as they affect a variety of decisions. Psychological and social theories that demonstrate rational and seemingly irrational processes are applied to individual and group decisions. Game theory elements and examples are reviewed. Using cases and exercises, students apply behavioral decision making processes to scientific and political decisions, for instance, in the adoption of new technology, recognizing environmental and social impact and the interface of public and private institutions.

1 credit

CSK 104: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Using seminal texts, case examples, and exercises, students practice negotiation and conflict management skills. They learn how to develop negotiation alternatives, identify areas of mutual interest and options for mutual gain, and determine a best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Students work in groups to practice ways of raising and resolving differing degrees of conflict in one-on-one and group situations. Cases and discussion address cognitive and emotional issues and practical ways to face hot topics in sustainability and community engagement. Students resolve commons problems and dilemmas as they represent varying interests and practice different roles.

1 credit

CSK 105: Leadership

Developing effective leadership skills is critical for career success. This course guides students in assessing their leadership strengths and weaknesses and establishing goals for leadership development. Students learn transactional and transformational leadership tactics, ways to show consideration of others' interests and feelings, and the importance of valuing differences. Students practice transformational leadership methods for building and sustaining followers' commitment and involvement. Participating in group exercises, they practice establishing goals, giving feedback, and rewarding others.

1 credit

CSK 106: Communication Methods and Strategies

Students study and practice effective communication strategies to inform and influence others. They consider the use of multi-media, including print, radio, television, Web, pod-casting, and how to use combinations of media for recording and distribution of information and perspectives. They study examples of propaganda, marketing, and journalism. They develop a communication strategy to address a sustainability issue.

1 credit

CSK 107: Assessment

This course recognizes the importance of assessing needs, tracking implementation processes, and evaluating program outcomes. Students learn basics of research design and data collection methods, such as writing and conducting surveys and interviews. Sources of archival data and data mining techniques are considered. The concepts of reliability, validity, statistical significance, and probability are reviewed, and analytic methods are described. Effective presentation methods are demonstrated for communicating and using the results. Students design an evaluation strategy, apply simple descriptive statistics, and present the results.

1 credit

CSK 108: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs create sustainable organizations to accomplish their goals, for instance, to bring about environmental and social change. "Intrepreneurs" foster innovation within organizations. In this course, students assess their entrepreneurial skills, including envisioning, leading, communicating, organizing, implementing, and assessing change. They study examples of successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Working alone or in groups, they write a business plan for a new enterprise. They consider needs, develop a market assessment, and locate available resources. They apply SWOT analysis (identification of internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities, and threats), formulate SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time bound objectives), and consider ways to ensure the long term viability of their enterprise.

1 credit

CSK 109: Forecasting and Planning

Sustainability requires understanding current conditions and predicting possible future directions. This course provides an overview of trend and pattern analysis. Students read fiction and nonfiction authors who have envisioned the future. They learn how to comb for data and identify trends from the media, the internet, academic publications, and subject matter experts in a wide range of fields. They consider the impact of technological change on life patterns, such as the workplace, home, and community of the future.

1 credit

CSK 302: Technical Writing and Communication

A course devoted to the presentation of technical information to different audiences. Styles of writing to be covered will include grant proposals, reports, and journal articles; principles of oral presentation will include elements of design and graphics.

Prerequisite: WRT 102

3 credits