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Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Curriculum


Certificate Requirements     
      SINE 201: Introduction to Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Spring semester)
SINE 400:  Senior Seminar in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Fall semester)
Four electives
      Experiential learning component 
      Student dossier

In the introductory course (SINE 201), students will write a reflection essay in which the student describes their interest in and goals for this certificate and suggests a tentative plan for simultaneously achieving these personal goals and for completing the certificate.  This essay becomes the initial element of the student’s dossier from which students will build their program.  The Senior Seminar (SINE 400) is the culminating course that draws upon, makes sense of, and connects the introductory course, the student’s choice of electives, and their experiential learning component.


Students will take four electives to enable them to achieve the learning objectives of the certificate program.  

  • Appropriate electives will be determined by the student’s plan and statement of purpose for the certificate and in consultation with the SINE director or with the student’s SINE advisor.
  • A list of some courses that may be appropriate electives is provided below.  Additionally, the Registrar’s Office marks suitable courses in Banner each semester with the SINE attribute.  Note, though, to count as an elective for a particular student, it is not sufficient that the course be on the list below or that it carry the SINE attribute in Banner; the course must also align with the student’s statement of purpose for the certificate. 
  • A course may be accepted as an elective even if it isn’t on the list below or carries the SINE attribute, provided the student can explain how it aligns with the student’s statement of purpose and plan for the certificate.
  • Electives must be from at least two different academic departments.
  • The experiential learning component, if taken as a for-credit course, does not count as one of the four electives.
  • Generally, one elective may be taken prior to a student declaring the certificate.

Below is a tentative list of courses that would be pre-approved as electives for the SINE certificate. (Other courses may be taken as electives with the approval of the certificate coordinator.)

AFST 220 (Topics course): Black Sustainability in African Diasporic Literature
AMST 201: Introduction to American Studies
ANTH 212: Development Anthropology
ANTH 214: Ecological Anthropology
ARCH 110/ANTH 110: Archaeology and World Prehistory
ARCH 260/ANTH 260: Environmental Archeology
ARTH 160 (Topics course): Introduction to Sustainable Practices in Public Art
BIOL 314: Ecology 
CHEM 111 (Topics course): Energy and Sustainability
EASN 205 (Topics course): Chinese Approaches to the Environment, Traditional to Contemporary
EASN 206 (Topics course): Asian Urban Ecology
ECON 222: Environmental Economics
ECON 223/SOCI 230/AMST 200: Introduction to Marxian Economics: The Political Economy of Social Justice (this topic only)
ECON 288: Contending Economic Perspectives
ECON 332: Economics of Natural Resources
EDST 120: Contemporary Issues in American Education
ENGL 101 (Topics course): American Nature Writing: Environment, Cultures, and Values
ENST 111:Environment, Culture and Values
ERSC 141: Earth's Hazards
ERSC 142: Earth's Changing Climate
ERSC 202: Energy Resources
ERSC 205: Introduction to Soil Science
ERSC 221: Oceanography
FMST 102: Fundamentals of Digital Film Production
HIST 151: History of Environment
HIST 206: American Environmental History
INBM 300 (Topics course): Comparative Business Ethics
INBM 300 (Topics course): Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge Management
INBM 300 (Topics course): Best Practices in Business Sustainability
INBM 300 (Topics course): Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management
INBM 300 (Topics course): Entrepreneurial Enterprise
INBM 300 (Topics course): Leadership in Four Directions
PHIL 102: Moral Problems
PHYS 114: Climate Change and Renewable Energies
POSC 202: Recent Political Thought
POSC 204: Competing Political Ideologies
POSC 206: Multiculturalism
POSC 258: Human Rights
RELG 215/JDST 215: Jewish Environmental Ethics
RELG 311: Buddhism and the Environment
SOCI 230 (Topics course): Sustainability: Social Justice and Human Rights
SOCI 236: Inequalities in the U.S.
SOCI 237: Global Inequality
SOCI 238: Consumer Culture
SOCI 270: Social Movements, Protest and Conflict
THDA 102: Introduction to Global Dance Studies

Experiential Learning Component
Experiential learning enhances discovery and allows students to gain and apply knowledge through first-hand experience. How this component is met must be approved by the Director of the Certificate program or by the student’s SINE advisor and be linked to the student’s interests in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Options include non-credit internships (Transcript Notation); for-credit internships, service learning courses or projects (local or global), community-based independent study courses, field-based or laboratory/research experience; or a hands-on entrepreneurial venture.

Student Dossier
Each student will develop a dossier that maps out and makes sense of their experience in the SINE Certificate program.  The dossier serves as an instrument for mindfulness as a student navigates through this certificate program. Beginning in the introductory course, SINE 201, each student will write a statement of purpose and propose a plan for completing the certificate.  This plan will include the student’s initial choice of and rationale for the intended electives and the experiential learning component.  Upon completing each elective, the student will write a reflection essay on how that elective supported the learning objectives of the certificate. Upon completing the experiential learning component, students will write a similar reflection essay to include in their dossier.  In SINE 400, the capstone course, students will complete their dossier to create a portfolio that showcases their SINE certificate experience.

201 Introduction to Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This course introduces students to the essential concepts, mindsets and skill sets associated with social entrepreneurship. We begin with an overview of the field of social entrepreneurship. We will then develop a conceptual foundation in systems thinking and the community capital framework. The former allows students to grasp the complexity of social and environmental issues by viewing these issues through the lens of systems theory. The latter recognizes multiple forms of capital that are essential to developing sustainable communities: natural, physical, economic, human, social, and cultural capital. Other course topics may include creativity, innovation, social justice, alternative approaches to economics and business, and sustainability. Through definitional readings, case studies and/or biographies, students gain an understanding of the power of social entrepreneurship to create shared value at the local, regional, and global level. This course serves as the introduction to the Certificate in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, but it is open to all students from all academic disciplines who wish to develop their own capacities to initiate meaningful change in our world.
offered every spring.
Attributes: Sustainability Investigations

400 Senior Seminar in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This capstone course builds on and integrates the key concepts of the introductory course in this certificate program by requiring students to reflect on, synthesize, and apply knowledge gained through their academic programs and experiential learning experiences. The focus will be on creating shared value, which simultaneously enriches social, ecological, and economic systems. Through exercises in strategy formulation and implementation, students will gain an appreciation for the challenges and rewards associated with conceiving and transforming innovative solutions into new products, services, and/or initiatives that change our world in meaningful ways. In imagining these pathways for success, we will also address the importance of compassionate leadership, tools that nurture vital social connections, and the power of our own agency.
Offered every fall.
Attributes: Service Learning, Sustainability Investigations