The communities of the Bay Area are home to a startling number of environmental organizations, institutions, and non-profits that offer world-renowned educational opportunities. Certificate students are able to fulfill elective requirements through local organizations that include, but are not limited to: the Environmental Forum of Marin, College of Marin, Farallones Institute, Lawrence Hall of Science, the Bay Institute, Save the Bay and PG&E Pacific Energy Center.
The specialized Electives component represents six units of the 15 unit Certificate. Students spend this valuable time developing the specific skills that are important to them and their goals. Participants are also encouraged to identify other elective providers, including on-line course training, and to work with our office to tailor the program to their interests. To learn more about partnering organizations or more information about fulfilling elective requirements, please contact our office.
After completing a tailored course of electives as described above, each student will work with staff or faculty to plan a service-learning practicum (or a capstone project). Service-learning integrates meaningful community work with academic curriculum-enriching learning through reciprocity: The community partners are co-educators, students are engaged citizens, and learning is enriched through the dynamic relationship between theory and practice.
The purpose of the service-learning practicum is to use the knowledge and skills gained in the student’s previous experiences to put them to use, effecting real change in both their own lives and the surrounding community before even graduating from the program.
Dominican has built a large network of partnering environmental organizations and civic bodies with which students can participate in service-learning opportunities. We ensure that students opting to complete a service-learning internship are able to do so with an organization engaged in the important work specific to the student's interests. This final program component will offer students the chance to gain real-world experience in their field. All service-learning internships require an "on-site" project to be completed under the supervision of the organization sponsoring the internship. After completion of the internship/on-site project and a final learning objective report, the participant is ready to graduate our program!
Those opting to do a capstone project will design their project with the help of Dominican staff and/or faculty. This project can be devoted to a professional endeavor already underway, or can be designed from scratch with the help of Dominican and support from community partners. Depending on the scope of the project, participants can work on it alone or with fellow students and community partners. Examples of capstone projects have included: planning and implementation for greening the energy consumption of a business, implementing environmental curriculum into a classroom, and collaborating with a neighborhood committee to enhance the use and maintenance of a local park.