Saturday, March 28, 2020

WCU partners with Outdoor Industry Association for continuing education certificate program

In partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), Utah State University (USU) and Western Colorado University, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will offer a suite of continuing education certificates that will launch throughout 2020.

The online-based and self-paced, non-credit certificates will focus on OIA’s three pillar areas of public policy, increasing outdoor participation and sustainable business innovation as well as other topics relevant to those working for or looking to work for outdoor industry businesses.

The Outdoor Industry Business Certificate (OIBC) program is perfect for outdoor industry professionals looking to further their industry knowledge or for people interested in pursuing a career in the outdoor industry.

“We are excited to spearhead this innovative university-association partnership model along with the University of Colorado Boulder, Utah State University and Western Colorado University,” said Kristen Freaney, director of the emerging leaders programs at OIA. “As the outdoor industry continues to grow and career paths in the industry continue to gain visibility, there is an increasing need for workforce development and innovative professional education opportunities tailored to this sector. OIA sees itself as uniquely positioned to be a conduit for these opportunities. These certificates are a great opportunity to provide practical education to people already working in the industry, while increasing the accessibility of outdoor industry careers for those who are looking to get their foot in the door.”

The Western Colorado University Outdoor Industry Business Certificate will focus on responsible business in the outdoor industry. Faculty from Western’s Outdoor Industry MBA program, the first and only outdoor-focused MBA program in the country, will teach courses in marketing and brand strategy, leadership, bringing socially responsible products to market and understanding and integrating inclusivity in the workplace. After completing this certificate, students can expect to have a deeper understanding of how to apply business tools (e.g., crowd funding, co-creation, market analysis, managing upward, etc.) to creating meaningful impact in the industry.

“Western Colorado University’s Outdoor Industry MBA program is excited to partner with OIA,” said Dr. D. Scott Borden, director, Outdoor Industry MBA, assistant professor in the School of Business. “We are specifically looking forward to advancing our mutual goals of equipping professionals with the skills to excel in their professional endeavors, providing training in promoting and understanding issues relevant to the industry like inclusion, sustainability, fair trade, equitable workplace practices and more.”

All certificates in the OIBC suite will be made up of four non-credit courses, each led by experienced university faculty. Courses are self-paced and online, so working professionals can participate anytime from anywhere on a flexible completion schedule. There are no required prerequisites for the certificates. Those who are interested in the certificates should bring a sense of curiosity, a willingness to learn and a desire to make corporations more sustainable and the world a better place.

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