Themed Certificates & Credentials

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Ancients Alive: The Classics In Context

Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, Director

The Classics Certificate introduces students to the enduring impact of ancient Mediterranean civilizations, particularly Greece and Rome. In their myths, path-breaking political experiments, histories, inquisitive natures, and art and architecture, the ancients experimented with radical and transformational ways of understanding their world. The Classics remain deeply embedded in today’s culture and society; indeed, the Classics are infused in today’s languages, literature, politics, architecture, and popular culture. In the capstone, students collaborate with the Classics Everywhere Initiative, analyze film and popular culture, and curate material culture and/or produce urban plans for ancient Athens, Rome, or Pompeii. Students may choose to apply the Classics to their own majors and minors or integrate a study abroad experience into their final project. The study of ancient culture is sure to amaze, entertain, and provide a template for negotiating contemporary issues. 

Different is the New Normal: Celebrating Neurodiversity

Dr. Laurie Edmondson, Director

Neurodiversity is about recognizing differences in people as human variation rather than disabilities. Many people experience some type of neurodiversity in their lives today. These differences may include Attention Deficit Disorder, Autistic Spectrum, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Anxiety Disorder, Depression and other neurological disorders. This certificate aims to help students understand how to acknowledge and appreciate these differences. The goal is to understand neurodiversity and mental health issues and to create future workplaces that are inclusive and supportive of every human being.

Ethical Leadership

Dr. Ted Vaggalis & Dr. Chris Panza, Co-Directors

The certificate in Ethical Leadership provides students with a highly focused and robust understanding of the central components of ethics as they are expressed in philosophical theory, enriched by literature, broadened by religion, and complicated by perspectives from non-Western cultures. Students will work to bring together the understanding gained from the certificate courses and apply it in the capstone applied ethics course. In the capstone course students will engage in a sustained study of one ethical issue (topics will rotate year to year), in addition each student will develop, in conjunction with a faculty sponsor, a sustained research project on an important ethical problem of the student’s own choosing. All students are required to jointly present their research in a public symposium at the conclusion of the year. 

Get Out, Plug In: Intercultural Connections

Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, Director

The certificate in Get Out, Plug In: Intercultural Connections develops foundation skills in speaking a foreign language and understanding cultural diversity. Students will begin their language and cultural studies by taking an interdisciplinary course that covers education, political science, business, pre-law in diverse international contexts. Students will complete the certificate with a study abroad experience that prepares them for an official, externally administered Oral Proficiency Interview. Upon successful completion of the interview, students will be certified at the level of “Intermediate Mid” – the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’’ recommended minimum level of foreign language skill in the workplace.

XXX 102          Any foreign language course
XXX 201          Any foreign language course

Graphic Storytelling

Jo Van Arkel, Director

The certificate in Graphic Storytelling develops foundation skills in creative process, sequential thinking, visual narrative and graphic design as it relates to the practice of illustrated storytelling. Students will enhance skills in drawing, storyboarding, and shaping narrative structure with an understanding of the history of visual narrative as an opportunity for creative expression, informational and technical writing related to professional fields and/or social commentary. Upon successful completion of the first three courses, students will create a capstone comic or visual narrative publication.

Holistic Health and Well-Being

Dr. Vickie Luttrell, Director

The certificate in Holistic Health and Well-Being provides students with a set of skills to help them live a better life. The certificate introduces holistic health practices and explores the ways in which social factors such as race, class, gender, and physical environment affect individual and community wellness. Students also investigate the ways in which technology has both enriched and impaired their lives. In the capstone, students implement a holistic self-intervention strategy to promote a healthier lifestyle and design a community-focused health intervention to improve the lives of others.

International Immersion

Dr. Robert Weddle, Director

International study has a unique ability to provide immersive learning experiences that heighten students’ knowledge of and sensitivity to other cultures. Drury faculty offer a broad range of international experiences, from short-term summer or winter programs to full-semester opportunities. Some of these programs qualify students for the International Immersion Certificate, which recognizes the integrative experiences of students who study abroad in significant and focused ways.

The courses in this certificate will vary depending on the specific study-abroad program. A list of approved and currently scheduled programs (along with required courses for those programs) can be found on the Themed Certificates section of Drury’s website and at the International Programs Office.

Programs are approved by the faculty’s Academic Affairs Committee, and must contain the following components, including a minimum of 6 hours of coursework taken at the study-abroad location:

Understanding Place

Two courses taken at the study-abroad location, covering issues relevant to the location of the study-abroad experience and emphasizing acquisition of intercultural understanding and analysis.

Interdisciplinary Contexts

One course determined by the study-abroad program organizer(s), taken either abroad or on campus, and providing context, depth, and interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches relevant to the study-abroad experience.

Place-Based Project

One course taken either abroad or on campus, providing an integrative capstone to the study-abroad experience through a project-based application of ideas and skills, to specific place-based problems, challenges, or issues.

Life in Close-Up: Film, History and Society

Dr. Kevin Henderson, Director

The certificate in Film, History and Society will introduce students to the study of film, with an emphasis on how film reflects, distorts and challenges our ideas of historical eras, gender identities and political events. Students will learn how to read films in order to question how film represents and misrepresents the “true stories” of historical figures, cultural ideas, and our sense of what really happened. Across four connected courses, students will develop skills in writing, visual literacy, textural analysis of film, and questioning the sources of historical knowledge. In the capstone course, students will have the option of pursuing either a critical or creative final project, which will be presented on campus or in coordination with The Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield.

The Activist’s Toolkit: Transforming Society through Civic Engagement

Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, Director

The Activist’s Toolkit certificate develops practical skills in advocacy, social mobilization, political engagement, and community leadership. Students in the certificate will gain hands-on experience through partnership projects with local non-profit and civic organizations.

Data Analytics: Big Problems, Big Data Solutions

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Director

Our world has many problems in every field imaginable that require data analysis to develop solutions. The rapid growth in technology has led to enormous amounts of data available. Journalism, sociology, marketing, biology – name the field and there is an opportunity to use data to inform the users of trends and relationships that could help the world solve big problems.

Designing Solutions for Environmental Problems

Dr. Justin Leinaweaver, Director

The long-term success of any society is inextricably linked to its ability to maintain the health of its environment. Environmental problems arise as unintended side-effects of consumers seeking to provide for themselves, business owners seeking to earn profits, and government representatives seeking to stay in power. Therefore, solving environmental problems can only be successful over time if policies are carefully designed to ensure the sustainability of the resource and the community that depends on it in equal measure. This certificate aims to provide students with the skills necessary to understand and address complex environmental problems in this way.

Interactive Design

Dr. Chris Branton, Director

This certificate develops skills in design and development with emphasis on current and future trends. The skills will translate to professional roles in interaction design, visual design, software development and product design.

Justice Denied: Wrongful Convictions

Dr. Jennie Long, Director

One of the greatest tragedies in the criminal justice system is the conviction of a person for a crime he or she did not commit. The themed certificate in Wrongful Convictions will provide the opportunity for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the legal process used to process criminal cases, evaluate the ways in which ethics and social justice issues impact conviction rates, and critically analyze real-life examples of wrongful conviction, as well as state and federal post-conviction remedies.

Learning to Lead and Leading to Learn: Facilitating Learning in the Professional Setting

Dr. Natalie Precise, Director

This certificate will prepare students to be the developers and providers of the organizational training employers are looking for in today’s work environment. Completers of this certificate will understand the importance of ongoing professional learning within any profession and how being a facilitator that can lead the learning and development of others can set them apart from their colleagues. Students will learn facilitation techniques for delivering training and workshops, how to be a work-place mentor, how to lead process changes, and how to develop employee soft skills in the workplace.

Please note: In fall 2022, MGMT 204: Organizational Behavior will be replaced by new course MGMT 300

Professional and Visual Communication

Matt Noblett, Director

A certificate that develops professional presentation skills, utilization of visual design tools and basic communication and design philosophy. This will prepare the student for professional, design and communications-oriented leadership and support roles. Students will explore standard professional guidelines, brand identity and variety of techniques to engage and persuade audiences.

Sports Leadership: Going Beyond the Game

Dr. Jonathan Groves, Director

The Sports Leadership certificate introduces students interested in coaching or leadership positions to key ideas in communication, management, and sociology. The coursework will provide a foundation for understanding how teams interact, evolve, and thrive.