Practical idealists wanted: to change business for good

Janet Farness
Janet Farness, Certificate in Sustainable Business, Cohort 8

Pinchot University's Certificate in Cooperative Management program offers a deep dive into the world of cooperative management, exploring the unique characteristics, opportunities and challenges of the cooperative sector.

The International Co-operative Alliance (www.ica.coop) represents close to one billion individual members. Cooperatives generate partial or full-time employment for at least 250 million people worldwide, and make up 12% of the entire employed population of the G20 countries. The 2,000 co-operatives in the 65 countries surveyed by the World Cooperative Monitor totals 2.6 trillion USD.

Although we hear relatively little about the cooperative sector in the United States, it is actually the country with the largest number of members represented by the International Co-operative Alliance. There are nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the United States, with 256 million members and over two million jobs.

Pinchot's 12-credit, four course sequence provides:

  • an introduction to the history and principles of the international cooperative movement, as well an overview of the industry sectors and cooperative types most common in the US;
  • a thorough exploration of the legal, governance, and finance issues unique to the cooperative sector. Students will examine issues related to membership, member investment, dividends, profit sharing, personal exit strategies, multiple classes of stock, outside investors, and financing strategies;
  • an examination of the general topic of managing in a democratic workplace, with a particular focus on the special challenges of employee engagement and empowerment in the cooperative sector. Topics covered include leadership, coaching, meeting facilitation, collaborative decision-making, and conflict management;
  • an opportunity to undertake a “real world” project in the cooperative sector.

IslandWood

IslandWood

Online

Online

The Certificate in Cooperative Management program is offered in a low-residency format, combining monthly in-person classes with weekly distance learning. This design allows students from across the United States and Canada to participate in the program while continuing to live and work in their home communities.

Monthly in-person class sessions will be held on Saturdays at IslandWood, a 250-acre LEED Gold environmental education center on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Between monthly in-person sessions, students attend class online and engage with faculty, guest speakers and each other through multiple distance learning technologies.

The Cooperative Management program may be taken as a stand-alone Certificate or as part of one of our MBA programs.

Course Sequence and Descriptions

To be awarded a Certificate in Cooperative Management, Certificate students must complete MGTC 561C, MGTC 562C and MGTC 563C plus MGTC 564C -or- MGTC 565C, for a total of 12 credits.

MGTC 561C: Introduction to the Cooperative Sector

This course provides an introduction to the history and principles of the international cooperative movement, as well an overview of the industry sectors and cooperative types most common in the US. Topics include: worker-owned cooperatives; producer (agricultural) cooperatives; purchasing cooperatives; consumer cooperatives; credit unions; housing cooperatives; and utilities. (3 credits)

To audit this course, please contact the Registrar.

MGTC 562C: Governance and Finance in the Cooperative Sector

This course offers a thorough exploration of the legal, governance, and finance issues unique to the cooperative sector. Students will examine issues related to membership, member investment, dividends, profit sharing, personal exit strategies, multiple classes of stock, outside investors, and financing strategies. (3 credits) Prerequisite: MGTC 561 or faculty permission

To audit this course, please contact the Registrar.

MGTC 563C: Managing the Cooperative Enterprise

This course looks at the general topic of managing in a democratic workplace, with a particular focus on the special challenges of employee engagement and empowerment in the cooperative sector. Topics covered include leadership, coaching, meeting facilitation, collaborative decision-making and conflict management. (3 credits) Prerequisites: MGTC 561C and MGTC 562C or faculty permission

To audit this course, please contact the Registrar.

MGTC 564C: Cooperative Practicum

This course is the capstone project for the Certificate in Cooperative Management, and provides an opportunity for students to undertake a “real world” project in the cooperative sector. If students are currently employed in a cooperative, they may wish to undertake a specific managerial or organizational change project within their organization. If students are not currently employed in a cooperative, they may wish to use this project as a stepping stone to future employment by demonstrating their skills to a prospective employer or building their resume with a cooperative project. Finally, if students are interested in forming a new cooperative, they may use this project to develop a business plan for their new venture. (3 credits) Prerequisites: MGTC 561C, MGTC 562C and MGTC 563C or faculty permission

NOTE: Students may take either MGTC 564C or MGTC 565C to fulfill the final 3 required credits.

MGTC 565C: International Cooperative Field Study

This international study tour is an alternative to the capstone practicum for the Certificate in Cooperative Management. It is open to all students in the Certificate program, as well as to other members of the Pinchot community and the general public. The destination(s) will vary from one year to the next, but will most likely include Mondragon, Spain, and/or Emilia Romagna, Italy. (3 credits)

NOTE: Students may take either MGTC 564C or MGTC 565C to fulfill the final 3 required credits.

To audit this course, please contact the Registrar.

Michelle Knab Erickson
Pinchot taught me to work on something I truly believe in. My work is guided by the goal of leaving a positive impact."

Michelle Erickson
MBA Cohort 3
Product Management Consultant, Santa Barbara, CA

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