Social Entrepreneurship Certificate


The goal of the Social Entrepreneurship & Environmental Sustainability (SEES) Program is to help students develop the fundamental skills they need in order to identify pressing and unsolved problems in the natural or social world and, using principles of modern-day entrepreneurship, design sustainable solutions to those problems.

Mission of the SEES Certificate Program

The mission of the SEES Certificate program is to help students develop the problem-solving and teamwork skills necessary to (1) identify pressing problems in the natural or social world; (2) research and design sustainable solutions to those problems, in consultation with experts in their chosen fields of inquiry; (3) use principles of modern-day entrepreneurship in this problem-solving process; and (4) give a compelling oral and visual presentation of their solution to ‘pitch’ it to an audience of authentic stakeholders.

Focus on an Area of Interest

In the Social Entrepreneurship course, student teams are assigned problems to solve for local business and organization leaders. In the SEES Capstone project, students focus on an environmental sustainability problem of their own choosing. In collaboration with an expert consultant in their chosen field, they research, design and present a solution to the environmental problem before the SEES committee, the expert consultant, and at least one authentic stakeholder who plays a direct part in the problem and its potential solution.

Program Components

Under the guidance of an approved SEES advisor, students will complete each of the certificate program components outlined in the expanding boxes below:

List of 3 items.

  • Complete Coursework

    Students are required to complete coursework to gain knowledge and skills in the following areas: 

    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • SEES Capstone (spring semester of senior year)

    Environmental Science 
    • AP Biology
    • Ecology
    • Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science
      Marine Biology

    Design Thinking 
    • Economics 
    • Intro to Engineering 
    • Robotics Systems 
    • Statistics or AP Statistics 
    • Computer Programming class / credit 
    • Robotics Team 
    • Robotics Business Club – two years plus
      special project designed with club sponsor 
    • Intro to Graphic Design
  • Complete an Internship

    Students will complete an internship working with experts in order to gain experience with current issues and problem-solving approaches related to an environmental topic of their choosing.
  • Complete a Capstone Project

    Students will complete a Capstone Project in the spring semester of their senior year. As part of this Capstone Project, students will (1) identify a problem on their own that specifically involves issues of environmental sustainability; (2) build their own team of three or four students (or join an already existing professional team, committee or organization working outside of Highland); (3) with their SEES Advisors’ help, recruit a local expert to consult with during the team’s problem-solving process; and (4) research, design and present their solution to the SEES committee, their expert consultant, and at least one other authentic audience member (which means someone who holds a direct stake in the solution of the student team’s chosen environmental problem).
Working in teams to solve complex, open-ended, interdisciplinary problems for which there is no single, obvious solution – this is a core skill set for thriving, leading and serving in any part of today’s career world. The SEES Certificate program offers a unique, hands-on, real-world way for students to develop the ‘Five Cs’ at the heart of Highland School’s educational philosophy (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Leadership, and Character), and live Highland's mission into the 21st century.

For a detailed description of the Social Entrepreneurship & Environmental Sustainability Certificate, please download this document.


Please contact Dr. Nate Zuckerman, Director of Highland's Social Entrepreneurship & Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program at


Highland School is a co-ed independent Pre-K2 to Grade 12 day school located in Warrenton, Virginia.