Social Entrepreneurship & Environmental Sustainability 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:

Complete Coursework

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

Entrepreneurial

• Social Entrepreneurship
• SEES Capstone

Environmental Science 

• AP Biology
• Ecology (semester or summer class)
• Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science
• Marine Biology

Analytics 

• Economics
• Engineering Design
• Statistics or AP Statistics 

 

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.

Questions?
Questions? Please contact Dr. Nate Zuckerman, Director of Highland's Social Entrepreneurship & Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program at nzuckerman@highlandschool.org


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