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Impact Academy

Impact Academy

Impact Academy

Hybrid Program


4-16 Weeks

Off-Site Locations

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Accelerate your career for good!

In response to the current global climate, you can now complete this program entirely online. Find out more here.

Over 80% of sustainable development employers say that experience is the main quality lacking in candidates. Organizations (or NGO's) know that contextual factors can make or break impact-driven projects. Our Impact Academy is designed to address this need for practical hands-on experience through an intensive online program that you can combine with an optional international fieldwork component to be completed at the time of your choosing. Through the Impact Academy, you’ll receive the theoretical training and practical experience necessary to transform a community or environment, through more effective project work.

Subject Areas

Designed For

Post-baccalaureate or postgraduate students seeking a career in sustainable development.

Students must have between 5 hours (part-time learning) and 40 hours (full-time learning) per week to spare for online coursework. The ability to travel is necessary for the optional fieldwork component.

What You'll Learn

  • Gain an understanding of real-world development or conservation strategies
  • Ways in which external factors affect initiatives, methods for how to identify the risks, and tips for preventing or managing them to ensure successful implementation
  • Benefit from exposure to a broad range of organizations through experiential learning opportunities
  • Methods to prepare for a job search in development through mock interviews, portfolio reviews, recruiting, soft-skills training, and more

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in a variety of industries all over the world, and can be found in private firms, corporations, government, or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • Wildlife conservation associate
  • Environmental and corporate sustainability specialist
  • Social economic development analyst
  • Climate crisis and clean energy assistant
  • Education for development program associate
  • Marine conservation researcher

Students will work with a career counselor through our program partner, GVI, an experiential education organization focused on the sustainable development sector, to access a job portal that aggregates thousands of sustainable development vacancies from around the world.

How to Complete This Program

The Impact Academy program provides insight into on-the-ground realities of sustainable development. You can either complete only the online coursework, or you can combine the online coursework with international fieldwork to be completed at a later date.

  • Online courses - Develop practical skills and learn how to apply unique frameworks, as you work through the eight online courses of the program. Our online courses integrate video lectures and interviews, practical tool kits and frameworks, as well as self-assessments and project assignments. There are also opportunities for collaborative learning through discussion forums and webinars.
  • International fieldwork - Gain unique experience in global development through an intense series of masterclasses, site visits, fieldwork, and a final project with an organizational partner.

Click here for more details, and to apply for the academy.

Certificate Courses

This program can be completed entirely online. Fieldwork is optional and can be completed at a later date.

Online Courses - 80 hours

Eight courses covering context, analysis and practice, and best practices and innovation in the selected subject area.

  • Context Analysis and Practice
  • Subject Area Foundations
  • Community Engagement
  • Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Communication and Advocacy
  • Project Management and Delivery
  • Finance and Fundraising
  • Best Practices and Innovation

International Fieldwork - 160 hours

  • Five Speaker Masterclasses
  • Five Site Visits
  • One Final Project

Earning the Certificate

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Quarter 1

Online Courses - 80 hours

International Fieldwork - 160 hours

Instructor Spotlight

“Supporting individuals in keeping pace with the changing requirements of the modern work environment is at our core. Collaboration, partnership, and community drive us to provide accessible, affordable education, and training for working adults. Whether you are an individual looking to advance your career, or an organizational leader interested in investing in your workforce, we are here for you.”

Kasey Wilson, Ed.D.

Director of Professional Programs
UCR Extension
Riverside, CA

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