Starting this fall, the UTRGV Graduate College will offer a Disaster Management and Sustainability certificate. There is no application fee for the 12-hour program, which is completely online. This is in addition to the GRE currently is being waived for students applying to accelerated online graduate programs until Fall 2020 Module II.
“We are hearing about local officials or people who are in the disaster management field, and they have been working for several years,” said Dean Kyne, the UTRGV Disaster Studies Program coordinator and an associate professor of sociology. “And they would like to go back to school, but they don’t have plenty of time to go back as a full-time student.”
The new graduate certificate will allow students to apply what they learn immediately to their work, Kyne said. It will also place them on the path to earning a master’s degree.
The certificate additionally could benefit current students in the disaster studies master’s program ready to start in the industry.
“In terms of applying for a job, they don’t need to wait until they graduated from the master’s program. When they complete this certificate program, they can put it in their resume that they already completed the graduate certificate in disaster management and sustainability,” he said.
The graduate certificate program also focuses on sustainability, a need to achieve long-term goals.
“We are creating a mindset for students to be proactive, rather than reactive. It is very important for the future disaster preparedness professionals to have that kind of mindset, and also, to think of resiliency and sustainability,” Kyne said.
Disaster management and sustainability are broad topics that affect everyone’s lives, he said. COVID-19 is highlighting the need for knowledge in these fields.
“The pandemic is bad, but we can still learn from this experience in order to better prepare for the future,” Kyne said.