Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility

Offered by the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with B:CIVIC

Center for Education on Social ResponsibilityCIVIC

More and more businesses are joining the movement of conscious capitalism. Companies are choosing to evaluate their success on the “triple bottom line” - their impact on people and the planet, as well as making a profit. In addition, corporations face ever-increasing expectations from consumers, shareholders and society to be more socially responsible. As a result, people leading corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts within their companies are looking for ways to learn practical, applicable best practices that can help deliver maximum value back to their companies and the communities they serve.

CSR as your career path

CESR has developed a certificate in CSR (CCSR) program for people seeking to further themselves and their companies in the practice of socially responsible business. We are proud to partner with B:CIVIC, a Colorado-based nonprofit of professionals, business leaders and for-profit companies focused on CSR and civic philanthropy.

The CCSR program addresses the evolving needs of CSR practitioners, regardless of role or title. Whether you are an experienced CSR professional, just starting out on your CSR career, or wanting to make a career change in this direction, this certificate program provides an opportunity to further your knowledge, ideas and network.

"We’ve learned how CSR embodies employee engagement, ethics and compliance, as well as sustainability efforts and how such work really gets done. Because I’m making a career change to CSR, it’s been great for me to combine this knowledge with the real-life experiences of my classmates already working in the field.” – Robin Fleischmann, Urban Planning Consultant, Community Allies (Fall 2016 Student)

CCSR program structure, learning environment and core topics​

The​ CCSR​ course ​is collaborative, interpersonal​ and experiential, with dialogue-based learning involving the instructors, cohort members and ​subject matter experts.​ ​

Through knowledgeable instructors and guest speakers, you’ll get practical, applicable best practices that can help you deliver maximum value back to your company, organization and the communities you serve.​ ​

The program’s ​core topics combine​ proven academic content ​and direct input ​from CSR professionals​, ​including:​

  • CSR Overview
  • History and Strategy
  • Business Purpose in Society
  • Personal Temperament, Strengths, Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Philanthropy
  • Sustainable Business Reporting and ​Stakeholder Relations
  • Measurement and ROI
  • Marketing Communications, Messaging, ​and ​Storytelling 
  • Governance, Human Resources, and Culture

“The Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility program was an exceptional experience - the instructors were top notch, the material was informative and relevant, and I had the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with my fellow students. I would highly recommend the program to anyone passionate about CSR and mission-driven business.” – Brian Lichtenheld, Director of Accountability/Giving at Help2heal (Fall 2016 Student)

Read the blog story about the class


Spring 2017 CCSR Program Details and Application

  • Certificate – Upon completion of the program, students receive a non-credit, professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) of the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business. Review the Spring 2017 CCSR Program Description pdf.

  • Schedule – The course will comprise 40 hours of in-person, interactive ​class time. Sessions will be held Wednesdays 6:00-9:00pm from January 18 through April 26, except March 29 for Spring Break. Attendance at 11 out of 14 sessions is required to obtain the certification. Accommodations for infrequent, active remote participation are acceptable.

  • Location – Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits, 789 Sherman Street, Suite 100, Denver CO 80203

  • Students – A cohort of 12-20 business professionals will be accepted. Participants include, but are not limited to: VPs/directors/managers of CSR, community relations, sustainability and communications; small business owners/partners/senior management; and consultants/agencies.

  • Instructors – The curriculum is developed and delivered by David Payne, CESR faculty, and Geri Mitchell-Brown, CESR faculty and CSR professional.

  • Format – The course will be collaborative and experiential, with dialogue-based learning involving the instructors, cohort members and CSR experts.

  • Tuition – Tuition is $2,250. Employees of B:CIVIC member companies save $500. 

  • Apply – Enrollment is limited, so early applications are encouraged. Prospective students will interview with the instructors prior to being accepted into the program. If you have any questions, please contact Dave Payne at (303) 859-0900 or David.Payne@colorado.edu or Geri Mitchell-Brown at Geri.Mitchell-Brown@colorado.edu. ENROLLMENT NOW CLOSED.

    Application - Spring 2017

  • Official Registration - Once you have received notification from the instructor that your application has been accepted, please complete the appropriate registration form below and submit to the Continuing Education office via fax, mail or in person (see form for contact information).

Registration Form for B:CIVIC Members

Registration Form for Non-B:CIVIC Members


Testimonials from Fall 2016 students

"If you've been trying to find the perfect professional development course on Corporate Social Responsibility, look no further. CU Boulder’s CCSR class gives you relevant readings, tools, benchmark studies, and worksheets to use in your current (or future) position. And with smart, experienced instructors who keep you on task but still allow for collaboration and sharing, you'll get the best of the professional-meets-academia worlds."
Lora Ledermann, Founder of Scream Agency

“The CSR Certification course is perfect for professionals already working in the field of CSR and for anyone that may be making a career shift in that direction. The course outline and material are relevant and thoughtfully selected, the professors and guest speakers are exceptional, and the network that we are developing will be invaluable in the future.”  
Karen Spencer, Senior Channel & Field Marketing Manager, Ciena

“Geri and David have helped me to expand my vision for what CSR entails and realize the importance in this global climate to nurture the internal and external cultures associated with our teams. They have helped me to rethink relationship challenges and see differences as opportunities. My fellow students have added a new layer of optimism to my outlook with their passion and commitment to implementing positive change. I feel a renewed sense of purpose in the work that I have been doing for Odell Brewing Company for the past 10 years.”
Karla Baise, Community Outreach Coordinator, Odell Brewing Company

“I highly recommend this engaging program to CSR professionals and those interested in the field. The content is of a high caliber and encompasses a breadth of CSR-related topics. The instructors are very knowledgeable, approachable, and excel at facilitating. The program  includes excellent professional tools, resources, and guest speakers."
Sarae Kurth, Community Relations Coordinator, Denver Community Credit Union

“Coming from a non-CSR role, I have found this course to be thorough in delivering a greater understanding of how important CSR practices are, from developing a workable program to getting buy-in from the top and implementing strategies. The insight and collaboration from classmates and David and Geri creates a well-rounded learning environment.” Fall 2016 CCSR student