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.

Professional education in CSR

CESR has developed the 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.

In this course you will:

  • Learn practical applications and create a “toolbox” of resources
  • Hear from local, regional and global experts that will spark ideas and insights
  • Expand your community of peers, making valuable professional connections
  • Study with CESR, the regional University leader in CSR education, programs and research  

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 a 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:​

  • Business purpose in society
  • Historical and current perspectives
  • Ethics and compliance
  • Strategic alignment with business purpose
  • Change management
  • Corporate philanthropy and partnerships
  • Employee giving and engagement programs
  • Sustainable business
  • Reporting and ​stakeholder relations
  • Measurement and ROI
  • Marketing communications, messaging, ​and ​storytelling
  • Governance, human resources, and culture


Fall 2017 CCSR Program Details

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.

Schedule – The course will be held on Wednesdays, August 30-December 6th, 5:30-8:30, comprising 40 hours of in-person, interactive ​class time. Attendance at 11 out of 14 sessions is required to obtain the certification. Accommodations for infrequent, active remote participation are acceptable.

Location – CU Leeds School of Business, Boulder, CO

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; nonprofit leaders and consultants/agencies.

Instructor – The curriculum is developed and delivered by Geri Mitchell-Brown, CESR faculty and CSR professional. The  course advisor is David Payne, CESR faculty and sustainable business professional.

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

Tuition – Tuition for Fall 2017 is $2,250. Employees of B:CIVIC member companies receive a $500 discount.

Apply – We are accepting applications for the Fall 2017 semester. Students will be accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full, up until August 23rd. Click the APPLICATION button below to apply. If you are interested and would like to learn more, click the INTEREST button. You will receive a follow-up from the instructor to discuss your application or interest. Prospective students will interview with the instructors prior to being accepted into the program. If you have any questions, please contact Geri Mitchell-Brown at



Click here for a PDF of the course description


Student Testimonials from Fall 2016 & Spring 2017

“The CCSR course was incredibly valuable. In my role, it's important to have a strong historical view of CSR and stay educated on the current viewpoints and innovation on these topics. The CCSR course instructors (David Payne and Geri Mitchell-Brown) do a great job of providing content that achieves both of these elements. They teach the historical and theoretical concepts of CSR while also discussing the practical applications in today's society. The course is presented through multiple types of activities as well as external speakers that are highly regarded professionals in the CSR field. It's because of this multi-faceted approach and the engaging way the content is delivered that I would recommend this course to anyone interested in expanding their knowledge and skills related to CSR.” Jessica Sibila, Sr. Manager, Community Engagement and Corporate Giving, DanoneWave

“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

"We’ve learned how CSR embodies employee engagement, ethics and compliance, as well as how sustainability efforts 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, City of Golden Downtown Development Authority, Redevelopment Specialist

"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 in the field of CSR and for anyone that may be making a career shift.  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.”  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

"Business IS personal, and this class proved why from every level – from an individual's connectivity to the work they do, to the bottom line profit for the entire company. We have seen the demand for more holistic companies rising, and this class help set the stage." 
Laura Isanuk, Investment Advisor Representative, First Affirmative Financial Network

"CCSR was a very beneficial program and dedicated cohort of professionals. I learned concrete ways to continue to elevate the practice of CSR by customizing nonprofit and corporate partnerships for the mutual benefit of the company, nonprofit and greater community."  
Ashly Ligouri, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado 

"The CCSR program was highly engaging – no two sessions were alike as we were exposed to a steady stream of guest speakers, each knowledgable on specific aspects of corporate social responsibility. The broad range of topics, and the strong connections, made for an impactful introduction to the field."
Jennifer Forman, eTown, Vice President of Resource Development & Marketing