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Bachelor of Commerce Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility:
Overview of Program
Corporate Social Responsibility is a truly multidisciplinary topic whereby businesses are increasingly integrating Corporate Social Responsibility strategies into every functional domain. While the Bachelor of Commerce Program offers many courses that address a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility issues, the purpose of the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility program is to offer students an experience-based, integrative exposure to this emerging and dynamic field of business practice. Students who complete the requirements for the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility will have developed the ability to recognize the strategic dilemmas and opportunities for all aspects of the firm in implementing Corporate Social Responsibility strategies. These students will also bring to their firms leading edge thinking in Corporate Social Responsibility – a domain of business practice that the Conference Board of Canada has called the business issue of the 21 st century.
The Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility program has been designed to meet three objectives:
- Provide an experiential, integrative, substantive, and high quality experience surrounding issues of Corporate Social Responsibility for Commerce students who choose this accreditation option;
- Allow students to achieve a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility without requiring participating students to change their curriculum plan towards the completion of their Commerce degree;
- To provide participating students with a truly unique curriculum experience not offered in any other Commerce program in Canada.
Commerce students who complete the requirements listed below over the four years of their Commerce program, will receive, in addition to a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility.
In order to be awarded a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility, students must complete 4 requirements:
- Fully participate in three “CSR Weekends” (held annually each January) over the four years the student is in the Commerce program;
- Pass an evaluative component after each of the “CSR Weekends” that the student participates in;
- Actively participate in 20 hours each year in approved outreach (volunteer) activities;
- As part of the student’s selection of electives during the four years in the Commerce program, the student must complete 4 half courses from an approved “Ethics / CSR” list of courses. Two half courses must be from the School of Business, the other two may be from anywhere in the university.
Each one of these requirements is explained in more detail below:
- Students must fully participate in at least 3 “CSR Weekends” over the four years of the Commerce program.
Each January, a weekend will be designated as “CSR Weekend”. Curriculum will be presented for participating students in each year of the Commerce program. The curriculum during this weekend involves a mix of lecture, case studies, simulation exercises, guest speakers, debates, and other creative activities. A unique curriculum is presented for each level in the Commerce program (i.e. there is a particular curriculum designed for first year students, another unique curriculum for second year students, and so on). Some activities (such as special guest speakers) may be shared by all years. To satisfy this requirement for the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility, students must fully participate in 3 “CSR Weekends” over the course of their 4 years in the Commerce program.
The spirit behind the curriculum for the “CSR Weekend” is to provide a conceptual “umbrella” that allows students to integrate CSR related material they may have been exposed to throughout their regular curriculum, and provide added CSR insight they can apply in the future. The curriculum for these weekends is designed in the spirit of the Executive Education programs, giving our undergraduate students a feel for this kind of education.
- Evaluative Component
Following each of the three “CSR Weekends” that the student participates in, that student will be required to complete an evaluative component. This evaluative component may be in the form of a written test, a take home case study, or any other format that is consistent with the curriculum the student was exposed to in that year. This evaluative component is designed to evaluate the student’s ability to integrate a CSR approach towards common business issues consistent with that student’s level in the Commerce program. The student will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. In order to meet the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility requirements, the student must pass all three evaluations over the course of the four years in the Commerce program.
- Participation in Outreach Activities
One of the initiatives of the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility is to provide opportunities for students to participate in volunteer outreach activities. Here, Queen’s School of Business would partner with specific not-for-profit organizations. Part of this partnership would involve opportunities for students to volunteer their time in working on designated projects for the not-for-profit organization. As such, one of the requirements for CSR accreditation is that students must participate for 20 hours of approved outreach activity in three of the four years the student is in the Commerce program.
- Complete Additional CSR Courses Throughout the Degree
Currently, all Commerce students must take a “Business Ethics” course as well as complete a “Business History or Ethics Requirement” whereby students must complete at least one course from a list of Business History and Ethics courses. For students to receive a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility, they must also complete four half courses from a list of eligible “CSR / Ethics” courses as part of their selection of elective courses. 2 of the courses must come from the School of Business. The other two may come from anywhere in the university.