UW Today

This is an archived article.

May 2, 2001

New certificate prepares students to lead programs that improve living conditions around the world


Wendy Prosser has met the future of education, and it is both international and interdisciplinary.

Specifically, it is the UW’s new graduate certificate program in International Development Policy & Management, which is designed to prepare leaders for humanitarian projects in an increasingly interdependent world.

Prosser is one of 18 UW students adding the new certificate to their graduate or professional degrees in fields ranging from nursing to forest resources, public health to anthropology. The new certificate program trains these specialists for management roles in the expanding field of international relief and development.

“I always had an interest in the world,” said Prosser, who recently returned from an internship in Cambodia. “With this kind of work, you really get to see the impact of what you’re doing.”

Prosser’s certificate will be added to the master of public administration degree she plans to pick up in June from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, where the new certificate program is housed.

Enrollment is expected to grow to 25 next fall, said Evans School Assistant Dean Elaine Chang, when the crop of students may include scholars in education, law and other fields.

“The certificate will add to their specialized knowledge a policy and management dimension that will provide more professional versatility,” Chang said. “And having people from all those fields means that we have this wonderful, interdisciplinary learning environment.”

The structure of the new program is modeled after the Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics (GTTL) certificate, which is based at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies but available to graduate students from any discipline.

To earn the new certificate in International Development Policy & Management, students must complete three core courses. One covers the skills needed to operate under a variety of political systems, another the organization of relief operations and the third the economics of international development.

The result will be a cadre of certificate holders able to combine specialized knowledge in their academic fields with a practical understanding of how to bring about positive change under challenging global conditions.

Evans School Dean Marc Lindenberg, a former top official with the relief agency CARE, said certificate holders will be “very attractive” job candidates for the U.N. system, government agencies and nongovernmental relief and development organizations such as CARE, World Vision and Oxfam.

Lindenberg, who teaches one of the certificate core courses, said one of his main goals since coming to the UW in 1999 has been to build international programs that help students from all over the university gain policy and management skills, language skills and expertise in a technical area.

“The Evans School is becoming known as one of the top international policy and management programs,” Lindenberg said.
Overseen by an advisory board that includes several heads of development organizations as well as UW faculty, the new certificate program also requires students to take a seminar and participate in a five-week internship.

Prosser fulfilled part of the latter requirement through her recent two-week stint in Cambodia, where she helped train staff members in a program that issues loans of $30 to $50 to rural women who want to start or expand small farms and businesses.

A former Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, Prosser long has known that her heart was in international work.
Post-graduation, she already has another internship lined up — in Angola.

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For more information, contact Chang at (206) 616-1607 or elainec@u.washington.edu