A Look at KPU's New ISFS Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems is entirely online

Dr. Kent Mullinix, director of the Insitute for Sustainable Food Systems at KPU. (Flickr/ Kwantlen Polytechnic University)

Starting with the fall semester, the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at KPU will offer a new Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security program.

The 18-credit program is composed of six courses offered under the Faculty of Arts, all delivered online in two parts over the course of a year.

The first part of the course includes examination of contemporary food systems and food security from environmental, social, and economic perspectives in order to learn about both environmental and societal challenges. According to the course description, “the second part seeks to envision and facilitate a better food system future.”

ISFS Director Dr. Kent Mullinix says that one of KPU’s goals was to become a Canadian leader in the academic field of sustainable food systems. The program’s courses involve teaching topics in social science,  humanities, political science, and economics.

“It’s in the [Faculty of Arts] because this is a multidisciplinary program and is not about science or agriculture or food science. It’s about food and society,” he says. “A larger objective is to bring forth, to manifest sustainable local [and] regional food systems, and it’s not enough to do research or extension programming.”

To register, individuals are required to have a Bachelor’s degree and submit a statement of intent for entering the program, including any relevant studies and professional work experience.

The course description says that the Graduate Certificate is “formally articulated with the Royal Roads University Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies program and required of those Royal Roads University students who want to pursue the MA graduate degree with a Sustainable Food System and Food Security emphasis.”

Similarly, any KPU student who wishes to pursue an MA graduate degree in Sustainable Food Systems and Food Security must take the Royal Roads University Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies program.

The program is being offered to people with all kinds of professional backgrounds, not just those with experience in food sustainability.

“This is not for agriculturists per se. This is for a breadth of professionals, so teachers, planners, consultants, health authority staff … geography, policy studies, business,” says Mullinix.

“In the foreseeable future, we hope to transition this certificate into a full Master’s degree program complete with research and thesis … so we are going to begin working on that,” he adds.

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