Our Certificate in Cooperative Management program offers a deep dive into the world of cooperative management, exploring the unique characteristics, opportunities and challenges of the cooperative sector.

The International Co-operative Alliance (www.ica.coop) represents close to one billion individual members. Cooperatives generate partial or full-time employment for at least 250 million people worldwide, and make up 12% of the entire employed population of the G20 countries. The 2,000 co-operatives in the 65 countries surveyed by the World Cooperative Monitor totals 2.6 trillion USD.

Although we hear relatively little about the cooperative sector in the United States, it is actually the country with the largest number of members represented by the International Co-operative Alliance. There are nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the United States, with 256 million members and over two million jobs.

PGS’s 12-credit four-course sequence provides:

  • an introduction to the history and principles of the international cooperative movement, as well an overview of the industry sectors and cooperative types most common in the US;
  • a thorough exploration of the legal, governance, and finance issues unique to the cooperative sector. Students will examine issues related to membership, member investment, dividends, profit sharing, personal exit strategies, multiple classes of stock, outside investors, and financing strategies;
  • an examination of the general topic of managing in a democratic workplace, with a particular focus on the special challenges of employee engagement and empowerment in the cooperative sector. Topics covered include leadership, coaching, meeting facilitation, collaborative decision-making, and conflict management;
  • an opportunity to undertake a “real world” project in the cooperative sector.

Program Format and Instructional Methods

The Certificate in Cooperative Management is a 12-month program. In 2017-2018, the program will be offered over four quarters, with one course per term.

The Certificate in Cooperative Management program is offered in the Seattle Hybrid format, combining monthly in-person classes with weekly distance learning. This hybrid course design allows students from across the United States and Canada to participate in the program while continuing to live and work in their home communities.

Monthly in-person class sessions will be held on Saturdays at IslandWood, a 250-acre LEED Gold environmental education center on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Between monthly in-person sessions, students attend class online and engage with faculty, guest speakers and each other through multiple distance learning technologies.

Instruction incorporates a variety of methodologies, including lectures by faculty and guest speakers, slide and video presentations, classroom and online discussion, field trips and individual and team projects.

The Cooperative Management program may be taken as a stand-alone Certificate or as part of one of our Seattle-based MBA programs.

Course Sequence and Descriptions

To be awarded a Certificate in Cooperative Management, Certificate students must complete MGTC 561C, MGTC 562C and MGTC 563C plus MGTC 564C -or- MGTC 565C, for a total of 12 credits.

FALL 2017
MGTC 561C: Introduction to the Cooperative Sector (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the history and principles of the international cooperative movement, as well an overview of the industry sectors and cooperative types most common in the US. Topics include worker-owned cooperatives, producer (agricultural) cooperatives, purchasing cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, credit unions, housing cooperatives and utilities.

WINTER 2018
MGTC 562C: Governance and Finance in the Cooperative Sector (3 credits)
This course offers a thorough exploration of the legal, governance, and finance issues unique to the cooperative sector. Students will examine issues related to membership, member investment, dividends, profit sharing, personal exit strategies, multiple classes of stock, outside investors, and financing strategies.
Prerequisite: MGTC 561C or faculty permission

SPRING 2018
MGTC 563C: Managing the Cooperative Enterprise (3 credits)
This course looks at the general topic of managing in a democratic work- place, with a particular focus on the special challenges of employee engagement and empowerment in the cooperative sector. Topics covered include leadership, coaching, meeting facilitation, collaborative decision-making, and conflict management.
Prerequisites: MGTC 561C and MGTC 562C or faculty permission

SUMMER 2018
To fulfill the final practicum requirement, students have the choice between two courses:

MGTC 564C: Cooperative Practicum (3 credits) 
This course is the capstone project for the Certificate in Cooperative Management. The course offers students an opportunity to undertake a “real world” project in the cooperative sector.
Prerequisites: MGTC 561C, MGTC 562C and MGTC 563C or faculty permission

-OR-

MGTC 565C: International Cooperative Field Study (3 credits) 
This international study tour is an alternative to the capstone practicum for the Certificate in Cooperative Management. It is open to all students in the Certificate and MBA programs, as well as to other members of the PGS community and the general public.  In Summer 2018, the course will take place in Mondragón, Spain.

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