Dordt's policy and management emphasis offers students exciting professional and personal opportunities. You’ll focus on understanding, developing, and enforcing laws and policies surrounding environmental issues. When you finish, you’ll be equipped to serve by pushing for change that improves the world we live in.
While studying policy and management at Dordt, you’ll learn from high-level professors who are dedicated to helping you grow academically and spiritually through individual attention. And you’ll set yourself up for a career that allows you to share your passion for the environment with the world around you.
What You'll Learn
While studying policy and management at Dordt, you’ll learn through field trips, discussions, lectures, and conference attendance. You’ll practice and learn off-campus in the working world. You’ll earn opportunities to pursue internships and gain real-world experience. Along with your core Environmental Studies coursework, you’ll take courses in areas such as Public Policy, International Relations, God’s Green Earth, and Wildlife Ecology and Stewardship.
What You Can Do With A Policy and Management Emphasis
When it comes to policy and management, you can choose from several career options, including:
Environmental Compliance Inspector
An Environmental Compliance Inspector investigates the cause and effect of harmful sources on the environment and works to ensure that they comply with the different types of regulations.
A Sustainability Specialist is tasked with implementing different programs that benefit their local community and environment.
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Regulatory Affairs Specialists work with companies and organizations to ensure they are meeting all regulations that apply to their products.
Students who choose the policy and management emphasis will complete various courses from the business administration, chemistry, communication, economics, engineering, political science, theology, and environmental studies programs in addition to completing the general requirements for an environmental studies degree. Students will also have the choice to take classes from the community development, economics, and biology programs. Additionally, students will be required to complete a senior research project or internship. Coursework includes field work and at least one credit hour of lab work.
- Principles of Management: An introductory course in management theory and practice. Major topics covered include planning and strategic management, organizational design, leadership and motivation theory, and control mechanisms.
- General Chemistry: A first course in the fundamental principles of chemistry for students in all science disciplines. Topics include measurement, the mole and reaction stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular forces, gases, types of reactions, and energy in chemical reactions. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Principles of Chemistry: A study of the fundamental principles of chemistry and an introduction to foundational issues in science. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. This is the first course in chemistry for majors in the physical and life sciences. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Advanced Public Address: An emphasis upon proper speech construction and delivery with application of communication concepts. Includes analysis of some public addresses.
- Argumentation and Persuasion: After a study of the history of argumentation and persuasion and the relationship of argumentation and persuasion, this course will focus on various theories of attitude change, the structure of argument, and the development of a Christian perspective. Applications of argument and persuasion to be considered are: propaganda, advertising, political campaigns, and political debate. The student will be expected to apply the course studies to his/her specific vocational decisions.
- Principles of Economics: Micro: The study of allocation of scarce resources at the level of the individual, household, and firm. Included are human motivation and preferences, the market, the function of prices, supply, demand, perfect and imperfect competition, and selected policy questions. Christian views on the nature of humanity, human motivation, and the market are also studied.
- Technology and Society: An examination and critique of the relationship of technology to other areas of Western society. During the first half of the course students examine a Christian philosophy of technology and application is made to such problems as the role of the computer, technocracy, appropriate technology, and the historical two-cultures dualism. During its second half, the course focuses on the question of engineering ethics, with particular emphasis on such questions as safety and risk, professional responsibility and authority, whistle blowing, normative socioeconomic structures, and morality in career choice. This course requires the student to write and orally present a significant thesis paper.
- Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment: A study of economic aspects of Christian stewardship in relation to the environment and use of natural resources. Major topics include biblical norms on creation, property rights, economic justice, the economic dimensions of current environmental problems and trends in resource use, institutions and social structures that affect environmental policy, economic theories related to resource use and environmental quality, and evaluation of current and proposed policies from a Christian point of view.
- Introduction to Public Administration: Provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Public Administration. Subjects to be considered include the role of the public service in society, public service values and ethics, accountability and political control of the public service, the budgetary process, organizational forms in government, human resources, principles of public management, and new forms of delivering government services.
- Modern Political Thought: Major ideas and trends in political thought from the early modern era of the 1600s to the present will be examined. The first portion of the course will be a survey of major political philosophers. This will set the stage for understanding modern ideologies (populism, libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism, totalitarianism, and other -isms).
- Public Policy: Provides a general introduction to the public policy process in the United States, including an exploration of the socioeconomic and cultural context, the defining characteristics of the political system, and various phases in the policy process. Special attention is given to selected policy issues such as energy and the environment, criminal justice, poverty, health care, and immigration.
- American National Politics: A general introduction to the American political process–its foundations, external influences, institutions, political actors, and policymaking.
- State and Local Politics: Provides a basic introduction to the political process at the state and municipal level, examining the role of the individual citizen, various groups, and governmental institutions. Attention is given to the special policy needs at the state and community level, their links with the federal government, and the particular character of local politics.
- International Relations: An introduction to the contemporary relations among states with a consideration of the issues of war and peace, international organizations, law, integration, political economy, interdependence, and relations among the superpowers.
- Global Security Issues: This seminar course examines the challenges facing world security in the twenty-first century, including arms proliferation, ecological threats, economic globalization, ethnic conflict, resource scarcity, political economy, and human rights.
- Christian Ethics: What does it mean to pursue the good life and how do we so as faithful disciples of Christ? What do we owe to God, neighbor, stranger, and enemy? Answers to these questions are more difficult to come by than we might expect – or hope. We live in a world rife with sin, corruption, and moral disagreement. Even faithful Christians can arrive at profoundly different moral judgments about life in the church and the world. This course aims to equip students with theological and ethical tools that they can use to reflect critically on what it means to live faithfully in contemporary society.
- Christian Mind and Heart: In conversation with great thinkers of the past, we will discuss the biblical foundation for Reformed thinking, the responsibility of humans to fulfill our mission as image-bearers in God’s world, and the development of a Reformed world and life view for actual Christian thinking and living. Students will explore significant issues of Christian life through personal and group projects that engage particular aspects of their major studies or life vision.
- Perspectives in Agricultural Policy: Worldviews relating to contemporary agriculture systems are discussed. In addition to examining historical policies, the participating stakeholder groups and development of domestic and international agricultural policies are also studied. Several views on these topics are
examined and a reformed perspective is developed. Two lectures and a one-hour small group discussion period per week.
- Helping Communities Flourish: Christians are called to love their neighbors and can do so by working to strengthen communities in North America and throughout the world. In this course we will examine community development strategies and practices (historical and current) used in domestic, international, urban, and rural settings. Our goal will be to identify those that fit well with a Christian view of the world and are likely to help communities flourish in the long term. We will also explore how these practices and strategies can be successfully implemented.
- Global Economic Development: A study of economic aspects of poverty and underdevelopment in the modern world. Specific topics include the dimensions and nature of poverty in the world, characteristics and types of developing nations, theories of development, and emerging issues in development. We will also consider the implications of biblical principles for policy to promote economic development and alleviate poverty.
- Cell and Molecular Biology: An introduction to molecular mechanisms in living organisms. Topics include structure and functions of cellular components, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA technology. Concepts of reductionism and evolutionary theory will be addressed. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week.
- Flora of North America: Welcome to the flora of North America! This is a course in field biology and taxonomy of vascular plants. Our study will focus on the native vegetation of the tall-grass prairie landscape with its associated gallery forests and wetlands. We will be comparing local studies to plant complexes from other geographic locations. Two lectures and one laboratory period per week. This course includes extensive field work and potentially several weekend field trips.
- God’s Green Earth: Welcome to the flora of North America! This is a course in field biology and taxonomy of vascular plants. Our study will focus on the native vegetation of the tall-grass prairie landscape with its associated gallery forests and wetlands. We will be comparing local studies to plant complexes from other geographic locations. Two lectures and one laboratory period per week. This course includes extensive field work and potentially several weekend field trips.
- Avian Biology and Conservation: The identification, natural history, ecology, and stewardship of birds. Topics include morphological and physiological ecology of birds, habitat selection, communication, migration, reproductive ecology, territoriality, taxonomy, and conservation. The connections between avian ecology and creation stewardship will be explored. Recognition of a diverse set of birds by sight and sound is an important component of the course. Two lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour lab per week. Field work will concentrate on local birds, but at least one trip to a distant site will be included.
- Wildlife Ecology and Stewardship: Advanced examination of animal (especially terrestrial vertebrate) populations, communities, and habitats, particularly as such analysis is applied to the manipulation and exploitation of animal populations and communities to regulate their abundance and distribution and/or to restore them. Considerable exploration and critique of the development and practice of wildlife management, particularly as it compares to biblical principles for creation stewardship. Two lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour lab per week. Additional activities include an overnight field trip and attending a wildlife conference.
- Introduction to Biological Research: This is a mini-course designed to prepare students for directed senior research. The course will introduce the idea and practice of biological research. It will include the nature and scope of a research project, how to conduct literature searches, and how to design methods and protocols for problem solving. The class will meet weekly in seminar or tutorial format. Students will make weekly presentations of their progress, finalize their proposal for Environmental Studies 380, and (if appropriate) begin the work for the directed research project.
- Directed Senior Research: Focuses on identifying a stewardship problem and bringing rigorous analytical and critical thinking to bear in examining the problem, reporting on it, and making recommendations for its resolution. The research project will be chosen and conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor and may investigate a problem from a natural science perspective in the field and/or laboratory or from a social science perspective. With approval, the research may be conducted at an off-campus location.
- Environmental Studies Internship: Students apply the principles of environmental science and/or policy in an off-campus setting working with businesses or non-profit organizations. Students will spend at least 120 hours at their placement site. Learning goals relevant to each situation will be developed and assessed. Weekly logs, a final written paper, and a poster or formal presentation are required.
Ready to take the next step?
Science and Technology Center
While studying policy and management at Dordt, you'll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt's Science and Technology Center. Informally known as the "Science Building," the Science and Technology Center is home to a lab devoted to work in environmental studies.Learn more
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