10:15 AM

MBA with sustainability concentration ranked nationally

Job openings across almost all areas in the workforce need people with more skills in sustainability, and University of Houston-Clear Lake's Master of Business Administration with Concentration in Sustainability is preparing students to meet that challenge. Its efforts have been recognized by Best Value Schools, a leading online college ranking resource that puts UH-Clear Lake's Sustainability program seventh on its list of Best 22 MBA in Sustainability Programs 2020.

UHCL's position on the list ranks above other renowned institutions such as Tulane University, University of Texas at Dallas, and Syracuse University.

"We understand that it is key in Houston, in the nation, and in the world to educate professionals in sustainable practices how decision makers can leverage the opportunities that are emerging," said Associate Professor of Management Dina Abdelzaher. "Different stakeholders are pushing for more organizations to become more sustainable. In this program, we are keen on preparing students to be ready make decisions that will speak directly to these challenges and opportunities."

Hiring managers across all industries have changed their mindset from thinking it would be useful to have people with experience and knowledge in sustainability, to viewing them as critical assets to the survival of the firm. Abdelzaher said the coursework in the concentration combines multiple perspectives, including environmental law, energy economics, and the integration of sustainable business strategies.

Situated geographically in a part of the nation with strong dominance of the oil and gas industry as well as other environmentally taxing industries, Houston is home to organizations that are having these dialogues. Expertise in sustainability is vital to keep our students in tune with the local needs.

"UHCL is already home to the Environmental Institute of Houston, and with the recent launch of the Institute for Human and Planetary Sustainability, we are able to bring more of a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding sustainability, with our faculty conducting research in environmental science, climate change and innovation," she said. "Our MBA sustainability concentration program aims to further enhance the competitive advantage of our university."

Companies and communities located on the Upper Texas Coast must adapt to a changing physical and business landscape. "The local population is booming, the sea level is rising, and coastal storms are intensifying," said Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management Kathleen Garland. "UHCL business graduates have the skills and knowledge to help these organizations adopt more agile and flexible management strategies. Embracing a sustainability and resilience mindset is what will set successful organizations apart in our region. We help our students develop that mindset."

"Our students are learning to make decisions based on the impact of climate change as they continue studying it," Abdelzaher said. "There is now an urgency of bringing this conversation to the table at a higher level."

She added that UHCL students' strength lay in their diversity. "Some students are working in different fields, some are bridging and want to become part of the change to a greener planet," she said. "Other students are confronting these decisions in their own organizations and want to get better training," she said.

The university is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. "This indicates UHCL's commitment to sustainable practices," she said. "We are on a beautiful campus on a nature reserve. Sustainability is one of our core values as an institution."

For more information about UHCL's MBA with Concentration in Sustainability, go online.