CONTACT Low-residency Graduate Certificate Program

At A Glance

Graduate Certificate Components:

  • Attend the Summer Peacebuilding Program and the Frameworks in Peacebuilding class in Vermont.
  • Fully participate in the online courses from your home country (September to May) through weekly posts and online interactions.
  • Complete an independent study project to enhance skills in peacebuilding.
  • Attend the Mid-Year Field Seminar in Rwanda to study the practical applications and challenges of post-war peacebuilding and reconciliation.
  • Complete a practicum in which you will create and implement a peacebuilding project.
  • Submit a final paper on the learning experience.

The first step of the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation is completion of the Summer Peacebuilding Program at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Directly following the Summer Peacebuilding Program is an additional week of face-to-face coursework designed to provide skills and training for distance education and learning:

  • Frameworks in Peacebuilding (1 credit)
    This course follows the summer program at SIT’s Brattleboro, Vermont, campus. It has three components:
    1. First, the essential conceptual frameworks that underlie the yearlong academic work are established, including models that address the intersection of individual, community, and societal needs in post-conflict social healing and reconstruction.
    2. Second, participants evaluate their previous experience, skills, and knowledge of the field to establish professional goals and learning objectives for the year.
    3. Third, participants receive training in the use of Internet resources and web conferencing methods for the distance-learning phase of the program.

Online fall courses: Once students have returned home, they engage in a series of online courses beginning in September.

  • Intercommunal Conflict Analysis (3 credits)
    Through readings and web-based discussions, this course explores the root causes of ethno-political violence. Topics include geopolitical factors and structural causes of conflict; the roles of identity, religion, and culture in conflict; and the dynamics of conflict escalation and maintenance. The course also examines the systemic effects of war trauma on individuals, families, communities, and nations.
  • Independent Study: Skills Development (1 credit)
    Participants study a specific conflict-intervention skill such as dialogue, mediation, or negotiation. Through a learning contract, participants develop a learning plan that includes relevant readings, skills trainings, and documentation of learning.

Mid-Year Field Seminar in Kigali, Rwanda (1 credit)
Upon completion of one semester of online coursework, students meet in January for a face-to-face weeklong seminar in an overseas post-conflict region. The seminar is led by faculty and experts from the region. The Mid-Year Field Seminar gives participants the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the conflict dynamics of a particular region, to assess the effectiveness of a range of peacebuilding interventions, and to discuss challenges and lessons learned with local practitioners. Participants also share progress on their reflective practice projects with certificate faculty and peers.

Online spring courses: Students engage in more online coursework in the spring semester.

  • Intercommunal Conflict Intervention (3 credits)
    Building on the content of the fall distance learning, this course examines culturally appropriate models for intervention to promote social reconstruction and healing. Topics include ethical issues surrounding intervention, program design, integrating Western and local approaches, dialogue and reconciliation, restorative justice, and providing support for humanitarian field workers.
  • Reflective Practice (1–3 credits)
    Reflective Practice is a field experience related to the practice of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. CONTACT certificate faculty work with participants to develop appropriate projects or placements that fit with participants’ areas of interests. One credit is awarded for 45 hours of full-time experience.
  • Final Synthesis Project (1 credit)
    In this culminating course of the certificate program, students complete a final paper and portfolio demonstrating the skills and lessons learned through a synthesis of their academic work and internship experience. Students evaluate their key intellectual, personal, and intercultural learning as well as competencies and growth as self-reflecting practitioners in the field of peacebuilding.

Read the brochure (PDF)

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877.257.7751, extension 3433



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PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

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