The certificate program in Community Relations for the Extractive Industries is the first of its kind in North America. Adapted to reflect industry needs, community challenges and the political realities of North America, the certificate program at Queen’s is based on the structure and design of the successful University of Queensland program in Australia.
Exploration, mining, oil and gas companies working in Canada, the US , and abroad face the challenge of building constructive and mutually beneficial working and living relationships with communities affected by their activities and operations. The shortage of skilled and experienced community relations practitioners has become a critical and high risk issue for responsible and sustainable mineral resource development throughout the world. This program was conceived to help address this gap.
Application Deadline: July 15
Applications for admission will be reviewed by the Certificate Program's Admissions Committee.
"A comprehensive professional approach to working with communities on their concerns and trade-offs is required. This ‘new competency’ means moving beyond traditional liaison and philanthropic gestures…very few academic institutions are providing teaching and qualifications in applied social science in the extractive sector. Queen’s is one; providing a leading-edge course in the heart of the mining faculty, as it should be.”
The program focuses on strengthening practitioner competencies, especially in the areas of communication, community engagement, community development and program planning. It will equip students with the knowledge, practical tools, and analytical techniques to facilitate positive and lasting company-community relationships that work for the company, affected communities and local or regional governments. It will also contribute to the development and sustainability of local communities and economies. The program allows students to continue working while learning, testing and applying new skills on the job
The program will be of interest to people working in the field, at project sites, in affected communities - for exploration and mining companies, for government, or for community based organizations.
High altitude mining villages in Peru. (Photos courtesy of Felix Hruschka.)
The program can be completed on a part-time basis over one or two years. The Certificate consists of 4 core courses. The program is comprised of two components - an intensive short term (6 day) residential experience (to be held in August), and the longer term distance learning component (on-line, self-directed but externally facilitated).
GCCR 801: Community Aspects of Mineral Resource Development. This course provides students with a thorough understanding of community issues associated with mineral resource development. It provides context and examples to demonstrate how the industry response to these issues has changed over time. It introduces the topics of community development, community engagement, and indigenous issues which are further explored in subsequent courses.
GCCR 802: Community Development for the Mining Industry. This course introduces a framework for understanding how community development (CD) theory, methods and techniques can be used by community relations practitioners working at mine sites or in mining communities. It familiarizes students with the “people centred” CD method. The course uses case studies and experiences drawn from the mining industry to illustrate and reinforce concepts and methodology.
GCCR 803: Community Engagement and Mining. This course extends the exploration of a range of community development and community engagement domains, techniques and skills. It focuses on how the community relations practitioner can assist communities and companies to build sustainable, organized relationships and structures within the broader context of mining and development practice, locally, nationally and globally.
GCCR 804: Mining Projects and Indigenous Peoples. This course examines the social, political, and economic relationships that exist between indigenous peoples and external parties in the development of commercial mining operations. The course will review specific social, political and economic issues arising from the engagement of indigenous peoples with the minerals industry, and the skill sets and knowledge base that are critical to negotiating relationships between indigenous peoples and mining companies.
Jeffrey Davidson (Queen’s University) and Pam Bourke (University of Queensland)
Admission requirements for students entering the certificate program will include:
Although an Engineering degree is not required, relevant work experience in the area of Mining or other Extractive industries is essential.
Those applicants whose native languages do not include English will be required to obtain satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process, and before final acceptance is granted. A TOEFL minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.
Step 1 - Contact Program Coordinator to indicate interest.
Step 2 – Receive, complete and submit pre-application form to Program Coordinator, including statement of interest.
Step 3 – Based on feedback from Mining Department to pre-application, proceed with formal application.
Step 4 – Complete the School of Graduate Studies on-line application found at: https://eservices.queensu.ca/apps/sgsapp/ and submit by July 15.
CAD $12,000 for the program
One or more scholarships per year may be available to students working for community-based organizations.
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