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Co-operatives First Continues To Offer Online Governance Course

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

About 500 people from around the world have taken a free online governance course since it was launched this past October.

The course, titled Governance In Co-operatives, is offered by Co-operatives First, a Saskatoon-based organization whose mandate includes to help Indigenous and rural communities not only to grow but also thrive.

Those who sign up for the course will have the opportunity to learn about vital concepts in the governance of organizations. Case studies of co-operations and corporations will be offered throughout the course.
The course was developed in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan.

Kyle White
Kyle White, the Education and Engagement Lead for Co-operatives First, said the centre at the Saskatchewan university has a solid reputation globally.

“When it was offered it made sense folks around the world heard about it,” White said. “We had people from Europe, Asia, Africa and all across Canada take the course.”

Co-operatives First has a mission focused on increasing awareness of its ventures in Canada’s four westernmost provinces.

But since it is an online course, Governance In Co-operatives is offered to anyone, regardless of what country they are in.

Those who are interested in enrolling and taking the course can do so at any time. There are three ways to be a participant with the course.

Individuals can sign up whenever they wish and audit the course at their leisure. Or those who are keen to review the materials and also take tests on what they have learned can earn a virtual badge.

Those who want to earn a certificate, however, must wait until this coming October when the course will be offered once again with a teacher-monitored segment.

Paul ThompsonThe course instructor is Paul Thompson, a research officer at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan.

To earn a certificate individuals will not only have to complete various tests in the course but they must also take part in various discussion forums.

Those who work towards a certificate in the course will have modules made available weekly. White said about three hours of work is required (which includes listening to the modules) per week during the six-week program.

“The feedback we’ve received so far has been extremely positive,” White said of the course. “The content for this course is fairly directed to the specific topic of governance.”

White believes anyone interested in governance – or those looking to boost their leadership skills or knowledge - should consider taking the course. That includes community leaders, elected officials, board members or those on steering committees.

Three key concepts will be looked at during the course. They are:
1) ensuring people work well together
2) creating a successful view of the future
3) building legitimacy

By providing actual case studies, the course aims to teach individuals how they can utilize similar circumstances when it comes time for decision-making processes in their own lives.

For more information on the Governance In Co-operatives course or to sign up for it follow the link here
www.cooperativesfirst.com/governance/

Governance Course