Specializations on Coursera

Columbia University provides specializations in Construction Management and Social Policy for Social Services & Health Practitioners on Coursera. In these programs, participants complete a series of rigorous courses, tackle hands-on projects, and earn a Specialization Certificate to share with their professional network and potential employers.
We also provide several courses on Coursera that are taught by instructors at Columbia University. The courses include recorded video lectures, auto graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. When participants complete a course, they receive a sharable electronic Course Certificate.

Construction Project Management and Planning

Construction Management is the planning, coordinating, and building of a project from conception to completion. This is a four-part specialization, intended for construction industry professionals, engineers, and architects looking to advance their careers. Students interested in learning about construction project management would also benefit from this specialization. Real-world projects will be included in each course of the specialization to enforce the skills being taught. The four courses include:

Construction Project Management

This course is an introduction to concepts of Project Initiation and Planning. Technological advances, such as Building Information Modeling, are also introduced with real world examples of the uses of BIM during the Lifecycle of the Project. Click here to learn more

Construction Scheduling

This course teachers the key project scheduling techniques and procedures. Fundamentals of Bar Charts, Precedence Diagrams, Activity on Arrow, PERT, Range Estimating, and linear project operations and the line of balance are also covered in this course. Click here to learn more

Construction Cost Estimating and Cost Control

This course introduces the types of cost estimation from the conceptual design phase through the more detailed design phase of a construction project. In addition, the course highlights the importance of controlling costs and how to monitor project cash flow. Click here to learn more

Construction Finance

This course helps the learners expand their knowledge of a construction project manager to include an understanding of economics and the mathematics of money, an essential component of every construction project. It is the final course of the specialization mentioned above. Click here to learn more

Social Policy for Social Services & Health Practitioners

Social Policy for Social Services & Health Practitioners is for health practitioners, educators, social service providers: anyone who works with people or votes. In the U.S., social policy accounts for two-thirds of government spending. Knowing how policies are constructed, what values underlie them, and how they succeed or fail makes everyone more effective at work or in their civic role. This specialization includes an HONORS track in which learners will complete a professional social policy analysis. There are five courses in this Specialization:

What Is the Welfare State? A Cross-National Comparison

In all nations, social policy is a very large public investment. Course 1 will explore the size, structure, and outcomes of U.S. social policy and compare this policy to those of similar developed countries. The course will also probe the values this policy represents and the values debate regarding about how big our welfare state should be— in other words, how much of our education, housing, health, income support, and social services the government should supply and how much individuals should supply for themselves. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. Click here to learn more

The Welfare State: Where Did It Come From?

This course probes the formation of social policy in the United States from its very first cultural and religious roots. Starting with the transition from hunter-gatherer groups to agrarian villages, the course will examine the passage of the Poor Laws that shaped social policy through the colonial period until the beginnings of the 20th century, when the challenge of making the industrial city livable gave rise to the development of the welfare state. As part of this transformation, the provider of social welfare shifted from the local community to the state to the federal government. The course ends with an exploration of the debate regarding the role of government in the late 20th century: should it foster entitlements or self-sufficiency? This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. Click here to learn more

Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy

This course has four modules, or foci. The first is to understand the categories of social welfare—populations, income, earnings, and assets— and some related concepts that play a very large role in shaping policy decisions: unemployment, inflation, and the minimum wage. The second deals with the central institution of social welfare—the labor market, which largely determines how many resources a person has. The labor market also establishes hierarchy, both through meritocracy and through categories of privilege. The third is poverty: the differing ways we define who is poor, and how effective U.S. anti-poverty efforts have been. The final module looks directly at federal decision making, the political organization of ideas, the structure of U.S. government, and the legislative process that shapes much of our social policy. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. Click here to learn more

Income Transfer Policies for Families, People with Disabilities, and the Aging Population

Course 4 in this specialization discusses four populations: families, poor families, people with disabilities, and people as they age. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. Click here to learn more

Health, Housing, and Educational Services

Course 5 discusses policies in four areas: housing, education, healthcare, and immigration, with an optional fifth module in child protection. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. Click here to learn more