To earn the Graduate Certification in Community Engagement, graduate and professional students must complete three requirements:
- Core engagement competency workshops organized by University Outreach and Engagement (or alternatives approved by the program coordinator in advance)
- A mentored community engagement experience (60 hours minimum)
- A written engagement portfolio and presentation
The Graduate Certification in Community Engagement is designed to reinforce coherent integration of community-engaged scholarship into the student's academic program. Each aspect of the Certification offers maximum flexibility:
- Timing: The program is organized so that students may complete the Graduate Certification in one year or over multiple years, depending on how the Certification's requirements can best be coordinated with their degree program plans.
- Competencies: The core engagement competency requirement may be fulfilled through workshops offered by University Outreach and Engagement, through other academic experiences or coursework, or through some combination of the two options. On a case by case basis, the program coordinator strategizes with students about the best option for fulfilling the seminar requirement, and as needed, reviews and approves alternatives.
- Experience: The mentored community engagement experience requirement may be fulfilled by community work that the student is already undertaking (or planning to undertake). The majority of students in the Graduate Certification in Community Engagement use experiences associated with their program of study for this requirement, including practicums, internships, thesis or dissertation research, graduate assistantships, or teaching experiences—as long as it meets the definition of community-engaged scholarship.
- Written portfolio: While there are guidelines for the engagement portfolio, students are encouraged to reflect upon and share their views on community-engaged scholarship in a manner consistent with their disciplinary and professional norms. As a result, engagement portfolios vary in length, format, and voice.
- Portfolio presentation: Engagement portfolios may be presented on an ad-hoc basis when it is convenient for the graduate students—fall, spring, or summer. All presentations are made via zoom to accommodate participation by community partners and peers. Flexible timing of engagement portfolio presentations reinforces the primary importance of students completing their program degree requirements first and their Graduate Certification in Community Engagement requirements second.
- Evolving plans: Throughout this professional development experience, students are encouraged to meet with the program coordinator to discuss their evolving plans and opportunities for completing the requirements. Students often take a semester break from the program due to teaching or research responsibilities and then return to the program as their schedule allows.