Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement
No matter your degree program, opportunities to make a difference are everywhere. But deciding where your skills are most valuable can be difficult. The graduate certificate in community engagement allows students to explore how they are uniquely suited to impact their community. It also contributes to their knowledge base and skills set, while giving them a distinctive educational edge upon graduation.
This certificate augments any of the graduate and professional education degree programs offered at OU-Tulsa, OU Norman, or the OU Health Sciences Center.
Four interprofessional courses are taught by faculty comprised of the greatest minds in community engagement, service, and research - whose work have positively affected communities locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Each course is three hours each.
The courses will be delivered asynchronously so that they can be adapted to any schedule – using a blending of online methods, real-time meetings, and customized apprenticeships.
How the Certificate Program Works
The courses in the community engagement certificate curriculum are sequential in nature, with the intent of them happening one semester at a time, starting at a point in the learner’s course of study when they have an established sense of their professional identity and a desire to make a difference in their community. These courses can be concurrent with courses that are in a learner’s primary program of study, and in many instances may substitute for one or more program courses (course equivalencies/cross-listings associated with each of the four courses will be established). Pacing of this certificate can match the needs of the learner, however it can be completed in as few as four semesters (one and a half years).
This initial course explores a variety of topics suited to provide an evidence-based foundation of knowledge to prepare enrolled participants for the collaborative world of community engagement.
This learner-focused and schedule-friendly course explores a variety of topics suited to provide an evidence-based foundation of knowledge to prepare enrolled participants for the collaborative world of community engagement. Classes will cover a range of subjects including:
· organizational dynamics
· anatomy of a community
· aspects of community observation and interaction.
Furthermore, the concept of levels of helping and the psychology of helping and being helped will also be discussed through multiple learning structures.
‘The Science of Community Engagement’ is designed as the introductory course for the community engagement certificate program. The tools given to learners in this course are designed to support their pursuit of becoming a community advocate. From a variety of perspectives, learners will gain a substantial understanding of the world around them, how to measure the impact of community initiatives and learn from OU-Tulsa partners in the field.
This course is centered around understanding how to use the resources available to best assist community partners and assess outcomes of those interactions.
“The Tools of Community Engagement” is a dynamic and schedule-friendly course centered around understanding how to use the resources available to best assist community partners and assess outcomes of those interactions. It builds on knowledge and perspectives gained in “The Science of Helping” course and focuses on:
· methods of conducting community assessments
· theories of developing and implementing programs and systems of change
· public policy and administration as modes of transformation
· measuring successes and program evaluation.
The course modules are presented by some of the best faculty minds in community engagement, a number of whose projects set the global standard for interfacing with and supporting communities to achieve optimal outcomes.
“The Tools of Community Engagement” aims to equip learner with more knowledge tailored to the challenges community partners face on a weekly basis. Through the help of core faculty, learners will receive a wide spectrum of information about evidence-based methods for assessing, implementing, and measuring change in collaboration with community partners. Through online modules and two in-class meetings, learners will gain a greater perspective on the collaborative efforts that community engagement professionals make in the world around them.
Learners will gain a greater perspective on community issues by working with a mentor associated with a particular community partner selected by the learner in collaboration with program faculty.
“Community Engagement Apprenticeship” is an opportunity for learners to incorporate community partners into the learning process. Students will gain a greater perspective on community issues by working with a mentor associated with a particular community partner selected by the student in collaboration with program faculty.
The apprenticeship entails shadowing, observing and actively learning from a community partner mentor that provides a “deep dive” into community engagement. During the apprenticeship, the learner will identify a key problem or issue within the community partner organization and formulate a Capstone Prospectus, which provides a framework for addressing the problem and applying the science and tools gained from the preceding pre-requisite courses. This project will become the capstone experience for the certificate in community engagement.
Learners will identify a specific issue in a community partner organization and work with a mentor to establish an approach that serves to mitigate or alleviate the issue. Field notes, reflections, and other observations will assist them in applying what they’ve learned in previous courses to establish an approach to address this real-world problem.
Central to this course is a six-week program implementation experience with a community partner agency. Interactions with course faculty will occur throughout the experience to assist and guide the learner through program implementation.
This course will be primarily delivered in an asynchronous manner by way of online interactions with other learners and course faculty via conversation threads and other technological modes. Central to this course is a six-week program implementation experience with a community partner agency. Interactions with course faculty will occur throughout the experience to assist and guide the learner through program implementation.
Learners will apply all they have learned in the preceding courses to address a real-world problem or issue affecting a community partner. Students will implement the program they developed in the Community Engagement Apprenticeship course. They will collect measures and other forms of data at baseline and at points following implementation of their program. At the close of the course, they will present their program and evaluation of outcomes to the community partner, as well as other potential audiences.
Learners will implement their program developed from the previous course and bring their capstone project to fruition. They will conduct data collection and develop resources for their community partner’s challenge. Toward the end of the course, learners will present their findings and reflections on the project and their experiences in the certificate program.