The Certificate in Civic Leadership is a means of helping bring intentionality, advice, and support to students' progress through a wide variety of community-based leadership, research, and service activities. Ultimately, completion of the certificate represents that a student has developed core competencies that prepare them to exercise leadership in a variety of roles as an active citizen.
Our approach to leadership education stresses the development of knowledge to understand the complex problems of today’s society, skills to motivate and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to take informed action, and values to effect positive change in the community.
Academic coursework and experiential learning play equally important and synergistic roles in fostering the requisite knowledge, skills, and values of civic leaders. Curricular and experiential offerings steeped in service, problem-solving, research undertaken in equal partnership with a community partner, and skills in collaboration, communication, and conflict resolution are critical components of the certificate’s approach to leadership development.
Students who successfully complete the Certificate in Civic Leadership will demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
- Integrate academic and experiential knowledge in civic contexts.
- Analyze issues through the framework of democratic values, processes, and policies.
- Address real world issues through interaction and collaboration with diverse community partners.
- Communicate with and present their work effectively to a range of audiences both within and beyond the academic community.
- Employ reflection to express their individual values and goals and be able to act on them.
- Demonstrate motivation to realizing equitable and inclusive communities.
Examples of past Capstone projects include partnering with Amigos de las Americas to develop a service ethics training for engineering students conducting international development work; creating a comprehensive place-based curriculum for a local non-profit after school program that serves students in k-5; conducting research for Houston Metro to analyze weekend ridership, and partnering with Mi Familia Vota to develop a Latino youth leadership summit for high school students.
Distinction in Research and Creative Work
High-performing students in the Certificate in Civic Leadership Capstone course are eligible to apply for University Distinction in Research and Creative Works. Each year, this award acknowledges a select number of seniors whose exceptional work in the major goes above and beyond expectation. Students who apply for Distinction should submit research or creative work that meets some of the following criteria:
- Principles of Partnership
- Community-driven work
- Significant impact
Applications for Distinction will be judged by a departmental committee.
To apply for Distinction, students must apply with a one-page letter of self-nomination summarizing their capstone project and explaining why Distinction should be considered and request a letter of support from the capstone community partner.
Applications are closed for 2023 and will be re-opened for 2024 graduates next spring. If awarded, Distinction will be noted on the student's transcript.
For questions, please contact Danika Brown, Director of Curriculum and Fellowships.