CCL Certificate

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.

The Center for Civic Leadership is currently accepting abstracts from students interested in earning a Certificate in Civic Leadership. Students interested in creating opportunities for community change, initiating projects, and thinking critically about systemic issues facing Houston and beyond, should consider this program.

The Certificate in Civic Leadership combines the Center for Civic Leadership’s experiential programs with academic coursework to provide students with the foundation to exercise leadership in a variety or roles. The Capstone is the final requirement of the Certificate and requires students to design and implement a project in collaboration with a community partner organization.

During Fall 2016 students will enroll in a three-credit course to conduct research, identify stakeholders, name and frame the issue, and develop a project proposal. In Spring 2017 (or Summer 2017 for non-graduating seniors), students will implement their projects. Capstone projects are high-level, independent or small team-based, foster critical thinking, and build the capacity of the organization. Research, service, advocacy, and or policy projects are all welcome.

Examples of past 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 submit an application form and upload a one-page letter of self-nomination summarizing their capstone project and explaining why Distinction should be considered and a letter of support from the capstone community partner.

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on April 20, 2022. If awarded, Distinction will be noted on the student's transcript.

For questions, please contact Danika Brown, Director of Curriculum and Fellowships. 

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Phone: 713-348-2223
Fax: 713-348-5885



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Center for Civic Leadership
Rice Memorial Center, Room 208
6100 Main St. Houston, TX 77005