Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Certificate in Civic Leadership

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 new settings and be able to identify, frame, and analyze issues.
  • 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.
  • Identify and express their individual values and goals and be able to act on them.
  • Demonstrate motivation to make a positive impact on society.

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.

Proposal Abstracts should be no more than 2 pages double spaced and address the following: 

  • Define the civic issue that you wish to address and where. Outline the scope of the issue, the impact on the community, and the populations affected. Cite current events, sources and/or statistical evidence most relevant to your understanding of the current state of the issue. Name the potential Houston community partner(s) that stands to benefit from your work on this issue.
  • Explain how the partner(s) mission and/or vision fit with your interests. If you have been in touch with a partner already, provide details of their investment and interest in your project. Explain how you became aware of the issue and why it is important to you.
  • Describe the academic coursework and experiential learning programs that have prepared you to undertake this project. Highlight the relevant social issue and leadership electives that you have taken.
  • Describe how this particular project will benefit your personal and professional growth.
  • Provide the name of the Rice faculty member who has agreed to serve as your capstone advisor, and explain why you chose this individual for your project.
  • Discuss how you will balance completion of the capstone with academic and co-curricular commitments in 2016-2017

Submit your abstract proposal now through the application link and get feedback for revisions before the deadline on April 29th. For more information on the Certificate in Civic Leadership and the Capstone visit  http://.cce.rice.edu/Certificate.

Students interested in the Capstone project or checking eligibility for 2016-2017 should contact the Center for Civic Leadership, ccl@rice.edu