Community Engagement

This is an archived version of the catalog. You can find the current catalog version here.


Wyllie D174A • 262-595-2312

Program Offered:
Certificate - Community Engagement

Program Overview

UW-Parkside’s certificate in community engagement (formerly called community-based learning) integrates the needs and resources of our communities into the classroom to fulfill clearly articulated learning objectives. The certificate complements all majors and prepares students to be effective leaders and citizens in their communities. Students work with community partner organizations to help address environmental, social, health, economic, and cultural issues through community engagement projects and placements. Approaches to addressing societal changes include capacity building of existing community organizations, developing strategies to effect political policy changes, and the implementation of communication campaigns. Central to all community engagement courses is the transformative act of reflection.

Community engagement classes are formatted to focus on projects, presentations, and/or placement of students, to fulfill the needs of organizations in Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, and Northern Illinois. In the past, students have helped to create phone apps for public buses, community gardens to provide fresh produce to local food banks, worked with organizations to build homes, tutor school children, and maintain public waterways and eco-systems, and conceptualized and implemented multi-faceted communication campaigns. Some community engagement classes provide support in research (surveys, focus groups), marketing and public relations, and the design of databases, computer apps, and digital artifacts.

Community-engaged learning experiences strengthen students’ ability to contribute meaningfully to their communities, enhance their professional preparation, and provide relevance to course work. Community-engaged classes are designed to help students:

  1. Become involved in civic affairs by:
    *Recognizing community issues that exist locally or globally
    *Realizing their commitment to learning about and solving those issues
    *Acquiring the skills and knowledge to take action effectively
    *Becoming actively engaged.

  2. Participate effectively in dialogue around community issues;

  3. Maximize their learning of concepts presented in the classroom in both major and general education courses;

  4. Understand how knowledge gained in the classroom can be applied to solving practical problems in both the workplace and in the larger community;

  5. Develop skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and public speaking making presentations, both inside and outside of the classroom;

  6. Gain experience in working with diverse groups;

  7. Make relevant professional contacts in the community;

Requirements for Admission to the Community Engagement Certificate

Complete a plan declaration form available online or in the Academic Advising Center. Declarations will be reviewed and approved by the faculty director or the community engagement coordinator.

Requirements for the Community Engagement Certificate (13 credits)

The certificate requirements include two required courses and three elective courses (at least one three-credit elective at the 300-400 level) that offer community engagement credit.

  1. Required Introductory Course (3 credits)
    CBL 101 Introduction to Community Engagement 3 cr
  2. Elective Courses (9 credits)
    Three additional courses that offer a community engagement project or placement:
    1. Courses designated in the course schedule as community engagement courses (other than CBL 101 and 495);
    2. Students interested in completing a community project or placement may incorporate the experience into a course with the permission of the instructor and approval by the community engagement coordinator or faculty director and have it count toward the certificate in community engagement
    3. Internships may be used for community engagement credit and should conform to UW-Parkside policies and procedures for internships (see the Policies section of this catalog).
  3. Required Capstone Course (3 credits)
    CBL 495 Capstone in Community Engagement* 1 cr
    *Note: Another 495 capstone course may be used to fulfill this requirement with approval from the faculty director or community engagement coordinator.

Courses in Community Engagement (CBL)

101  Introduction to Community Engagement  3 cr

Prereq: None. Freq: Fall, Spring.
Introduction to community engagement concepts, theories, and practices. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and understanding complex community issues in local, global, interpersonal, and institutional contexts. Students complete 15 hours of exploratory service learning with a community organization. Core requirements for the Community Engagement Certificate; minimum “C” required for certificate.

290 Special Topics in Community Engagement 1-3 cr

Prereq: None. Freq: Occasionally.
Selected topics in community based learning will be examined.

390 Special Topics in Community Engagement 1-3 cr

Prereq: None. Freq: Occasionally.
Selected topics in community based learning will be examined.

495 Capstone in Community Engagement 1 cr

Prereq: CBL 101 or consent of instructor. Freq: Fall, Spring.
Capstone course involving the production of a reflective electronic portfolio and digital story. May be integrated into the capstone course for student’s major, with approval of faculty director or coordinator of Community Engagement, and the department chair of student’s major.

499 Independent Study in Community Engagement 1-4 cr

Prereq: Consent of instructor and department chair. Freq: Occasionally.

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