The Graduate Certificate in Youth and Community Development is an advanced course of professional development for leaders in informal learning environments and the out-of-school time sector. It is based on theoretical perspectives in childhood, adolescent, and family development and organizational change, and grounded in an ethic of community engagement and social action.
Engaging youth in prosocial activity has long been a priority, as schools and neighborhoods create overlapping systems of support to encourage healthy youth and out-of-school time programs, is of increasing interest as a successful way to build assets and to maximize youth potential. This program joins the larger movement to elevate and professionalize the field of youth development, and encourages thriving communities by building capacity in youth-serving settings.
The Graduate Certificate in Youth and Community Development is rooted in community psychology and the prevention sciences to provide a foundation for studying setting-level interventions and developmental needs. This program invites students to critically examine root causes and how individuals and organizations can address social inequalities. Students will study organizational change to develop understandings and competencies in transformational leadership to promote human flourishing.
This graduate certificate program prepares those engaged in youth work and related fields to assume greater program and leadership responsibilities in youth-serving settings. Graduates may pursue careers in out-of-school organizations, social and human services, community service and youth activism programs, dropout prevention and alternative education, and juvenile justice. Students may also assume leadership positions in informal learning environments such as museums, nature centers and environmental education programs, and in outdoor and adventure programs.
- A bachelor’s degree in youth development or a related field.
- A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) in the last two years of undergraduate studies. Conditional Admission may be granted if a GPA in the last two years of undergraduate studies is under 3.0. Conditional Admission will be converted to a regular admission if a B or better is earned in the first graduate course taken.
- Submit a resume that includes work, volunteer, practicum, and internship experience.
- A statement that describes how experience(s) have influenced career goals and a desire to pursue a certificate degree, and how earning a Graduate Certificate in Youth and Community Development will advance these career goals.
- Recommendations from three persons able to comment on the applicant’s potential to success in the graduate certificate program.