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What is a credential in community engagement?

A credential is a digital certification that recognizes and validates an individual’s competency in a specific area of higher education community engagement practice.

How do I demonstrate competency to earn a credential?

Campus Compact’s Community Engagement Professional Credentialing Program defines “competency” as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by community engagement professionals to advance higher education community and civic engagement in a manner characterized by equity and integrity. Each credential requires earners to demonstrate their proficiency in a set of key competencies that were identified and developed by two Community Engagement Professional Credential advisory boards and draw significantly from the research of Lina Dostilio and colleagues (20172019) on an emerging competency model for community engagement professionals. While specific submission requirements will vary by core competency area, applications will be framed around the following questions:

  • Knowledge and ethics: What knowledge have you brought to bear in undertaking work in this area? What ethical and critical commitments inform your work?
  • Experience: What experience(s) have you had and what roles have you played in advancing work in this area? For example, how have you developed goals, organized projects, or carried out activities? What evidence can you provide to illustrate this work?
  • Critical self-reflection: What have you learned from your experiences in this area? What successes and challenges did you experience? What dilemmas or tensions may have arisen or could you identify (around questions of equity and inclusion, for example), and what process or strategies did you pursue to work toward their resolution?
  • Personal growth and ongoing professional development: What might you identify as opportunities for personal growth as a community engagement professional in this particular area? What resources or strategies do you believe would serve to advance your learning and competence in this area?

The application process

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Completing your application

Start your application online. You can access the application portal by clicking the “begin your application” button on any specific credential page (see "Available Credentials" section below). The application system will help you track your progress, understand requirements, and plan for submission. 

When you open the application, you will be asked to identify which credential you wish to pursue and to provide some basic demographic and personal information. You will start the application by completing a diagnostic self-assessment that will help gauge how prepared you are for the submission. Based on the self-assessment, you may choose to take time to enhance your knowledge and skills through specified trainings or by working through a recommended reading list. Or, if you are prepared to apply, you can read and complete an agreement form acknowledging that you intend to earn the credential, pay the application fee, and begin to submit materials.

Go to: Essential Credentials application
Go to: Equity & Inclusion Credential application
Go to: Elective Credentials application

Submission requirements

Submission requirements vary by core competency area; details for each credential may be found on the application form as well as on the specific credential webpage.

Review process

Once you submit all requirements for the application, your materials will be reviewed by a panel of trained peer reviewers. These reviewers will utilize established rubrics to recommend whether or not you have demonstrated sufficient competency to earn the credential.

Receiving your credential (or trying again)

If your application is successful, you will receive a corresponding digital badge to be used on your LinkedIn profile, CV, or professional website. This way, you can publicly display your areas of expertise. If your application is not successful, you may continue to improve your knowledge in this area and apply again.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are there professional development opportunities to help me prepare to earn a credential?

Campus Compact offers information about professional development opportunities that are aligned with the current core competency credential offerings.  While these opportunities are optional, they can play an important role in helping you prepare your credential application(s). While opportunities are limited at this early stage, they will be added on a rolling basis, so please check back regularly for additional offerings.

How much does it cost to earn a credential?

Each core competency credential application requires a $60 application fee. The fee helps Campus Compact cover a small portion of the software, licensing, and administrative costs it incurs as an independent credentialer.

How do I apply to earn a credential?

Click on one of the credential icons in the "Available Credentials" section to learn more about the competency area and submission requirements and to begin your application.

How do I become fully certified as a Campus Compact Community Engagement Professional?

To apply for full certification, a candidate must earn the three essential core competency credentials (Community Engagement FundamentalsCommunity Partnerships, Equity & Inclusion) as well as earn two additional credentials in areas of their choice (i.e., two among the remaining available credentials).

Get all the details

Still have questions? See our program handbook for more comprehensive details about the program and how it operates.