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Community-Engaged Learning & Teaching

Demonstrating an ability to effectively facilitate curricular community-engaged learning experiences that are beneficial to students and community. 

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Follow the link to start a credential application. Read more about key competencies & specific application requirements below.

Key competencies

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Knowledge essentials
  1. Ability to explain key definitions, historical and theoretical bases, components, and potential outcomes or impacts of service-learning
  2. Ability to articulate key components of a community-engaged learning course and key elements of a service-learning syllabus
  3. Knowledge of frameworks for understanding dynamics of power, privilege, identity, and difference as they arise in community engagement experiences 
Partnership essentials
  1. Ability to incorporate the principles of partnership (grounded in collaborative relationships and shared activity characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation) into project design and demonstrate how such principles are applied in the development of service-learning curriculum and pedagogy as well as project implementation and evaluation.  
  2. Ability to demonstrate an asset-based approach to working with communities in a service-learning partnership
  3. Knowledge of the history, strengths, and assets of the community as well as the agendas, desires, and goals of the community constituents with whom one partners
  4. Ability to develop an MOU or other mutual agreement between the higher education institution, the faculty member(s), students, and community partners that identifies and articulates the purposes, mutual responsibilities, and intended outcomes of the service-learning partnership
  5. Ability to integrate community partners as co-educators of students, allowing their expertise to inform course content, assignments, and other aspects of student’s community-engaged learning experiences
  6. Ability to introduce and frame community challenges and assets for students while involving community representatives in the process
  7. Ability to exercise ongoing communication (before, during, and after the project) with community partners and demonstrate accountability to their desire, priorities, and outcomes
  8. In cases of working with vulnerable populations, ability to articulate and implement an effective transition plan that prepares them for students’ impending exit from the community-engaged learning experience
  9. Ability to identify and mobilize strategies and resources to sustain service-learning partnerships over time.
Course development and facilitation essentials
  1. Ability to utilize participatory pedagogies that allow students to provide input about the directions of the program and facilitate their learning from one another 
  2. Ability to develop and explicitly name competencies, learning objectives, and learning outcomes/goals for students that are thoughtfully tied to community engagement experiences
  3. Ability to develop and apply strategies of reflection and critical thinking with students–before, during, and after their community experiences–that support them in tapping their community engagement experiences to generate and/or enhance academic and civic learning
  4. Ability to foster mutually-supportive relations among students engaged in the experience 
  5. Ability to effectively facilitate reflection and capacity-building for students surrounding dynamics of power, privilege, identity, and difference as they arise in community engagement experiences
  6. Ability to support students to navigate conflicts or challenges that arise in the course of a community engaged learning experience (e.g., with partners or peers; inside or outside the classroom) 
  7. Ability to demonstrate effective strategies for developing and maintaining culturally-sensitive approaches and practices throughout the development and implementation of a community-engaged learning experience
  8. Ability to provide students with: 
    • A description of the nature of the service-learning project and the community-identified desire or challenge the project meets
    • Clear expectations about the time and locations in which students are expected to serve
    • Clarity about their roles and responsibilities in the service-learning project
    • A description of course assignments that clearly link the community-engaged experience with the course content and learning goals
    • A description of how students will be expected to demonstrate the academic and civic learning they developed through their community-engaged experiences
  9. Ability to develop strategies and practices of public dissemination of project outcomes that include students and community partners in the process.  
Assessment and evaluation
  1. Ability to develop assessments and document evaluation findings in order to identify and improve course effectiveness, student learning, and community-desired outcomes (Note: broader assessments could also include those related to institutional change, community development, partnership quality, etc.)
Critical commitments
  1. Willingness to reflect on and critique one’s own professional expertise, personal growth, and skills for fostering change and transformation as an practitioner (in relation to students, community, and one’s own institution) 

Submission requirements

  1. Self-diagnostic of competencies in community-engaged learning and teaching: At the beginning of the application process, individuals will be expected to complete a self-assessment in which they reflect on their own knowledge, skills, and aptitudes related to the key competencies in the credential's subject area. The self-evaluation is designed to help applicants decide whether they are ready to continue through the application process or whether they will want to pursue additional training, professional development opportunities, or practical experiences before continuing. 
  2. Description of institutional context and role: Briefly describe the institutional contexts in which you work and what your role is as related to community engagement programming and to community-engaged learning & teaching, specifically.
  3. Curriculum vitae/resumé: Upload a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  4. Brief description of professional development experiences in community-engaged learning & teaching: Briefly list professional learning opportunities in which you have participated over the last 3 years that are relevant to the core competency area.
  5. Required annotated artifacts:  Upload and annotate the following materials:
    1. Syllabus (or syllabi) from course(s) you have taught
    2. Student reflective assignment linking community experience and course content
    3. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other mutual agreement
    4. Product created in collaboration with community partner(s)
  6. Additional annotated resources: You are encouraged to share other materials that you feel illustrate your competencies and experiences facilitating community-engaged learning and teaching (E.g., student surveys or reflections on what worked well or could be improved; reflections or letter of support from community collaborator or senior-level colleague; relevant publications or conference presentations; program review reports; or the like).
  7. Self-Assessment of areas of personal strength/growth & action plan: Briefly describe what you feel are your greatest strengths, or competencies, in community-engaged learning and teaching as well as where you feel there is a need for personal or professional growth. Follow this by sharing a brief personal action plan to outline your trajectory of future professional learning related to community-engaged learning and teaching.


Applicants must demonstrate having earned, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution of higher education.

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