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Institutionalizing Engagement

Demonstrating the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments to advocate for and garner support for civic and community engagement as an institutional priority in your context

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

Key competencies

  1. Ability to advocate for community engagement and communicate its value, vision, goals, and alignment with institutional mission and purpose in your context.
  2. Ability to leverage resources to advocate for community engagement as an institutional priority.
  3. Ability to advocate for the development of policies that support community engagement and position it as an institutional priority.
  4. Ability to conceive of and implement institutional structures to support engagement.
  5. Ability to collect and report data (qualitative and quantitative) to strengthen institutional support.
  6. Ability to cultivate a critical mass of supporters to act as champions for engagement 
  7. Knowledge of institutional and program evaluation mechanisms and tools that can be used or leveraged to advance community and civic engagement within the institution
  8. Knowledge of benchmarks or artifacts of institutionalization
  9. Knowledge of potential funders, grant seeking
  10. Ability to plan for both short and long term goals (e.g, an action plan, master calendar, 5-10 year strategic plan)
  11. Ability to comprehend and identify the strengths and assets of the institution in promoting positive social change (e.g., able to make a convincing case for building on past successes for expanding institutional support and resources for engagement).
  12. Ability to navigate the institution’s political environment and hierarchy, adapting to leadership changes as needed, to generate support for an engagement agenda in a context of multiple priorities and limited resources
  13. Ability to identify, work within, and challenge contradictions in practice (e.g., between the public purposes of higher education and institutional practices that undermine efforts to advance community engagement) 
  14. Ability to advocate for and respect community partners’ active role in institutionalization efforts and incorporate community partner’s participation in institutional work
  15. Ability to tell compelling stories of institutional success in community engagement and institutionalization of community engagement.
  16. Ability to connect civic and community engagement work with diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it relates to the recruitment, retention, and success of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff
  17. Ability to build bridges with faculty to position community engagement as core academic work at the institution.
  18. Ability to give voice to students to shape community engagement efforts and provide testimony of its impacts.
  19. Critical commitment to participating in continued professional development to enhance competency to guide institutionalization efforts

Submission requirements

  1. Contact information
  2. Self-diagnostic of competencies in institutionalizing engagement: 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. 
  3. Curriculum vitae/resumé: Upload a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  4. Brief description of professional development experiences in institutionalizing engagement: Briefly list professional learning opportunities (formal and informal) in which you have participated over the last 3 years that are relevant to the core competency area.
  5. Personal Reflection on structural and cultural changes that have aided institutionalization at your institution: Describe what structural changes and changes in beliefs and cultural practices have helped advance institutionalization of civic and community engagement at your institution, and what challenges still remain.
  6. Upload of artifacts: Upload and annotate materials that you feel illustrate your experiences and competency in institutionalizing engagement (e.g., assessments, strategic planning documents, policy documents, event or program descriptions, etc.)
  7. Self-Assessment of personal strengths and areas for growth & action plan: Briefly describe what they feel are your greatest strengths, or competencies, in leading change to institutionalize engagement as well as where you feel there is 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 the competencies for this area.


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

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