Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship

The Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship (CEPS) offers graduate and professional students opportunities to learn about academic community engagement in higher education, explore the pedagogy of community-based learning, envision discipline-specific community-based research, have an impact on communities near and far, and enhance career placement potential. Contact Jay Brandenberger to develop a learning pathway to attain the certificate.

A variety of Center for Social Concerns events count toward the graduate certificate.

See the Events Calendar and sign up for the weekly newsletter, Communiqué

See also this overview of all graduate student opportunities via the Center. 


Spring 2020 Workshops and Events 


Engaged Learning Forum: CBL from the Inside Out

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 12:00–1:30 p.m. | Geddes Hall, Coffee House

Pam Butler, Michael Hebbeler, Kyle Lantz, and Susan Sharpe, University of Notre Dame

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program facilitates education and dialogue across profound social differences. Led by trained faculty across the U.S. and beyond, Inside-Out courses bring traditional college students and incarcerated students together in jails and prisons for semester-long learning. Through the Center for Social Concerns, Notre Dame has offered Inside-Out courses for nine years.

This Engaged Learning Forum will begin by introducing the Inside-Out model as an example of truly engaged learning. Then, we invite participants to consider other areas of profound social difference where pedagogies focused on connection, mutuality, and justice might expand the possibilities for what community-based learning can be and do.

Space is limited. Registration is required and open to faculty, staff, and graduate students. Please RSVP by using the registration form below. 



Ethical Development and Life in/beyond Higher Education

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | 3:30–5:00 p.m. | Geddes Hall, Room 208

Dr. Darcia Narvaez, Department of Psychology

Dr. Narvaez is a leading national scholar who applies her insights about personal and social development in multiple contexts, including the public square. Her work focuses on a cross-section of ethical topics, including well-being, ecological wisdom, imagination, and human flourishing. This is a special session for graduate students (of all disciplines), one that will surely be forward looking and thought provoking. Please register through GradConnect by March 2, 2020. For more information contact Jay Brandenberger at or Patrena Kedik at


CANCELED: Engaged Learning Forum - "Spanish CBL @ Ten!"

Dr. Rachel Parroquín and Elena Mangione-Lora, Teaching Professors, Romance Languages and Literatures; Amber Grimmer and Cynthia Trujillo, and Center for Social Concerns student researchers.

Please join us for breakfast and presentations with other engaged scholars.

Spanish Community-Based Learning is in its tenth year. Hear how the cohort of six faculty have worked with three key community partners to develop deep learning opportunities for students and help create positive impact in the community. Parroquín will give a brief overview of the decade’s work. Mangione-Lora will discuss the newest Spanish CBL course, an introduction to translation and interpretation with a community translation focus, now in its third iteration. Grimmer and Trujillo will present on community impact research being conducted that gives voice to the community partners’ perspectives on our work. 

Due to limited space, registration is required. Please RSVP by March 5, 2020.  Graduate students register through GradConnect. This event is eligible for credit for the Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship (CEPS).

ABOUT THE ENGAGED LEARNING FORUM SERIES: The Engaged Learning Forum series aims to advance the Center for Social Concerns's approach to practicing Catholic social teaching through community-engaged research, teaching, and learning. See the whole series at

APPLY FOR A COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANT: Community Impact Grants support community-engaged teaching, research, and learning through innovative courses, projects, and events that are mutually beneficial to community and University partners. Learn more about how to apply online.



Rescheduled > Community Engagement and Higher Education: History, Contexts, and Future

Jay Brandenberger, Ph.D., Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame

Colleges and universities increasingly advocate community engagement as a means to apply learning, serve community interests, and enhance relevance. Explore the history of such engagement, current paradigms, and future potentials. Especially relevant for graduate students hoping to integrate disciplinary interests with social concerns. This is a required session for the Graduate Certificate. For questions, contact Jay Brandenberger at or Patrena Kedik at

Rescheduled for April 21, 2020, 4:00 to 5:15 pm by Zoom. Register by April 20 via GradConnect. If you had enrolled for the previous date (March 27), no need to register again. Zoom link to be sent by email. 


CANCELED: Engaged Learning Forum - "Words and Actions: Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice"

Dr. Cassie Glynn,  Program Director, Master of Education in World Language Instruction, Concordia College

Please join us for breakfast and discussion with Dr. Cassandra Glynn, author of Words and Actions. Co-sponsors include the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. 

The concept of “Rooted and Open” within the mission of a faith-based institution asks us to embrace our personal beliefs and identities while also asking us to decenter Christian privilege and develop interfaith literacy. Being rooted and open extends well beyond faith and religious ideologies and can lay the groundwork for teaching for social justice, but arguably requires us to consider teaching, even in higher education, as a vocation –– a call to serve others. In viewing teaching as a vocation, our roles shift from delivering content to providing spaces for students to explore and embrace their own and others’ identities and to develop agency both in and outside of the classroom. This shift is a key component in teaching for social justice and supporting colleagues and students to think critically about content and practices and to act in the face of injustice. We will discuss the importance of laying a foundation for social justice education and building on this foundation with several theories and frameworks in order to effectively integrate social justice into teaching and learning.

Due to limited space, registration is required by April 9, 2020. Graduate students register through GradConnect. This event is eligible for credit for the Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship (CEPS).

Community Engagement Faculty Institute 

Canceled for 2020

The Center’s Faculty Institute is a focused exploration of community engagement. Spots are open to graduate students; participation covers/includes many elements of the Graduate Certificate. Apply here. Applications close February 14, 2020.


Other graduate-student events for 2020 are in development.

Contact Jay Brandenberger for more information or suggestions. 


Overview of all Graduate Student Opportunities via the Center for Social Concerns





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Upcoming Events

August 2020

Application Deadline | Fall 2020 Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 (All day)