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

Fall 2019 Workshops and Events 

Engaged Learning Forum

Community-University Partnerships: Fostering Knowledge for Social Change

September 19 - 20, 2019 — Times TBA

Dr. Ira Harkavy, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Harkavy is Associate Vice President at the University of Pennsylvania, and Founding Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. He has helped to develop academically based community service courses and participatory action research projects that involve creating university-community partnerships and university-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia. Harkavy teaches in history, urban studies, and Africana studies, as well as in the Graduate School of Education. Dr. Harkavy has written and lectured widely on the history and current practice of urban university-community-school partnerships and the democratic and civic missions of higher education. He has co-authored and co-edited eight books. Harkavy is the US Chair of the International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy; Chair of the Anchor Institutions Task Force; founder and member of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND) Steering Committee; and a member of the Harvard College National Advisory Board for Public Service. Among other honors, Harkavy is the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Award of Merit, Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning, the Ernest L. Boyer Award, a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant, and honorary degrees. Recently he co-authored  Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century.

Dr. Harkavy will spend two days on campus meeting with faculty, graduate students and others to discuss public scholarship and higher education. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Social Concerns. See this site for further details, to be announced. 

Engaged Learning Forum

Civic and Political Engagement and Higher Education

November 6 - 8, 2019 — Times TBA

Dr. Nancy Thomas, Tufts University

Dr. Nancy Thomas directs the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. IDHE is an applied research center that studies higher education’s role in American democracy and supports college and university student political learning and participation. The Institute's signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) examines student voting rates, patterns, and conditions. Through NSLVE, nearly 1,200 U.S. colleges and universities (including Notre Dame) receive tailored reports containing their students’ aggregate voting rates following each federal election. Dr. Thomas' work and scholarship include college student civic learning and participation in democracy, campus climates for political engagement, deliberative democracy, political equity and inclusion, campus free speech, and academic freedom. She holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a law degree from Case Western Research University’s School of Law. She is an associate editor at the Journal of Public Deliberation, a senior associate with Everyday Democracy, and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. Thomas currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Public Deliberation and is a senior associate with Everyday Democracy. 

Beginning the day after the Fall 2019 election, Dr. Thomas will spend two days on campus meeting with faculty, graduate students, and others to discuss the intersection of civic/political engagement and higher education. See this site for further details, to be announced. 

Ethical Development and Life in/beyond Higher Education

Fall 2019

Dr. Darcia Narvaez, Department of Psychology

Dr. Narvaez is a leading national scholar who applies her insights about ethical development in multiple contexts. She will offer a session this fall for graduate students of all disciplines, one that will surely be forward looking and thought provoking. Details to be announced. 

Other events for Fall 2019 are in development. Contact Jay Brandenberger for more information or suggestions. 


Spring 2019 Workshops and Events

2019 RCR/Ethics Workshop (Graduate School)

Monday, January 14, 2019, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. DeBartolo Hall
The Graduate School’s Ethics and RCR workshop engages graduate students in STEM and quantitative Social Sciences with real world ethical dilemmas and practical advice, and offers them the opportunity to hold more theoretical discussions about the nature of ethical and socially conscious research. The workshop is comprised of wide-ranging sessions covering such topics as Data Management, Conflicts of Interest, Collaboration and Mentoring, Diversity and Inclusion, Animal and Human Subjects, and Integrity in Academic Publishing, along with the larger social significance of research. This day-long workshop explores the intersections between our personal, professional, and public obligations, and how to respond to possible ethics violations in your workplace. Counts for Center's Graduate Certificate. Pre-registration for this event is required and fills early. Lunch will be provided for all registrants. Register via

2019 Social Concerns Fair 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Students, graduate students, and faculty who want to find their path to service and civic engagement in South Bend are encouraged to encounter the more than 50 local organizations who will invite you into their work. Meet local social service organizations who can tell you about volunteering and community-engaged learning/research opportunities, governmental and nonprofit agencies who will share employment and internship opportunities, and arts/entertainment organizations who will help you celebrate South Bend. No registration is required. 

Ethics, Engagement, and Higher Education

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 3:30–5:00 p.m., Geddes Hall

Allan Loup, assistant program director of Ethics, Graduate School and Jay Brandenberger, director of research, Center for Social Concerns and director of Academic Community Engagement, will discuss how the ethics of professional practice (found in disciplinary codes, for example) and the ethics of engagement intersect. How can graduate students and faculty foster integrated ethical practice and engagement, and to what ends? How can research be an ethical force for social impact? How do we collaboratively foster data integrity, shared access, and appropriate reporting? When research is a social good, what are the best means to insure both the protection of human subjects and community benefits? This workshop will examine such questions in a participatory manner. Open to graduate students of all disciplines. Graduate students register through GradConnect. Faculty, staff, undergraduates, and partners may contact Patrena Kedik to register or for more information.

Engaged Learning Forum 

Unpacking Impact - Traditional and new areas for assessing the results of campus-community engagement  

March 28, 2019, 12:30–1:45 p.m., Geddes Hall, Coffee House

Anne Weiss, Indiana Campus Compact

National community engagement expert Anne Weiss, Director of Assessment at Indiana Campus Compact, consults nationally on tracking, monitoring, assessing, and evaluating campus-community engagement. Weiss helps faculty, administrators, and community partners think strategically about data collection, analysis, and the use of (new) information for planning and improvement.

Weiss argues that measuring and drafting "impact statements" is an essential practice of documenting campus-community engagement for program officers and grantees, but also for faculty who seek to use this work as part of their promotion and tenure dossier. Good impact measurement practices can inform how individuals talk about and improve their work, but they can also improve how an organization functions—driving efficiencies and growing the organization—and help us get to statements about the impact this work has with the community. Through this public forum our speaker will introduce areas of impact that are rich with evidence and examples (e.g., students’ civic learning outcomes) as well as other areas of impact that are ripe for more assessments (e.g., community impact). Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of all the areas of impact available within campus-community engagement and how faculty may document such work for recognition during promotion and tenure activities. Register through the Center for Social Concerns: 

Engaged Scholarship Celebration

May 3, 2019
We will recognize those completing the Graduate Certificate in early May. Deadline for completion of final integration elements is May 1, 2019. Work with Jay Brandenberger to finalize requirements.

Community Engagement Faculty Institute 

June 4–6, 2019

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. [applications closed February 1, 2019]


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Upcoming Events

August 2019

Meet me at the CSC
Monday, August 26, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm

September 2019

Application Open: ISSLP 2020
Monday, September 16, 2019 (All day)
Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 8:00pm
Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Monday, September 23, 2019 - 7:00pm

October 2019

Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 7:00pm
Postgraduate Service & Social Impact Fair
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 7:00pm
Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 7:00pm
Information Session: ISSLP 2020
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 8:00pm

November 2019

Application Close: ISSLP 2020
Sunday, November 3, 2019 (All day)
ISSLP Interview Day
Sunday, November 17, 2019 (All day)