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College of Public Affairs

Certificate in Community Building Strategies

Advancing community-building skills, neighborhood revitalization and leadership. Creating positive change in the urban community.

Next round of applications available in May 2014.

Anyone wishing to expand his or her capacity to plan for and organize positive community change is welcome to apply, but preference will be given to those who are involved in (or soon plan to become involved in) a community-building or revitalization program in Baltimore and/or Maryland (whether in their personal or professional lives).

Direct inquiries to:
Dean Stephen Percy
College of Public Affairs
University of Baltimore
1420 N. Charles St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
spercy@ubalt.edu

This six-month noncredit Certificate in Community Building Strategies program provides professional learning opportunities to faith-based and community leaders in Baltimore who seek knowledge and expertise to advance their ability to create positive change in the urban community.

The certificate program has been created through a robust partnership among the University of Baltimore and the principals
of Community Churches for Community Development, a Maryland nonprofit organization that focuses on strengthening community stakeholder organizations and collaboratives.

  • Learning Objectives

    This certificate program aims to ensure that participants gain an in-depth understanding of how:
    1. public policy is made at the state and local levels and how local leaders (including faith-based leaders) can become involved in and advocate for public policy
    2. urban challenges can be documented and understood as a prerequisite to designing initiatives and programs to build communities
    3. coalitions can be built to support urban revitalization and how many types of organizations—public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic—may be available to support and/or become partners in community-building initiatives
    4. programs can be crafted to respond to identified community needs and to advance life quality
    5. neighborhood and community data can be utilized to inform advocacy, program design and community change
    6. community-building programs can be assessed to evaluate their impact and to support continuous quality improvement.
  • How the Program Works

    • You'll participate in a cohort of 12-15 aspiring leaders, all seeking to promote positive community change.
    • You'll attend a series of half-day (four-hour) learning sessions offered by teams of UB faculty and staff instructors.
    • You'll utilize a course portal (accessible via Internet) to access materials and communicate with your cohort.
    • Panels of experts—both from the University of Baltimore and from the local community—will inspire classroom discussions about urban issues.
    • You will create your own individual project to advance community change relevant to your professional life and its context.
    • The sessions will culminate in a presentation of your community-change plan to a panel of faculty and community experts.
  • Session Schedule and Content

    Session 1: Sept. 24, 2013
    Introduction to the Certificate Program
    Learning Objective: Orient participants to the purpose, structure and outcomes of the program and introduce program participants to each other.

    Session 2: Oct. 1, 2013
    Understanding the Context of State and Local Government
    Learning Objective: Understand the structures, roles, powers and relationships of and between state and local governments in Maryland to comprehend who makes policy, when it is made and how it is made.

    Session 3: Oct. 15, 2013
    Contemporary Urban Policy Issues: Education, Law Enforcement and Urban Land Use/Development
    Learning Objective: Explore and obtain a basic understanding of key urban policy issues relevant to American cities and Baltimore: education, law enforcement and urban development.

    Session 4: Oct. 22, 2013
    Contemporary Urban Policy Issues: Poverty, Race, Homelessness and Immigration

    Learning Objective: Explore and obtain a basic understanding of key urban policy issues relevant to American cities and Baltimore with a focus on poverty, race, homelessness, immigration and welfare reform.

    Session 5: Nov. 5, 2013
    Improving Lives Through Public-Health Promotion

    Learning Objective: Understand the key elements of public-health policy in urban areas—including strategies to promote the health of the public through prevention of illness.

    Session 6: Nov. 11, 2013
    Understanding the Neighborhood Context: Using the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance Data System

    Learning Objective: Utilize the BNIA system to gather and organize data to better understand and support urban neighborhoods in Baltimore.

    Session 7: Nov. 26, 2013
    Building from the Grassroots: Strategies for Engaging and Empowering Neighborhood Residents

    to Plan and Organize for Change
    Learning Objective: Learn about strategies to engage neighborhood residents and other partners to plan and organize initiatives to revitalize neighborhoods and communities.

    Session 8: Dec. 2, 2013
    Building Program Models for Change

    Learning Objective: Develop skills in crafting initiatives or programs to meet identified neighborhood needs as well as strategies for taking small programs to scale.

    Session 9: Dec. 10, 2013
    Garnering Resources to Support Community Building

    Learning Objective: Learn about sources of funding to support community building and how to prepare proposals and grants to acquire resources.

    Session 10: Jan. 7, 2014
    Strategies for Effective Advocacy and Media Relations: Making an Impact on Public-Policy Making

    and Implementation
    Learning Objective: Formulate effective (evidence-based) arguments for public policy and then use these arguments to advocate for change; understand the role of media in advocacy.

    Session 11: Jan. 14, 2014
    The Importance of Evaluation and Assessment: Understanding and Documenting Impact

    Learning Objective: Understand the basic elements of assessment to create evidence-based systems to measure outcomes.

    Recess: Jan. 15-March 3, 2014
    Students work on and complete their own community-building project plans.

    Sessions 12, 13 and 14: March 4, 11 and 25
    Presentation of Project Plans
    Students make PowerPoint presentations highlighting key elements of their projects. A panel of University and
    community representatives will provide feedback—positive and critical—to offer ideas that might strengthen projects and their likelihood for success.
  • Program Costs

    Cost: $1,500
    Apply now and save: The University of Baltimore Foundation will provide a $650 scholarship to participants in the first cohort, reducing the cost to $850.

    Payments can be made in two segments: Oct. 1, 2013, and Jan. 15, 2014. Participants will be billed for these two installments, and payments are due within 30 days of the billing date.
  • Faculty

    Faculty and staff from the University of Baltimore will join community presenters as instructors in the program.
    UB faculty include:
    • William Cole, associate vice president, Office Institutional Advancement; councilman, District 11, Baltimore city
    • Lenneal Henderson, distinguished professor, School of Public and International Affairs
    • Seema Iyer, associate director, Jacob France Institute
    • Elizabeth Keyes, assistant professor, School of Law; director, Immigrant Rights Clinic
    • Stephen Percy, dean and professor, College of Public Affairs
    • Christine Spencer, associate professor, schools of Health and Human Services and Public and International Affairs
    • Deborah Stanley, professor, School of Criminal Justice
    • Anita Thomas, vice president, Office of Government and Community Relations
    • Marguerite Weber, director of academic initiatives, Office of the Provost
    • John Willis, executive in residence, School of Public and International Affairs
    • Laura Wilson Gentry, associate dean and professor, College of Public Affairs