Lead with a public purpose. Participating in our community-engaged leadership programs will challenge you to bring about the world you wish to see — now and throughout your life.
You’ll build on your interests and apply your experiences (from courses to extracurricular activities) to our program to develop the skills you need to be a community-engaged leader. We believe, and our community-engaged leadership programs reflect:
- Leadership is a group process and collective attribute;
- Leaders build the capacity of groups, and strengthen agency and self-determination of communities;
- Leaders cultivate new leadership; and
- Leaders are lifelong learners, and critical reflection is a key to lifelong learning.
You’ll strengthen professional, academic and civic skills while you learn how to:
- Model collective leadership within your groups
- Practice mentorship-based critical reflection, including identifying and building a mentorship family
- Verify that your impact matches your intent in your community and leadership activities
- Practice empathy and cultural awareness when working with others
- Clarify your purpose, critically reflecting on what the world needs from you
- Improve your public speaking, writing and dialogue skills
- Build and develop partnerships to further the public good
Both the individual and group community-engaged leadership programs culminate in a certificate. Each integrates community-engaged learning, leadership education and critical reflection. The individual and group certificates are not mutually exclusive, but rather individuals and groups can apply their activities to each program at the same time.
Groups that participate will gain stronger alignment between their mission or purpose and their day-to-day activities, coaching and mentoring by Einhorn Center staff, promotion on the Einhorn Center website and social media, group funding and more.
Groups that have earned the certificate:
- Black Students United – 2019
- Dyson Students of Color Coalition – 2019
- Early College Awareness – 2020, 2021
- The Ecology House – 2019
- Ethiopian-Eritrean Student Association – 2021
- Les Femmes de Substance– 2019, 2020, 2021
- H/EOP Ambassadors – 2020, 2021
- Ithaca Tenants Union Housing Hotline – 2021
- Phi Delta Epsilon – 2020
- Scholars in Our Society and Africa (SOSA) – 2020
Structure and Time Commitment
Groups have a full academic or calendar year to complete the program. It is possible to earn the award in one summer break or winter break + spring semester if your group already has a community partner and is committed to attending leadership workshops on a quicker timeline.
Typically, in the first semester, leadership team and active members participate in workshops and dialogues and confirm one off-campus community partner. Throughout the second semester, group members take on a project with their partner and practice critical reflection.
- At least one member of leadership team commits to participating in and completing our individual Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership
- At least 25% of leadership team AND 25% of active members attend Foundations of Community-Engaged Learning (8 hours) (first semester).
- At least 50% of leadership team participate in a 3-hour leadership dialogue (end of first semester or start of second).
- Three coaching sessions each year, including end-of-year succession planning conversation with incoming team
- At least 50% of active members complete 20 hours each (second semester)
- After every 10 hours of community engagement, your group’s Critical Reflection Facilitator – identified by you and trained and supported by Einhorn Center staff – facilitates reflection based on the “What? So what (Why)? Now what?” model with at least 75% of members who complete community engagement activities.
- Your designated facilitator attends one meeting per semester. Once a semester, Einhorn Center staff will observe critical reflection to offer helpful feedback.
To get started, register for and attend the Orientation to Group Certificate, offered 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Wednesday, Dec. 8 during the 2021 fall semester. Before attending, speak with one or two other members of your leadership team, and consider who will serve as the core team and if there is a group or subgroup within your organization that might participate in the program. Your core team will include:
- One person to commit to participating in and completing individual program
- Two liaisons to our office (to hold three coaching sessions)
- One Critical Reflection Facilitator
(Even before formally participating, you and your group members are encouraged to participate in our Foundations of Community-Engaged Learning.)
Any group of at least three students, with at least one undergraduate, can participate in the group program.
Groups are eligible to apply for $1,000 for their group project after taking action and holding their first critical reflection, typically in the second semester and after meeting all leadership education requirements.
After successfully earning the group certificate, a group has the opportunity to re-certify each year. By re-certifying, the group maintains a connection to the Einhorn Center, receives specialized training on topics by request, engages in dialogue with leadership from other groups that have earned this distinction and can apply for up $1,000 annually.
Through the 2-stage individual program, you will build on your community-engaged learning and leadership activities from across campus.
Structure and Time Commitment
Earning the certificate takes approximately one year, depending on when you plan to complete your community-engaged leadership project. Before you apply to the program, you must have participated in an initial community-engaged learning experience at Cornell. You may have done this through a tagged CEL course, a project supported through the Serve in Place Fund, a summer internship or serving through a group participating in our group program. If you have questions about this step, get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community-engaged leadership project
Commit to one community-based project or social issue. This stage includes:
- Participation in the Frameworks of Community-Engaged Leadership, a five-week series workshops and dialogues
- 80 hours of community engagement with one project or organization on a timeline you set with an Engaged Ambassador
- 4 written critical reflections, each after meeting with an Engaged Ambassador
- Opportunity to apply for $1,000 for your project
Develop a model of change, identify your mentorship family and create a post-capstone community-engaged leadership plan. This stage includes:
- 32 hours of reading, writing and dialogue over 7 weeks with 8-12 students who have completed community-engaged leadership projects, facilitated by Engaged Ambassadors
- Opportunity to apply for a stipend up to $400, based on financial need
- Post-capstone, an opportunity to apply for up to $500 for conference coordination or travel
Beyond the Capstone
Students who complete the program and earn the certificate are invited to participate in our network of community-engaged leaders. We invite recipients to consider leading a group through the group program or to apply to serve as Engaged Ambassadors. A team of about 12 ambassadors coordinate every aspect of the certificates and earn a work-study wage for their 8-10 hour weekly commitment.
To start the individual community-engaged leadership program, complete the application by Fri., Oct. 15. If you have questions about our requirement of previous participation in community-engaged learning activities, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Previous participation in at least one community-engaged learning experience while at Cornell.
Undergraduate students from any school or college can participate in the individual leadership program. Graduate and professional students who are working with undergraduates are also eligible for the program.
Completing the full program and earning the certificate takes approximately one year, depending on the timeline you set for completing your community-engaged leadership project.
Funding for the individual is available only to students who commit to completing the capstone. For more information, see what’s included in each stage.
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