Community Leadership Skills Courses

Taught by subject matter experts, the Community Leadership Skills Courses emphasize practical skills, deep dives into crucial topics, and take only 5 weeks to complete!

Our Skills Courses are available to members of the UMBC community, as well as ongoing learners who want to expand their knowledge and skillset beyond the classroom.

Registering for Skills Courses

Current UMBC Students, Staff, and Faculty

We welcome UMBC-affiliated graduate students, staff, and faculty to register for Community Leadership Skills Courses. Each course generates one credit, so three Skills Courses is the equivalent of one three-credit course.

Not a Current UMBC Student, Staff, or Faculty

Ongoing learners can take one or more Skills Courses as professional development sessions via UMBC’s Institute for Extended Learning – no university application required.  The practical aspect of the courses allows you to immediately apply what you’re learning to your work.  The courses can be converted to credits later,  if you decide to enter the UMBC Community Leadership graduate program.

To learn more about scholarship opportunities for the Skills Courses, contact Community Leadership Program Director Sally Scott.

Available Community Leadership Skills Courses

Current Skills Courses cover the following topics:

  • Digital Storytelling for Community Leadership with Charlotte Keniston
    This course will guide students through the process of creating a digital story and also give them the tools to facilitate digital storytelling workshops themselves.
  • Asset Based Community Development with Jessica Wyatt 
    Working through an ABCD process, participants can move towards whole-community mobilization through mapping the capacities assets of individuals, associations, and institutions while building relationships.
  • Restorative Practices with Dr. Kaleigh Mrowka & Dr. Lauren Mauriello 
    Restorative practices have the potential to transform communities and systems by allowing community members to maintain and sustain relationships even when harm has occurred.
  • Social Justice Leadership & Dialogue with Dr. Ciara Christian
    This course is designed for people who have a deep interest in issues related to race, social justice, power, privilege, oppression, intercultural dialogue, and the ways such issues influence our leadership abilities and interests.
  • Grassroots Community Advocacy with Candace Dodson-Reed & Tom Coale 
    This course will focus on the tenets of grassroots community advocacy at the local level. From stop signs to school funding, local government plays a fundamental role in designing communities for people to thrive.
  • Places and Placemaking with Dr. Joby Taylor
    Students will critically explore theoretical and applied perspectives about the key concept of “place” through seminar style discussions, written reflections, and other course assignments.
  • Community Organizing with Denise Griffin Johnson & Lane Victorson 
    The course is for students who seek to expand, learn, and refine their skills in building organizational, social, and community power of action.
  • Grant Writing for Social Change with Meghann Shutt
    Students will learn the fundamentals of grant proposal writing, including ethics; finding and vetting funding opportunities; analyzing Requests for Proposals (RFPs); organizing, writing, and submitting compelling proposals; and the do’s and don’ts of teaming with organizations. All assignments will be written exercises that will receive feedback from the instructor and contribute to the ultimate class goal of submitting an actual grant proposal.
  • Strategic Planning for Community Engagement with Kate Scherr-Adams
    The course will teach the concepts and guide students through the steps of strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. Strategic planning is an organizational management activity used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, establish agreement for intended outcomes, and to assess the organization’s direction. Engaging the community in this process is imperative to successful outcomes, trust building, and equity.

Skills courses (CLDR 610) are offered throughout the year. Please check the schedule of classes each semester to see which topics are being offered, as not every topic is offered every term. Some Skill Courses may be available during Summer and Winter sessions.