Explore the causes and consequences of inequality in schools and urban communities. Discover strategies for addressing urban challenges. Learn leadership and entrepreneurship skills that support careers in a wide range of community-based nonprofits, government agencies, schools, and other public service areas. Our students thrive in our supportive learning environment.
- Program offered:
- Fully online (*excluding general education requirement courses)
- Face to face
- Students can earn college credit up to 42 credits for prior professional experience
- Credits also awarded for eligible military education and for AAS degrees that would not normally transfer to UWM
Our Students Work In Community-Based Organizations, Schools, and Public Agencies as
- Program directors
- Youth workers
- Community leadership facilitators
- Adult community educators
- Youth leadership facilitators
- Community program entrepreneurs
- Foster care agencies
- Government officials
- Child care centers
- Teachers and leaders in private schools
- A wide range of community-based change efforts
- And many other community-based and community-related settings
Our department offers the only undergraduate focus on Community-Based Organizations in Wisconsin, as well as unique offerings in Child and Family Services (in collaboration with the Department of Social Work), Child Care (programs which satisfy Registry requirements), Community Leadership, Alternative Education, and more. Many students also develop their own focus areas out of our rich course offerings.
Credit Awarded for
- Prior Professional Educational Experience—up to 42 credits may be earned, and all credits after the first three are free
- Military education
- Technical college degrees
- Articulation agreements increase credit transferred from Human Services and Child Care degrees earned at MATC and other technical colleges
- The CEED program awards credits for technical college AAS degrees that wouldn’t normally transfer to UWM
For more information or questions about the program
(414) 229- 4721
Contact a Community Engagement & Education (CEED) Program Academic Advisor
(Last names A – L) – Tyree Bolden
(Last names M – Z) – Andrea Azarian
CEED BS Requirements
Credit for Prior Professional Experience (PPEE)
The CEED major values the experience you bring to the program. Students with a range of work and community experience may earn up to 42 lower-division credits by taking exams. Students pay for 3 credits, and any additional credits earned through exam are free. CEED is the only major at UWM that offers PPEE credits.
Certificates and Submajors
Most students in CEED build their own program by choosing classes that fit their interests.
CEED also offers a series of transcript-designated certificate programs and submajors designed for students interested in specific careers.
- Child Care (Submajor Requirements)
- Child and Family Services (Submajor Requirements)
- Community Based Organizations: Policy and Leadership (Submajor Requirements)
- Community Leadership (Submajor Requirements)
- Youth Work (Certificate Requirements)
The minor in Community Engagement and Education is open to all undergraduate students. With this minor students can learn about local urban communities and how to improve them. This practical knowledge can provide a foundation for building a career in human services.
Fast-Growing Employment Prospects in CEED-Related Employment
- 8 times faster than average job growth: Social and Community Service Program Managers
- 4 times faster than average job growth: Community and Social Service Occupations
- 16 times faster than average job growth: Administrators of Preschool & Childcare Centers
- ~20 times faster than average job growth: K-12 Teachers (public schools require post-grad licensure)
Fieldwork for Experience
Get credit for fieldwork internships in the CEED program to strengthen your resume, network to make connections for jobs, and get recommendations from people in the field.
A Sample of Actual Jobs Found by Community Engagement and Education (CEED) Graduates
- After-School Site Director: Milwaukee Public Schools & many other organizations
- Lead Program Specialist: YMCA
- Program Coordinator & Club Manager: Boys and Girls Clubs
- Youth Organizer: Pathfinders & Voces
- Coordinator: Boys & Girls Clubs & Racine Youth Coalition
- Foster Care Educator: Children’s Hospital
- Career Counselor: Milwaukee Public Schools
- Family Engagement Coordinator: Head Start
- Community Outreach Specialist: Girl Scouts
- Community Development Advisor: Peace Corps
Other Nonprofit Positions
- Supervisor of Life Skills: Sojourner House
- Volunteer Coordinator: Walkers Point Center
- Program Manager: City Year
- Branch Director: Boys and Girls Clubs
- Recruitment Manager: Girl Scouts
- Founder and Director: ASHA Project
- Housing Program Officer: City of Milwaukee
- Supervisor for Family Services
- Employment and Training Specialist: WI Division of Workforce Development
- Social Work Supervisor, Rock County
CEED graduates teach, often after pursuing post-graduate licensure, in:
- Public School Districts: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Stevens Point, Shelby County….
- Charter Schools: La Causa, Hmong American Peace Academy, Highland Community….
- Private Schools: Salam, Milwaukee Excellence Charter….
- Student Advisor: UWM, Carthage College, UW-Whitewater & Boston College
- Admissions Counselor: MATC & Concordia
- Student Support Specialist: Gateway Technical
CEED graduates direct, own, or teach in child care organizations across Milwaukee.
- Parent Educator: Next Door Foundation
- Nutrition Education Coordinator: UW-Extension
- Early Childhood Trainer: West Allis Association
- Case Manager: Southwest Key, Legal Aid Society, Community Care, & more
- WI State Representative & State Senator
- Milwaukee Alderperson & County Supervisor
- Wauwatosa Alderperson
Some complete PhD’s and are university faculty.
We invite you to explore these brief interviews with Community Engagement and Education BS graduates. Learn how the CEED degree supported their careers and about the jobs they are doing now.
Click on the menus under each Alumnx’s photo to read about their journeys after graduation.
Paola Deliz Felix Encarnacion
Graduation: 2011 BS in Community Education (now Community Engagement and Education, or CEED)
Current Position: Senior Director, Network for School Improvement, City Year. Formerly Team Leader, Program Manager, Senior Impact Manager, and Impact Director, City Year.
“A lot of the work I do involves solving complex problems and doing it in a way that feels equitable. It’s new territory for me, working with multiple partners in a project that feels high stakes. It’s like building a plane while flying it.”
CEED for Paola was fundamentally “about community service, about looking at different perspectives, about looking at the whole picture, about analyzing what and why things were happening in communities. My biggest takeaway from the program is the idea that there are many different ways to support communities.” It prepared her well for the unpredictable challenges she faces on the job today.
She remembers classes in CEED with “a lot of like-minded people. Not people that agreed with what I said, but people that cared about doing something in the community and in the world around them. And it didn’t look the same as how I wanted to work.” She learned by engaging with the diverse perspectives of her classmates.
Paola valued the opportunities she had in the program to take many electives and put together her own unique major focused on her own interests.
Graduation: 2016 BS in Community Education (now Community Engagement and Education, or CEED)
Current Position: Social Work Supervisor, Children’s Long-Term Support, Rock County. Formerly, Children’s Long-Term Support Case Manager, Rock County; Youth and Family Specialist, Rock County
He chose CEED because of the online option and because the content fit so well with his interests. “It offered a diverse selection of classes that could really apply to any job working in the community, with low-income families and kids.”
Ben took the entire program online from Rock County. He found the online offerings “really great,” making it “really easy as a returning adult.” Over the internet he found “really great conversations.” The professors were “great at communication, very good at drawing out answers and making me think a little bit deeper” and they “always gave great feedback on papers.”
In the CEED program, he found that, “You could really pick and choose the pathway that best met your needs. You could go the ‘community organizing’ route, the ‘working with families’ route, ‘at-risk kids,’” among lots of options. “It was tough to choose one, because they all sounded amazing. I learned a lot more than I thought I would.”
Graduation: 2012 BS in Community Education (now Community Engagement and Education, or CEED)
Current Position: Vice President of Youth Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore. Formerly, the Senior Director of Programs, COA Youth & Family Centers. Prior, the Director of Operations and Branch Director for the Boys and Girls Clubs. Pursuing MS in Organizational Change Leadership.
On the job, today, she draws on what CEED taught her about “approaches to community organizing and institutional racism that affects black and brown communities.” She has used this understanding “not just to recruit but also to develop the structure my organization’s youth development and family programs.”
CEED “gave me the foundation of how community-based organizations operate from building boards to grant writing. I also have a better understanding of racial inequality in America and Milwaukee that includes how our city was structured and how that plays into what’s going on today in society.”
Even now, some years after graduation, she finds she is still “using the basic foundations I got in my CEED degree.” Currently in graduate school, many of the books and ideas she encounters are ones she already explored in CEED.
Graduation: 2017 BS Community Engagement and Education
Current Position: YouthBuild Career Development Coordinator, Milwaukee Christian Center
At the Milwaukee Christian Center, I do career development with a group of YouthBuild students who are learning a trade. I teach them the nitty-gritty of how to get a job, and I do a ton of different programming.
A lot of the students have been disengaged from school or work, dropped out, and came to YouthBuild to complete a GED or HSED. Unique people with different experiences.
I use the asset-based approaches I learned in CEED. With my students I’m always asking, “What are you bringing to the table?” “What are your strengths? Let’s start there.” The underlying issue in all CEED classes: community-building and relationships.[CEED] gave me a specialized understanding of the nonprofit world. And the program taught me about Milwaukee: the history and where it is now. For the students I work with, this is their lived experience, growing up in a segregated city.
Graduation: 2016 BS Graduate in Community Engagement and Education
Current Position: Math Teacher*, Milwaukee Scholars Charter School
“The program changed my life. I learned about the whole history of education and the different struggles people have faced. I never would have been aware of these things without CEED.”
“Every professor in the program pushed me in some way and saw the best in me. When you are in an environment where people want you to succeed, they’ll help you understand that you have to succeed.”
“As a single parent with three daughters, I saw what I could do to help other people that were in positions similar to mine.”
In CEED’s “family environment” he met “amazing people with the same mindset of what I was caring about.”
“The degree gave me insight on the different social factors and struggles my students are facing. I learned to adapt to students’ needs instead of standing in front of the classroom and trying to push a book assignment on them. It helps me become an agent for my students, to teach them to say, ‘Yes I can’ instead of ‘I don’t know.’”
*CEED does not license teachers for K-12 public education. Cedric teaches under a charter school license, and is pursuing a post-bacc license at UWM.
Graduation: 2011 BS Graduate in Community Education (Now Community Engagement and Education)
Current Position: Family Engagement Coordinator, MCAA Head Start. Formerly Family Services Coordinator, MCAA Head Start; Urban Initiatives Specialist, Girl Scouts
“My first job after graduation was with the Girl Scouts. I didn’t have much professional experience, but when I explained what I had done in CEED they quickly said I was what they were looking for.”
Today, “as a Family Engagement Coordinator, I train, mentor, and coach those provide direct service to parents in Head Start.”
“One of the most amazing things [about CEED] was that I got to pick and choose classes. I did courses in family, psychology, parenting, along with a lot of education courses. The required nonprofit courses for the program fit together with this into a very well-rounded, comprehensive degree program. Everything that I took I am utilizing now in my position.”
The full-online option was critically important for her, since her children were very young. She didn’t have to find and pay for childcare. And faculty were very flexible with her as a working single mother.
Antonia Drew Vann
Graduation: 2014 BS in Community Engagement and Education
Current Position: Director, the ASHA Project, End Domestic Abuse WI
“[In CEED] I learned how to build relationships and networks to address issues from all sides. We have to connect with the community and connect with other programs. No one agency can do it all. CEED helped us better connect with larger entities like Children’s Hospital. You can’t do your best work in a silo.”
In CEED, “I gained confidence with looking at data and gained skills in writing and research techniques. The greatest thing for me was developing critical thinking. Instead of going along and assuming that’s the way things are, I go back and think about why this happens. OK, that’s where we are, but let’s look upstream to what caused it to happen.”
“Not only are CEED faculty supportive, they understand students have real lives outside the classroom.”