This undergraduate certificate in community engagement strategies gives students an opportunity to gain a practical, historical and theoretical understanding of strategies for promoting social change through collective action.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Understand power relations
  • Build coalitions
  • Hold government officials accountable
  • Work with the media

With a focus on urban issues, this certificate is excellent preparation for students who are interested in becoming community organizers, youth and social workers, politicians, community researchers, and nonprofit administrators. It’s also useful for students interested in specializing in other areas, such as international, environmental or union organizing.

You may begin the program by enrolling in ED POL 111. No separate application is required.

Contact Us

For more information or questions about the program

(414) 229- 4721


If you’re seeking an undergraduate degree at UWM, you’ll receive the certificate upon completion of your degree. If you already have an undergraduate degree, you’ll receive the certificate once you complete the program requirements. Students without a bachelor’s degree receive a certificate from the UWM School of Continuing Education after completing the program’s required coursework.

External Training Program

Participating in a community engagement training program provided by an external group allows students to meet a diverse range of community organizers from different contexts across the United States. Currently, the Midwest Academy 5-day training program is the only approved program.

Certificate Requirements

Download Certificate Requirements (PDF)

Students enrolled in the program must complete at least 21 credits of courses within the guidelines provided. You may take only 12 credits from a single department, and only 6 credits out of the 12 available for elective courses (components 3 and 4) from a single department. If you wish to enroll (or have enrolled) in programs offered by other groups, including unions, environmental organizations and others, you may petition to the Program Committee for approval. You must achieve a 2.50 GPA in courses required for the certificate.

Gainful Employment

Due to new federal financial aid regulations, beginning with the summer 2017 term, students who had not previously been awarded federal financial aid at UWM and are enrolled in a stand-alone certificate program will no longer be eligible for federal Title IV aid. Students in a stand-alone certificate who are seeking financial assistance maybe eligible for private loans. Private loans are not guaranteed as they are subject to lender approval including a credit check.

Below is a link to a tool that will help you learn what to look for when shopping for a private loan. At the end of the short tutorial, it will provide a comparison shopping tool allowing you to sort, filter, and compare up to five lenders at one time.


Upon applying for the loan of your choice and being approved, the UWM Financial Aid Office will be notified by the lender to provide enrollment information. At such time the loan will be added to your financial aid award.


profile photoRaquel Farmer-HintonAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studiesrfarhin@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 523
profile photoJulie KailinAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-6623jkailin@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 521
profile photoKalyani RaiAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 227-2587kalyanir@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 519
profile photoRajeswari SwaminathanProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studiesswaminar@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 557
profile photoJavier TapiaAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-5261jtapia@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 563
profile photoAaria TroianoSenior LecturerEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-4724atroiano@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 529
profile photoGary L. WilliamsAssociate Professor; DirectorEducational Policy & Community Studies; Institute for Intercultural Research(414) 229-5626glw@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 545
profile photoAgnes WilliamsLecturerEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-7356avw@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 549