Skip to main content
  Cornell University

Certificate in Engaged Leadership

The Certificate in Engaged Leadership acknowledges a student’s commitment to leadership with a public purpose, with financial resources, mentorship, and micro-certificates.

Why pursue the certificate? Regardless of career trajectory, students will:

  • Apply their talent to addressing public problems in a humble and empathetic manner
  • Build professional, academic, and civic skills
  • Strengthen capacity to reflect, deliberate, and dialogue with oneself and others through a personalized journey
  • Identify public purpose in new contexts
  • Chart a course to continual learning by developing a model of change and post-graduate engagement plan

The certificate offers a 4-stage critical reflection framework that complements current student studies and activities in leadership education and community engagement. Undergraduate students who demonstrate dedication to mentorship and public dialogue are connected with their own mentorship family, to reflect on guiding questions — crucial to life-long leadership development.

The certificate is open to any undergraduate student from any Cornell school and college. It supports students in bringing about the world they wish to see, within the many communities they will inhabit throughout their lives. The certificate framework seeks to complement and enhance current academic projects and non-academic programs in four main areas:

  1. A guiding questions critical reflection and assessment framework;
  2. Articulation of committed community engagement that addresses community partners as co-educators;
  3. Leadership education based on skill and knowledge-based competencies; and
  4. A capstone integrative dialogue that brings together student wisdom and imagination from across campus.

Levels of community engagement: interested (stage 1), involved (stage 2), or committed (stage 3) gives shape to each students’ pursuit of the 4-stage certificate. Entrance to stage 3 is a formal gateway i.e. basecamp application that requires students to articulate how they will take informed action on a public issue impacting off-campus communities for a significant time.

Students who summit by participating in a 7-week dialogue with 25 student leaders from across campus will be invited to join the student steering committee, which will manage the day-to-day operations of the Certificate in Engaged Leadership.

At each stage, one main guiding question – that is transferable to new contexts – integrates a student’s curricular and co-curricular leadership journey, while leaving leadership skill-building in the hands of faculty, staff, and advanced student leaders. Relying on the commitment and expertise of stakeholder groups, we encourage students to enroll in current courses and staff-led co-curricular leadership and community engagement programming.

Mentors and peers will guide students to reflect on these questions before and after they have posted written reflections to their electronic portfolio. We aim to engage co-educators — faculty, staff, graduate students, alumni, community partners, and students who have received the certificate — in the mentorship family aspect of leadership development in stages 3 and 4.


Opportunities to Engage

Certificate in Engaged Leadership Information Session

Pursue Your Personalized Journey: Leadership with a Public Purpose

The Certificate in Engaged Leadership allows students to apply their leadership and engagement activities toward building healthy communities; while sharpening their professional skills and preparing for a lifetime of service. Dinner is provided during our Information Sessions.

Contact us to arrange an information session with your project team, class, student organization, sorority, or fraternity. Learn more by attending a trailhead event (information below).

Certificate in Engaged Leadership Trailhead Events (Entry to Stage 1)

Your Gateway to Leadership with a Public Purpose

Register to ensure a seat, or attend without registering.

Are you already eager to pursue the certificate and find leadership and engagement opportunities that align with your passion for service? You will leave your trailhead event prepared to advance through Stage 1. Dinner provided.

Our next scheduled trailhead events:

  • February 1 – Willard Straight Art Gallery (location may change, contact us for more information)
  • February 2 – 209 Kennedy Hall
  • February 15 – Willard Straight Art Gallery (location may change, contact us for more information)
  • February 16 – TBD
  • March 21 – Goldwin Smith 162
  • April 19 – Goldwin Smith 162

Certificate in Engaged Leadership Basecamp Events (Entry to Stage 3)

Prepare for your committed community-based leadership journey

Are you planning to work, intern, or volunteer regularly, addressing social issues impacting off-campus communities, now or in summer 2017? Are you interested in tapping into financial resources to make your sustained community engagement possible? This required application and event into Stage 3 will support you.

The application can be found from the registration websites of these basecamp events:

January 27-29: Men of Color Council Conference (MOCC)

February 17-19: Posse Plus Retreat (Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives)

Early April: Posse Scholars Workshop (Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives)

Certificate in Engaged Leadership Application to Summit Group Dialogue (Stage 4)

Earn the full certificate and guide rising generations. This kick-off event and 7-week dialogue with 25 student leaders from across Cornell prepares you for life after college.

Stipends are available for this 32-hour commitment. If accepted into a summit dialogue, you are eligible to apply for funding to attend a leadership or engagement conference.

Engaged Leadership is offering two summit group dialogues in 2016-17. The application deadline for the second round for the spring 2017 summit group dialogue is Sunday, February 12, 2017.

For more information, please contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives or request a consultation with staff or student, and subscribe to our biweekly email about upcoming events and opportunities (sent during the academic year).

Mike Bishop
Director, Student Leadership
Engaged Cornell Hub
3rd Floor, Kennedy Hall
(607) 255-0169

See Also Community-Engaged Learning Course Guide