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Be the change you want to see in the world with a Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development certificate

Are you ready to make a real difference in the world? Working in community engagement is a great way to help our communities thrive. The Chang School is proud to offer a Certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development to provide the leaders of tomorrow the leadership development courses they need to excel in this growing field today.

This unique Community Engagement certificate provides learners with a balanced curriculum that includes both foundational knowledge and community development skills. Our instructors are community workers who practice in the field, so you’ll gain real-world insight into current issues and learn examples of community engagement in areas like food security, family support, Indigenous communities’ world views, social work, fundraising, and conflict resolution.

We also prioritize social justice and community-based learning. By learning progressive anti-oppression, anti-Black racism, and anti-colonial theory, our graduates are well-prepared to provide more inclusive community engagement and better community-building.

Finish off the certificate with our capstone course, which allows you to run a small community-based project and apply what you’ve learned in the coursework. Completing a Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development certificate gives you more options when you’re looking to boost your graduate-school application, forge a new career or enhance your existing one. Gaining this certificate can help you excel in richly rewarding fields like social services, education, labour, health, housing, transportation and more.

Life can be busy, so this certificate can be done 100 percent online and can be completed at your own pace alongside your family or work responsibilities. You can complete our certificate in as little as one year.

The world needs more impassioned advocates for community change. All it takes to make a difference in the world is that first step. Come take it with us.

Meet Our Learners

Who should take this Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development certificate?

  • You’re looking to pivot careers and want to explore the community development space
  • You’re an experienced community worker who’d like to enhance your education, skill set, and career opportunities
  • You’re an undergraduate or recently graduated student in a field like social work, child and youth care, early childhood studies, nursing, midwifery, public health, urban and regional planning, political science, education, or healthcare

What will you learn while taking the Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development certificate?

You’ll learn how to:

  • Enact and support active citizen participation in community and civic affairs
  • Engage excluded groups to improve the well-being of neighbourhoods and organizations
  • Assess and understand the demographics of an area
  • Guide community outreach and engagement initiatives
  • Develop and support the implementation of an engagement plan with diverse communities
  • Advocate, conduct research, and evaluate community programs

Career Options

This certificate can prepare you for jobs like:

  • Community educator
  • Community outreach coordinator
  • Housing support worker
  • Labour organizer, leader, or union steward
  • Manager of a hospital or other health institution
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Program manager for a non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Relief harm reduction worker
  • School board community relations consultant
  • Social housing manager
  • Social worker

Certificate Requirements

  • 4 required courses
  • 2 electives
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
  • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits


  • Mature student status with relevant work experience

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the capstone course involve?

The capstone course is CSWP 937 - Community Engagement Capstone. You’ll integrate and apply the community development knowledge and skills you acquired through your previous courses. Individually or in small groups, and with course instructor approval, you’ll select a project that reflects your own personal or professional interests. For example, you might develop a presentation based on the analysis of a set of real-life scenarios or the analysis of a community issue or situation from your own professional life.

How many courses should I take each semester?

You’re welcome to take as many courses as you feel you can fit into your schedule. As a general guideline, in addition to your classroom time, you should expect to spend three to five additional hours per week on course work. This will vary from week to week and will depend on your learning style. For online courses, you should plan to spend an average of six to eight hours per week reading, participating in discussions, and completing assignments.

Note: In general, OSAP considers a full-time course load to be three courses per term and a part-time course load to be two courses per term.

Can I review the community engagement certificate course outlines before I enrol?

Many of our course description pages include sample course outlines. Check out the course descriptions for details.

Can I complete an undergraduate degree at Toronto Metropolitan University while I finish the community engagement certificate?

Yes, it’s possible, but we encourage you to evaluate your own workload. The Certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development doesn’t have any restrictions for students enrolled in Toronto Metropolitan University degree programs.

For more information about policies and restrictions, visit Undergraduate Students.


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