Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Mandy Walton, McMaster University Continuing Education Leadership in Community Engagement graduate Mandy Walton, McMaster University Continuing Education Leadership in Community Engagement graduate

Leadership in Community Engagement

Collaborative Leadership and Grassroots Governance

Working across difference within community

Leadership in Community Engagement Course Descriptions

Please note the Leadership in Community Engagement program is currently undergoing a review and will no longer be accepting new students.

If you are currently working through the program, you will have the opportunity to finish the program ​by Spring 2019. 

If you are interested in Leadership in Community Engagement, please fill out the “send me more info” form. In doing so you will be notified of any program updates, when they are available. 

LCE 101 Foundational Principles & Practices in Community Engagement (3 Units)

This course provides co-learners with a broad overview of community engagement philosophies, practices, and skills. Offered to working professionals in the urban setting of the City of Hamilton, this course prepares co-learners to begin incorporating community engagement approaches and values into their own work in diverse urban settings. Through focus on the history and development of community engagement approaches; exploration of themes including working across difference, multi-sectoral group work, relationships, communication, conflict resolution, and project management; and consideration of the role of technology and media in community engagement, this course provides a strong foundation for the Leadership in Community Engagement Certificate. By taking a multi-sectoral lens to both course structure and activities, colearners are encouraged to network, build relationships, and incorporate aspects of their professional experience into the weekly sessions. In addition to experiencing talks, workshops, and activities with a community engagement focus within the City of Hamilton, co-learners will have opportunities to reflect on their learning through individual assignments and group discussion. Learners will practice their emerging community engagement skills by planning and troubleshooting a community initiative with a small, multi-sectoral group of their learners. Highly recommended as the first course in the program.

LCE 102 Communication & Conflict in Communities: Ethical Approaches in Supporting Successful Group Process & Decision Making (3 Units)

This course prepares co-learners to take roles as facilitators and mediators within their work engaging diverse urban communities. Rooted in real life scenarios and challenges experienced in community engagement work in Hamilton and similar communities, co-learners will hone their skills in supporting effective communication and in mediating complex group dynamics. This course takes a blended learning approach, alternating online and face to face (F2F) interactions with the content, in order to explore frameworks for group development, facilitation, decision-making, and conflict resolution. Practical skills building is emphasized and supported through ongoing online dialogue and through F2F group-based skills-building activities. Learners will engage in ongoing personal reflection on how power, privilege, and identity intersect with the roles and characteristics required to authentically support grassroots leadership. Doing so will enhance their abilities to engage communities in moving through communication barriers and conflicts toward collaboratively defined goals and outcomes.

LCE 103 Facilitating Collaborative Leadership and Grassroots Governance in Communities (3 Units)

This course prepares learners to support communities in developing their own leadership skills, setting their own priorities, and driving local change. This course will explore how concepts of governance and leadership are taken up in various sectors, with a focus on approaches that promote collaboration and power sharing in diverse urban settings. Building on and expanding the “7 C’s” of the Social Change Leadership Development (SCLD) Model, and rooted in real life projects and initiatives, co-learners will explore strategies for supporting the development of collaborative leadership within Hamilton communities. Co-learners will critically reflect on key characteristics, capabilities, and skills of effective leaders, with a focus on understanding and developing capacities that support grassroots leadership development. This course takes a blended learning approach, dividing class time between face-to-face (F2F) sessions, and online content delivery and discussion. Through written analysis, group activities, and in dialogue with their peers, learners will reflect on issues of social location, power, and history in order to align their community engagement work with the values of social justice, equity, and shared leadership.

LCE 104 A Primer on Evaluation, Community-based Research, & Persuasive Asks: Data Driven Community Work (3 Units)

This course prepares co-learners to engage in community-based research and evaluation (R&E) projects, by introducing them to prevalent research and evaluation methodologies, and engaging learners in exploring the practical, political, cultural, ethical, and interpersonal dimensions of doing research and evaluation within diverse urban communities. Based in best practices research, and rooted in real-life examples within a Hamilton context, the course provides practical tools for leading effective research and evaluation projects, and for engaging in persuasive community-driven dissemination of project results and findings. Learners will have an opportunity to consider their roles and impact as outsiders in facilitating authentic, community-driven R and E projects. Using a blended approach to learning, the course provides co-learners the opportunity to learn about methodologies and dissemination methods at their own pace through online technologies while face to face (F2F) time is used to engage deeply with the challenges of doing R and E in communities, and to collaborate in applying these approaches to real-life situations and settings in their professional lives.

LCE 105 Practicing Engagement: A Reflective Project Course (3 Units)

This course prepares co-learners to be effective participants in a community-based project. Building on topics and themes from other certificate courses, co-learners will develop skills and learn to use practical tools for project management, by engaging in hands-on, sustained participation with other group members, to achieve a mutually agreed upon project related to community engagement in Hamilton. This course includes regular face-to-face (F2F) sessions wherein co-learners will support each other in achieving their project goals; reflect on their developing skills; as well work toward their small group’s component of the chosen group project. Throughout the course, co-learners will identify and work through issues and challenges related to group formation and process, and will engage in ongoing critical reflection about the roles they take when working within diverse urban communities. At the end of this course, co-learners will have assembled a collection of documents that demonstrate their acquired experience in the areas of group formation, project design and delivery, and process evaluation.