Earning credentials

See our Program Handbook for more comprehensive details about the CEP Credentialing Program. 

What is a credential in higher education community engagement?

A credential is a digital certification that recognizes an individual’s competency in a specific area of higher education community engagement practice.

Campus Compact’s Community Engagement Professional Credentialing Program defines “competency” as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by community engagement professionals to advance higher education community and civic engagement in a manner characterized by equity and integrity. Each credential requires earners to demonstrate their proficiency in a set of key competencies that were identified and developed by two Community Engagement Professional Credential advisory boards and draw significantly from the research of Lina Dostilio and colleagues (2017; 2019) on an emerging competency model for community engagement professionals.

How do I demonstrate competency to earn a credential?

To earn a credential, you must demonstrate competency in a specified area of the field by submitting a set of qualifying materials for evaluation. While specific submission requirements will vary by core competency area, you can expect the application materials to be framed around the following questions:

  • Knowledge and ethics: What knowledge have you brought to bear in undertaking work in this area? What ethical and critical commitments inform your work?
  • Experience: What experience(s) have you had and what roles have you played in advancing work in this area? For example, how have you developed goals, organized projects, or carried out activities? What evidence can you provide to illustrate this work?
  • Critical self-reflection: What have you learned from your experiences in this area? What successes and challenges did you experience? What dilemmas or tensions may have arisen or could you identify (around questions of equity and inclusion, for example), and what process or strategies did you pursue to work toward their resolution?
  • Personal growth and on-going professional development: What might you identify as opportunities for personal growth as a community engagement professional in this particular area? What resources or strategies do you believe would serve to advance your learning and competence in this area?

A full list of submission requirements for each core competency area can be found on the individual credential page on this site.

The application process

Applications for credentials are submitted through Campus Compact’s online application portal. You can access the application portal by clicking the “begin your application” button on any specific  credential page. You should begin your application when you intend to begin work toward the credential. The application system will help you track your progress, understand requirements, and plan for submission.

  1. Enrollment Periods: There are three (3) enrollment periods available per calendar year. For 2020, the enrollment periods are January 1 – May 12, 2021; May 15 – August 31, 2021; and September 1 – December 20, 2021. A credential application can be initiated at any point during an enrollment period, but those initiated within a particular period should be finished and submitted within that same enrollment period. Should an applicant fail to submit all required materials within a single enrollment period, they will forfeit their application fee. However, any application left unfinished within one enrollment period may be carried over and submitted in the next but will be subject to an application renewal fee of $60.
  2. Start your application online [essential core competency credentials; elective core competency credentials]. When you open the application, you will be asked to identify which credential you wish to pursue and to provide some basic demographic and personal information. You will start the application by completing a diagnostic self-assessment that will help gauge how prepared you are for the submission. Based on the self-assessment, you may choose to take time to enhance your knowledge and skills through specified trainings or by working through a recommended reading list. Or, if you are prepared to apply, you can read and complete an agreement form acknowledging that you intend to earn the credential, pay the application fee, and begin to submit materials.
  3. Submission requirements vary by core competency area; details for each credential may be found on the application form as well as on the specific credential webpage (links to all  currently available credentials can be found here).
  4. Once you submit all requirements for the application, your materials will be reviewed by a panel of trained peer reviewers. These reviewers will utilize established rubrics to recommend whether or not you have demonstrated sufficient competency to earn the credential.
  5. If your application is successful, you will receive a corresponding digital badge to be used on your LinkedIn profile, CV, or professional website. This way, you can publicly display your areas of expertise. If your application is not successful, you may continue to improve your knowledge in this area and apply again.
  6. Ultimately, the core competency credentials that you earn can be combined to achieve full certification as a Campus Compact Community Engagement Professional.

What credentials are available?

The Community Engagement Professional Credentialing Program has identified 15 specific competency areas in which an individual may earn a credential. Eight of these credentials are now available to earn. The full set will be released, on a rolling basis, during 2021 and 2022. The full list of credentials can be found at the bottom of this page. Check below to see which credentials are available now, and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list to find out when new credentials become available.

Core competency credentials now available to earn:

Are there professional development opportunities to help me prepare to earn a credential?

Campus Compact offers information about professional development opportunities that are aligned with the current core competency credential offerings. Current approved opportunities can be found here.  While these opportunities are optional, they can play an important role in helping you prepare your credential application(s). While opportunities are limited at this early stage, they will be added on a rolling basis, so please check back regularly for additional offerings.

How much does it cost to earn a credential?

Each core competency credential application requires a $60 application fee. The fee helps Campus Compact cover a small portion of the software, licensing, and administrative costs it incurs as an independent credentialer.

How do I apply to earn a credential?

Click on one of the credential icons below to learn more about the competency area and submission requirements and to begin your application.

How do I become fully certified as a Campus Compact Community Engagement Professional?

To apply for full certification, a candidate must earn the three essential core competency credentials (Community Engagement FundamentalsCommunity Partnerships, Equity & Inclusion) as well as earn three additional credentials in areas of their choice (i.e., three among the remaining available credentials).

What credentials will be available?