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Community Development Policy and Practice

Are you seeking to make a difference in your community? Community developers make a direct impact on our social, economic and environmental quality of life. As social entrepreneurs, we generate the innovative solutions necessary to grapple with the pressing issues communities face around the world. Whether at the level of policymaking or program implementation, WVU’s graduate certificate in Community Development Policy and Practice will prepare you to design and implement fair, sustainable and effective outcomes. Our field-based assignments and peer cohorts will help you build the skills and professional network you need for success.
Students engage with faculty and fellow students on campus through virtual classroom platforms, conducting applied research and service learning together in the field. Through this collaborative educational experience, students from a wide range of careers paths and academic disciplines integrate scholarly and experiential knowledge while generating impactful change within communities. Our students’ diverse backgrounds are a valuable resource for learning and professional networking. 

How will I focus my studies?

To gain hands-on applied research and professional experience, you will work in the field directly with community partners. 

Learn more about the required coursework for this certificate in the WVU Catalog.

Lauren Prinzo, Davie, Florida

Major: Public Administration

Lauren Prinzo

As an assistant professor and extension specialist in WVU Extension Service’s family and community development unit, Lauren Prinzo works with community members across the state to improve their quality of life. She sought out this graduate certificate to expand her skills in community development and engagement.

“This graduate certificate complemented my work and provided me with concrete knowledge, experiential learning and faculty mentors who contributed to my ability to serve communities around the state. I gained valuable experiential learning opportunities and increased my knowledge in community engagement that can apply to many fields.”    

She completed a Master of Public Administration degree along with the graduate certificate while working full time.

“It can be difficult to balance work and returning to the classroom as a student. Developing relationships with fellow students and colleagues helps facilitate learning and keeps everyone on track.”

Learn more at the Community Development Policy and Practice site