Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Community Engagement and Leading School Change

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Take your leadership skills to the next level.

All schools – but especially schools serving high-poverty and racially and ethnically diverse populations – need staff who are able to effectively connect with the communities that they serve. Research has shown that improved community engagement can move the needle in the abilty to teach in more relevant ways and support families and children more effectively.

Family League, in conjunction with Towson University Instructional Leadership and Professional Development, is offering a unique opportunity for current Community School Coordinators and other partners and stakeholders to develop their existing skill sets with the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Community Engagement and Leading School Change. Through this special partnership, participants pay no application fee and qualify for reimbursement of 50% of their tuition. (Participants must successfully complete the program with a grade of “C” or better. They must complete the full program to receive reimbursement.)


Potential Participants

*Participants must hold a Bachelor’s degree and be admitted to Towson’s Graduate School.

Community School Coordinators
Employees of Family League Funded Partners


Through examining sociological theory, understanding the concept of professional learning communities, and implementing action research initiatives, participants will increase their capacity for community engagement and school change.

By responding to community needs and seeing the school community as possessing valuable assets, there will be more authentic change that reflects the voices and values of each community. Participants will learn how to build successful change from the bottom up, empowering students, families, and community members to become the drivers of positive change.

These courses will provide participants with:

a sociological understanding of the race and class dynamics shaping the communities that they serve;
tools for developing an asset-based understanding of the students and families with which they work; and
skills for making changes to improve the ways in which schools serve and are accountable to their students, families, and communities

Courses will start in January 2020 and will include:

SOCI 543: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity: January 28 - March 17, 2020 (3 credits)
ILPD 743: Learning Communities and Organizational Change: March 24 - May 19, 2020 (3 credits)
ILPD 670: Understanding Assets of Families, Children, and Communities: Fall 2020 (3 credits)
ILPD 675: Leadership and Action Research: Fall 2020 (3 credits)

Courses may be transferred as electives into a full Master’s degree in Transformational Educational Leadership in the Instructional Leadership and Professional Development (ILPD) Department.


Faculty who will teach in the PBC in Community Engagement and Leading School Change program also teach in the Educational Leadership Master’s program and other programs in the Towson University Colleges of Education and Liberal Arts. Faculty members will include:

Elizabeth Clifford, Ph.D., Professor, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
Carla Finkelstein, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, ILPD Department
Chantal Francois, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, ILPD Department
Arlene Harrison, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, ILPD Department
Kathleen Reilly, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ILPD Department
Jessica Shiller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ILPD Department

Experts in community engagement and leading school change from Baltimore City Public Schools and Family League will also participate in instruction as consulting faculty members.

Tuition and Location

The reduced tuition is $900 per course. Upon satisfactory completion of all course work, Towson University will bill the Family League $450 per student, and each student will receive a bill for $450 per course. Interested persons should contact Jenee Tucker, Director of Programs with Family League of Baltimore, at to verify that they qualify for this reduced tuition prior to applying.

Courses will be taught at Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School, 2710 E. Hoffman Street, Baltimore MD 21213.


ENROLLMENT IS NOW OPEN! Only 20 seats are available.
If you are interested, send your name, school, and email address NOW, without obligation, to Cindy Zile at Potential applicants will be notified when and how to apply through the Towson Learning Network and have their application fees waived. Applicants should be prepared to provide two recommendations:

  • – One from the Lead Agency site supervisor or Funded Partner
  • – One from a member of the community in the which the applicant serves or the community school at which the applicant is employed

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Interest emails are now being accepted through Monday, December 20, 2019.