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School for Adult Learning Undergraduate Programs

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Community Leadership & Engagement Degree

If you're interested in taking on a leadership role and solving problems in your community, or want to lead your organization toward better and more meaningful engagement in the community, then the community leadership & engagement bachelor's degree program may be just what you're looking for. Building on our organizational leadership curriculum, the community leadership & engagement curriculum allows students to gain writing, speaking, listening and facilitation skills, as well as to study communication and leadership theories and apply this knowledge in corporate, nonprofit, community-based and government settings.

What is community engagement?

Community engagement is an emerging field that emphasizes working with community members to develop solutions to problems they face, rather than taking an "outside consultant" approach that simply creates a plan for the community to implement.

UIndy's program gives you the opportunity to develop leadership skills and experiences in a hands-on, community-focused curriculum and apply this knowledge in corporate, non-profit, community-based and government settings.

Employment opportunities

Completing a degree in community leadership & engagement gives you a variety of career opportunities in the business, non-profit or government sectors. Examples include:

  • Executive director in a non-profit organization or government agency
  • Program manager in a community development corporation, city, state or national government agency
  • Program officer in a local, national, or global foundation or government agency
  • Grassroots community organizer tackling important issues
  • Community/volunteer engagement professional in a business or financial institution
  • Consultant to any number of organizations looking to engage with the community in meaningful ways

You also may find this degree useful if you are considering pursuing a graduate degree—especially in public administration, education administration, nonprofit management or leadership.

What specific skills and knowledge will this degree provide?

All students in the School for Adult Learning take classes to help them develop their written and oral communication and critical and creative thinking skills. In addition, students in this program will gain knowledge about and experiences working with asset-based management, community-based problem solving, and working with diverse populations. As part of the capstone experience, students will develop a product that will be used by an organization to help them better engage with the community.


The interdisciplinary curriculum features content from such areas as social and political sciences, economics, the arts, cultural and organizational studies, and the environment. Courses are taken in sequence and build upon each other, so you deepen your understanding of the many aspects of community engagement as you progress through the program.

The focus of the major is experiential, meaning the neighborhoods near campus will be your learning laboratories while you're in school. The program culminates with a capstone course, during which you will engage key stakeholders around a critical community issue related to your area or issue of personal interest. This gives you valuable experience and community connections so you are prepared to immediately enter the field upon graduation.

Check out the Community Leadership & Engagement curriculum guide to get a better idea of the classes you need to take to complete your degree. You may also be eligible to get credits from testing or prior learning, which can help you complete your degree faster.

More information

For more information, please contact the School for Adult Learning at 317-788-2394 or by email at