Community-engaged Scholars Program

The Community-engaged Scholars Program is a voluntary professional development opportunity offered to all graduate students from all disciplines by the Center for Community Engagement and Impact.

This self-paced opportunity is designed to deepen students' understanding of community-engaged teaching, learning and research in higher education.

For more information, contact Dr. Amanda Hall at hallaf2@vcu.edu.

Masters graduate students

This program provides an in-depth introduction to community-engaged research (CEnR) aimed to enhance students' roles as future scholars and citizens. Masters students will receive an online credential upon completion of the program.

Students must enroll in the program online.

Once enrolled, students must attend an “Introduction to CEnR” lecture (no credit) before they will be eligible to complete the online portion of the program.  

Those eligible to complete the online portion of the program will be granted access to a self-paced Blackboard course in which they must complete four modules including:

  • What is CEnR?;
  • Collaborative Partnerships;
  • CEnR Approaches and Design; and
  • Dissemination and Translation of Findings

These modules should take approximately 25 hours to complete and must be completed prior to the completion of your Master's degree to receive the online credential and letter of completion from the Center for Community Engagement and Impact. 

Doctoral graduate students

This program offers a three-tiered Exposure-Experience-Expertise framework to better prepare students for future roles within the professoriate, as both teachers and researchers.  

Doctoral students must be enrolled in the Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) to participate in the Community-engaged Scholars Program.

Doctoral students will receive an online credential and letter of completion upon their completion of Parts 1 and 2 of the Program and an opportunity to apply for a Graduate Civic Fellowship with the Center for Community Engagement and Impact.

All PFF students will attend a GRAD 60 lecture on community-engaged scholarship and complete required readings and reflection assignment. (approx. 4 hours)

Only those students who have attended the Grad 601 Community-engaged Scholarship guest lecture may continue with the program.  

Enroll in the program online.

During enrollment, you will select the program track that best meets your needs as future faculty:

  • The Community-engaged Teaching and Learning Track OR
  • The Community-engaged Research Track 

Once you have selected your track, you will be granted access to a Blackboard course in which you will be required to complete four track modules and two co-curricular, experiential learning activities.

Community-engaged Teaching and Learning Track

Modules include:

  • Course Design;
  • Collaborative Partnerships;
  • Outcomes and Assessment; and
  • Reflection

Community-engaged Research Track

Modules include:

  • What is CEnR?;
  • Collaborative Partnerships;
  • CEnR Approaches and Design; and
  • Dissemination and Translation of Findings

Co-Curricular Track Requirements:

1) Attend the VCU Community Engagement Institute (hosted in May of each year) and

2) Select from a menu of activities aligned with your chosen track.

The modules for each track should take approximately 25 hours to complete and must be completed (in addition to two co-curriculars) prior to the completion of your PFF Program requirements to receive the online credential and letter of completion from the Center for Community-engagement and Impact.  

NOTE: You may complete both tracks, but not simultaneously. You will only be allowed to complete one track at a time.

After completing parts one and two, students may apply to become a Graduate Civic Fellow in either Community-engaged Teaching & Learning OR Community-engaged Research.



Fellows work under the supervision of experts in the VCU Center for Community Engagement and Impact and complete a variety of advanced tasks that parallel the work of community-engaged faculty scholars, including teaching or research.

Upon completion of the Fellowship, students receive a $500 stipend and letter of acknowledgement.