Community Organizations

Community Organizations

Civic Engagement Program

Interested in the capstone?

Your organization can collaborate with students in Northwestern University’s Civic Engagement Certificate Program. This two-year undergraduate program requires students to complete five credits of course work, 100 hours of community service, five quarters of facilitated reflective seminars, and a capstone project that is both challenging to the students and relevant to the community organization.


How your organization can benefit

Civic Engagement students can complete a project that will benefit your organization. In the second year of the program, students collaborate, working in groups on projects that they have negotiated with the organization. These capstone projects have relevancy to the sponsoring organization’s mission and goals, such as researching and designing a new program, developing a public relations campaign, writing a policy or fundraising proposal, conducting a needs assessment, doing an asset map or designing program evaluations. The projects are mutually beneficial so that students gain skills and experience while working with the organization. Finished projects are then presented to the participating organizations, the university community and the general public at a reception on campus.

The capstone project begins each year in early November, and finishes with an agreed-upon deliverable to the participating organization by the first week of June the following year. During this time, students meet regularly with a site coordinator from the organization, have approved access to relevant information and key informants, and have regular supervisory meetings at Northwestern University with program faculty.


Collaborating with students

First, each participating organization and the students agree upon a project that is relevant to the organization and is challenging, yet doable, for the students. Second, the students develop a work plan in conjunction with the site coordinator that is then approved by the participating organization and Northwestern faculty supervisors. As the students work on this project, they meet regularly with their site coordinator (generally once a week) to get direction and feedback. After the work is completed, a deliverable is then presented to the participating organization and to the faculty in the Civic Engagement Certificate Program.


Previous sites

Some examples of organizations that students have worked with in the past include the following:

  • Center for Independent Futures
  • Evanston Township High School
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Heartland Alliance
  • Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
  • Piccolo Theatre
  • Project EXCITE
  • Senior Connections

Contact Us

Undergraduate Office

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-3790

Email: sespinfo@sesp.northwestern.edu