Graduate Certificate in Urban and Community Education

volunteer group photo
Student helping children.
Students collecting trash.

About the Program  

This graduate certificate will afford participants with a deep understanding of urban residents’ experiences of education and community outreach for the purpose of equipping them with critical skills for creating strong partnerships between schools, families, businesses, governmental entities, and communities. Through a dedicated focus on education policy; the history of urban education; current trends in school reform theory, practice, and data-driven decision-making; and program development, participants will earn an applied academic credential focused on school and community engagement in urban settings. This training will be particularly useful for career enhancement opportunities in non-profit organizations, governmental relations, and administration of public entities, as well as enhancing grant-writing activities and the development of applied research agendas.

Student Profile

The certificate will be available to students enrolled at LSU and to non-traditional students desiring additional training working with community organizations in urban education settings. 

Urban and Community Education Course Descriptions (18 hours)

  • ELRC 4249*, Understanding and Applying Research in Education/Research Methods in Sociology, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7901*, Curriculum Theory, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7903, Curriculum Planning: Urban Education and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, 3 credit hours
  • SOCL 4331 or HRE 7801* or HRE 7025*, Social Stratification/Current Problems in HRE/Advanced Adult Learning Theory and Practice, 3 credit hours

  • SOCL 7201, Research Methods in Sociology, 3 credit hours
    • Introduction to statistics and inferential methods in sociological research; emphasis on interpretation and current research
  • ELRC 4249*, Understanding and Applying Research in Education, 3 credit hours
    • Instructing teachers and administrators to become intelligent consumers of research
  • EDCI 7901*, Curriculum Theory, 3 credit hours
    • Means for strengthening an understanding of curriculum broadly conceived in relation to social, racial, political and economic influences on education. Links between past and current conceptions of curriculum in relation to social justice are developed.
  • EDCI 7903*, Curriculum Planning: Urban Education and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, 3 credit hours
    • Prereq.: EDCI 7901 or equivalent. Principles of curriculum needs assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation.

  • LHRE 7025*, Advanced Adult Learning Theory and Practice, 3 credit hours
    • Advanced study of adult learning theory and research; emphasis on learning theory and research in adult learning with implications for adult learning practice.
  • LHRE 7801, Current Problems and Issues in Human Resource Education, 3 credit hours
    •  Legislative, societal, and educational concerns affecting workforce education
  • SOCL 4331, Social Stratification, 3 credit hours
    • Class and rank structure in society; determinants of social class, mobility, and changes in class position of both individuals and groups; attitudinal and behavioral consequences of class position.


Instead of taking 6 hours of electives, there is an option to take an independent study course with a faculty member that would be designed as a capstone service learning course.

Other elective courses may be substituted by permission and with prior approval of the program advisors.  

This program will consist of traditional and online courses. A student can choose to take this certificate program on campus, online, or a combination of the two formats, depending on the courses they select. Students will be prevented from taking more than one-half of their coursework in 4000-level courses by their advisor. 

  • EDCI 7825*, Curriculum in the Secondary Schools, 3 credit hours
    • Content, organization, and evaluation of the secondary school curriculum. EDCI 7824 (3) Elementary School Curriculum. Content, organization, and evaluation of the elementary school curriculum.
  • ELRC 7393, Multicultural Counseling, 3 credit hours
    • Overview of cross-cultural counseling skills and review of factors which influence the behaviors of individuals from diverse populations.
  • EDCI 7921*, Critical Race Theory, 3 credit hours
    • Prereq.: ELRC 7241 or equivalent. A max. of 6 sem. hrs. may be earned in this series; only 3 sem. hrs. may be earned in any one area. Factors influencing research and critical analysis of selected research in one of the following areas: curriculum, mathematics, science, language arts, social or early childhood education.
  • ELRC 7600, Issues of Race and Gender in Higher Education, 3 credit hours
    • Historical and socio-political perspectives on the higher education experiences of women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics, focusing primarily on the period from the 1960s to the present.
  • ELRC 7601*, Foundations of Higher Education, 3 credit hours
    • History of the sociological and philosophical foundations for higher education in the United States.
  • ENGL 7222, Researching Community Literacies, 3 credit hours
    • May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Intensive study of a topic in history or theories of literacy; topics include “Technology and Literacy,” “Gender and Literacy,” “Orality and Literacy,” “Theory and Politics of Literacy,” “Working-Class Literacy.”
  • LHRE 4025, Principles of Adult Education, 3 credit hours
    • Nature and importance of adult education; social and psychological factors affecting adult motivation and learning; techniques for providing adult learning experiences.
  • SOCL 4461, Criminology, 3 credit hours
    • Crime, the criminal justice system and penology.
  • SOCL 4701 Population (3)
    • Processes that influence size and composition of human populations; determinants and consequences of demographic trends.
  • SOCL 7491, Race, 3 credit hours
    • Prereq.: consent of instructor May be taken for a max. of 12 sem. hrs. credit if topics vary. Specialized areas in social institutions.
  • SOCL 7591, Community, 3 credit hours
    • Prereq.: consent of instructor. May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. hrs. credit if topics vary. Specialized areas in social issues.
  • SW 7803, Grant and Proposal Writing for Human Service Organizations, 3 credit hours
    • Methods of accessing federal, state, and private funds; developing grant and contract proposals.

 *Designates online classes


If you are a prospective students or non-degree seeking student not enrolled at LSU:

Requirements to apply for the program. 

In order to apply for the certificate, applicants must have and submit:

  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 hours of undergraduate work or a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on all previous graduate work.
  • A personal statement of interest in the areas of Urban and Community Education (1,000 words or less). You may address how you became interested in working in these areas, your experience with urban and/ or community engagement, and what you hope to learn in this program. 

Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated throughout the year. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School. Applications are continuously evaluated and students may be admitted for any semester.

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in UCE.

If you are a currently enrolled student:

Any student who has been admitted to a graduate degree program in a related field is eligible to earn the certificate. Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program who are interested in completing the UCE certificate should contact the UCE program coordinator.


Resources & Professional Organizations

Louisiana Pathways
For child care employees working towards an approved master’s degree or doctorate, or taking individual courses to meet Quality Start staff qualifications or to advance on the Louisiana Pathways Career Ladders, scholarships will pay for tuition only.

The Classroom Teacher Enrollment Program (CTEP)
The Louisiana Classroom Teacher Enrollment Program (CTEP) allows classroom teachers to attend Louisiana’s public colleges and universities tuition free (all other fees must be paid by the teacher) on a space available basis. The law also requires that classroom teachers who participate in CTEP during any one school year shall be obligated to practice as a classroom teacher in the elementary or secondary schools of Louisiana for at least the subsequent school year.

The CTEP program is applicable and valid only for courses offered on the main campus offered by the college or university which the teacher plans to attend. CTEP may not be used to schedule off-campus, correspondence, or distance learning courses. Independent study courses, practicum courses requiring individual supervision, thesis courses, and dissertation courses are not eligible for tuition exemption under the CTEP program. The law creating CTEP limits course enrollment to six (6) semester hours per academic year semester. Course enrollment limits for summer sessions or quarters under this program are those imposed by the college or university in which the teacher enrolls.

National Association for Family & Community Education

National Council of Urban Education Associations

Annenberg Institute Voices in Urban Education


Dr. Jackie Bach & Dr. Kerri Tobin