Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Collaborative Community Leadership
214 Litton-Reaves Hall, Mail Code: 0343
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Contact this Certificate
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Eric K. Kaufman:
Ginger B. Dempsey:

Why this certificate?

According to national surveys, less than a third of Americans believe leaders in the United States are effective, and more than half believe the issue has become worse in the last 20 years (Shollen & Gagnon, 2019). While many express healthy skepticism of the heroic approaches to leadership (Crosby & Bryson, 2017), recent evidences suggests key opportunities in the collective dimensions of leadership (Ospina, Foldy, Fairhurst, & Jackson, 2020), as well as leadership-as-practice development (Raelin, 2020). In our rapidly changing world, we need leaders with interdisciplinary skills to solve complex societal issues on local, national, and international levels (Bear & Skorton, 2019). The Collaborative Community Leadership graduate certificate program will prepare participants with the educational background necessary to lead in a diverse and multi-cultural environment.

This certificate will complement Virginia Tech graduate students' academic education by preparing them with the following abilities:

  • Apply knowledge of leadership principles in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary contexts,
  • Engage in scholarly inquiry as a way to critically analyze leadership theory and practice,
  • Promote collaborative leadership in real-world settings, and 
  • Practice social responsibility in today's diverse and multicultural environment.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission & Conferral

Admission to the graduate certificate program in Collaborative Community Leadership will be considered from students enrolled in any graduate program at Virginia Tech and from non-degree students who have been admitted to take courses by the Graduate School.  Students who intend to pursue the certificate should complete the Graduate Certificate Application. When all requirements have been satisfied, participants will submit an application for certificate conferral to have the certificate added to their academic transcript.  


The certificate requires successful completion of 13 credit hours, including completion of a project that demonstrates application of concepts from the program.  The required coursework includes two core courses and two courses from restricted electives.  All courses are graduate-level and three credit hours.  The project should be completed with one credit hour of independent study credit (LDRS 5974).  The program website includes a list of example projects for fulfillment of the certificate program. The electives identified on the program website is not all-inclusive; students may propose alternate options to the certificate coordinator. Common course prefixes for alternate options include COMM, GIA, GRAD, PAPA, PHS, UAP, MGT, and PSYC.  To explore ideas for an appropriate plan of study, contact the certificate program coordinator.