Today we’re announcing a new professional development opportunity for STEM community managers: the CSCCE Community Manager Certification Program. The program is intended to support graduates of our Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF) course further hone their community management skills, produce immediately applicable outputs for their current role, and continue to benefit from cohort-based learning with their peers, one of the hallmarks of CSCCE trainings.
With today’s announcement, we’re seeking your feedback on how best to finalize our plans. We strive to provide programming and resources that meet the needs of our learners and community members, so before we put the finishing touches on the certification program, we’re asking for your feedback. We’ve made a very brief survey that will ask you about your preferences when it comes to learning options (following a certification path or taking standalone courses), scheduling, and any barriers that might prevent you from participating.
In this blog post, we go over the key features of the new program to help inform your responses to the survey. After we review your feedback and refine a few of the finer details, you can expect a second round of communications in September with information about precise dates and pricing for the program, as well as how to sign up (make sure you’re on our newsletter mailing list!). If you have any questions at all, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What material will the program cover?
We have designed the certification program so that along with core course and cohort-building activities participants have some freedom to tailor their learning experience to meet their own professional goals. All learners will take two core 8-week courses: Creating Community Playbooks (PBK) and Content Design (CODE); as well as one elective course (Nurturing Online Communities (NOC) or Communities of Practice (CoP)).
These multi-week courses will be complemented by additional activities, including a choice of mini-workshops, cohort discussions and skills share sessions, and office hours with instructors. These additional offerings will address topics such as community culture, planning virtual events, and working with volunteers.
All of these learning activities will be supported by new technical infrastructure that we’ve been working on this year – including a learning management system (LMS) that will aid with navigation through materials and assessment of learner outputs – so you can be sure you’re getting a robust, easy-to-engage-with learning experience.
Who is the program for? Are there prerequisites for enrollment?
The program is designed for anyone currently working to support a STEM community (or communities). Your job title does not have to be “community manager,” but you should be actively engaged in running, or planning to launch, a community, collaboration, or network.
Anyone interested in registering for the program should first take our flagship multi-week course, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), the Fall 2022 cohort of which still has a limited number of available places (register here). CEF currently runs four times a year, once a quarter, so there are plenty of opportunities to take part.
We will consider exceptions to this prerequisite, for example for past Community Engagement Fellows. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
When will the program start, and how long does it take to complete?
Depending on interest (please fill out this form to let us know your level of interest in the program or its constituent courses), the first cohort of the CSCCE community manager certification program will begin their training in January of 2023. There will be a second 2023 cohort, beginning at the start of the academic year in September. We expect participants to complete their studies in two years or less, and we will ensure that our course scheduling allows more than one option for when to meet each requirement.
How much will it cost to take part in the program?
We are still finalizing pricing for the program, and plan to share this information by September 2022. One thing we know for sure, though, is that we will be offering an early-bird discount for registrants in our January 2023 cohort. To be the first to know about this, please register your interest here.
We are also working on an Accessibility Fund to support participants who may not be able to afford the full rate. This is made possible through participants from well-funded institutions paying a supporting rate for individual courses, as well as through generous donations. We intend to source additional funding to ensure that we can continue offering discounted, or even free, places on the certification program (if your organization is interested in supporting participants taking part in the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
What does it mean to be a CSCCE-certified community manager?
CSCCE-certified community managers will be able to easily demonstrate the legitimacy of their growing skills to current supervisors or future employers. We will be offering digital badges upon graduation from each multi-week course, as well as a final certification badge when all requirements are met.
CSCCE is continuously working to increase recognition for community managers, and that includes promoting the certification program and its value. It is our hope that this program becomes the gold standard for organizations across the STEM ecosystem who are working to engage members.
Can I take one of the new courses without signing up for certification?
We hope that this will be an option – but it really depends on the levels of interest we have in the certification program versus more independent paths through our training offerings. If this is something that you would be interested in, we encourage you to complete the survey to let us know.
This sounds great, how do I sign up?
You can register your interest in the program here! By doing so, you let us know that you would like to be the first to know when we announce dates and pricing, as well as which cohort (January or September) you would be most interested in joining. You can also use the form to let us know if you are interested in taking one of the new courses we’ll be offering, but not the certification program as a whole.