CSCCE Community Manager Certification Program – Additional Activities

Participants in CSCCE’s Community Manager Certification Program are required to complete additional activities in order to graduate and become a CSCCE-certified community manager. These activities are designed to complement the three multi-week courses with shorter-form content and offer opportunities to build connections with members of your cohort. 

This is an early edition of this page: You can expect updates to be made as we finalize additional content. 

Requirements for completion

To complete the training, participants must take part in six, 90-minute CSCCE mini-workshops. Two of these are a mandatory part of your orientation at the start of the program and the remaining four can be chosen from a growing collection of offerings. 

Learners will also participate in program orientation, attend at least three quarterly skills share sessions, present a lightning talk at one of these sessions, and participate in a graduation ceremony (which includes presentation of a final capstone project).

On this page, you’ll find more information about each of these requirements. 


CSCCE mini-workshops are 90-minute sessions that introduce discrete ideas in community management or go deeper on a core framework. Participants in the program will be able to build their own mini-workshop program, with each mini-workshop offered at least twice during the program of study. 

During program orientation (see below), all participants in the cohort will take two required mini-workshops together. These will focus on creating core values and co-creating a set of norms for how we will work together throughout the program. 

Then, participants will be able to choose four more mini-workshops to complete their requirements. At this time mini-workshops will only be open to those enrolled in the CSCCE certification program. 

Required mini-workshops

The following mini-workshops form part of your onboarding and orientation experience:

Creating core values statements

Core values statements describe the values underpinning how community members would like to interact, and include a definition of each value as well as examples of what they look like in action. Core values statements are most effective when they are co-created with community members and are specific to the community, rather than re-using values statements that others have created. In this mini-workshop, learning program participants will collaboratively draft core values statements as a cohort, a process they can also adapt for use in their own communities. 

Related resource: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2020) Creating core values statements. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3906620 

Giving and receiving feedback

Providing useful and kind feedback to others and being open to receiving feedback ourselves is a critical skill for effective collaboration – including during the certification program experience! During this session, we’ll explore the functions of feedback, how to structure yours, and what can make receiving feedback easier.

Optional mini-workshops

Choose 4 of the following mini-workshops:

Enacting culture change: The Four-Frame Model

Many culture change projects are met with general enthusiasm at the conceptual level, but fall short during their implementation. In this mini-workshop, participants will reflect on their own role as change agents and use Bolman and Deal’s Four-Frame Model to assess and describe different types of barriers to culture change initiatives (structural, human resources, political, and symbolic). We will then use the model to identify where community managers might exert leverage  – and what specific actions could help to overcome the identified barriers.  

Related resource: Bolman, L.G. & Deal, T.E. (2017). Reframing organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership. Sixth edition. New Jersey: Jossey-Bass.

Making a PACT for engaging virtual meetings and events

With virtual work increasingly the norm, community managers are often tasked with convening and facilitating virtual meetings. In this mini-workshop, participants will discuss the opportunities and challenges of virtual meetings and explore the “Making a PACT” framework (Purpose, Attendees, Community management, Tech tools) for effective meeting design. Community managers will apply the framework directly to example scenarios so that they leave feeling empowered to use the framework in their own community management. 

Related resource: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) Using virtual events to facilitate community building: Making a PACT for more engaging virtual meetings and events. Woodley, Pratt, and East doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4987666

Making decisions during virtual meetings

Meetings and virtual events often involve asking attendees to make decisions. Decision-making invokes numerous considerations, including how to negotiate power dynamics, empower everyone to express their opinions, and actually reach the outcome(s) you desire. In this mini-workshop, participants will explore four broad decision-making modes (authority rule, consultation, voting, and consensus) and then use the PACT framework to plan a decision-making process. Community managers will leave prepared to deploy decision-making processes in a way that invites all attendees at their meetings and events to contribute.

Selecting supplementary tools for virtual meetings and events

Community managers regularly use online tools to support the needs of community members in virtual meetings and events. With so many possible needs to solve for, and so many potential online tools to use – how can you quickly determine which tools to explore and then use? In this mini-workshop, participants will apply CSCCE’s BASICS framework and SCORE method to determine an appropriate tool for a provided use case scenario. They will also explore two online tools in a “sandbox” setting to explore functionality and usability, preparing them to select and implement tools for their own virtual meetings and events. 

Related resource: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) A guide to using virtual events to facilitate community-building: Selecting and testing online tools. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4521211

Working with Volunteers

Community managers are often trying to create spaces that support group learning and self-expression to build something members of the community couldn’t create alone, and this almost always includes incorporating volunteer contributions. In this mini-workshop, we’ll explore common community manager concerns related to working with volunteers. We’ll discuss how to flip the narrative from self-doubt and scarcity to center volunteers in a way that empowers and supports them in working together and builds your confidence as a community organizer. We will discuss making contributor pathways visible so that work gets done, while being respectful of members’ different contexts. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking things such as “I feel really self-conscious about asking for contributions from our volunteers – are we being too demanding?” and “I know that different members in our community need different things, but I don’t know where to start.” then this discussion-based workshop is for you. 

Program orientation

Participants will receive a welcome pack of detailed orientation instructions to support their success in the program. Prior to the beginning of the program, we expect there to be about one hour of personal setup time as participants familiarize themselves with logistics, background reading, the private Slack channel for the cohort, and our learning management system. 

The program will officially begin with a live, 60-minute, orientation meeting on Zoom. This will take place approximately two weeks before the first course (Content Design) begins. 

Quarterly skills share sessions

Everyone participating in the program is a community manager in STEM, bringing unique experiences and skills into the cohort. At each quarterly skills share session, two or three participants will give a lightning talk about something related to their work. As a participant, you are expected to present once during the time of your enrollment. 

Quarterly skills share sessions will be open to all members of the CSCCE community of practice, giving participants the opportunity to raise their profile in the community, get feedback from a broader audience, and make new connections. 

Capstone project

Throughout your time in the CSCCE certification program you will be exposed to a range of new ideas, frameworks, and strategies. While we are still refining the details around what makes a capstone project, you can expect it to involve holistic reflection and/or creation of a product that you can directly apply in  your day-to-day community management work. 

Review and assessment

For each course you take there will be some form of assessment. This will look like feedback on written assignments, answering short quizzes, and meeting participation and attendance requirements. Your final capstone project will also be assessed by CSCCE staff. 

Throughout the course, participants will also be expected to give and receive constructive feedback to their peers.