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Projects with Promise

Vol. 27 No. 4

The Codevelopment of Community Engagement Certificate Programs for State Wildlife Agency Professionals: Impact of a University–State Agency Partnership

  • Diane M. Doberneck
  • Alexa R. Warwick
  • Barbara A. Avers
  • Emily F. Pomeranz
August 5, 2022


State wildlife agency professionals are realizing they need new mindsets and practices for collaboration with diverse stakeholders and community partners to achieve policy, management, science, and education goals. This realization led to a partnership between a state agency, a land-grant university’s outreach and engagement office, and University Extension to codesign professional development certificate programs about community engagement. The authors describe the codevelopment process of both basic and advanced community engagement certificate programs, including goals, descriptions, curricula, and evaluation outcomes. Three years of programming resulted in lessons learned about moving community engagement concepts from theory to practice, the value of participant-generated case studies, and the importance of opportunities for adult learners to practice new ideas in their own professional contexts. In addition to participant impacts, the authors share how this codevelopment process and partnership has improved practices and influenced culture change in the state agency, university, and Extension.