Chicago Civic Leadership Certificate Program CCLCP

CCLCP’s accomplishments
attract community, UIC support

Since 2004, the successful participation in CCLCP of students, community partners, and instructors has won the program support and recognition from inside and outside UIC.


CCLCP was founded on the strength of a three-year matching grant from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The grant enabled a pilot project of curric­ulum design, instructional innovation, and the invention of systems for establishing and maintaining reciprocal and collaborative partnerships with community-based not-for-profit organizations. Because CCLCP was the first organized undergraduate academic program of civic engagement at UIC, almost every aspect of the new endeavor had to be invented, tested, and adjusted during the early years. The process was greatly advanced by a semester-by-semester program of assessment, a basis for continual improvement that is a permanent feature of CCLCP.


Upon the expiration of the federal grant period, R. Michael Tanner, then UIC Provost, was sufficiently impressed by CCLCP’s development and achievements to grant three additional years of university support. In addition, Chicago’s own McCormick Foundation (then the McCormick Tribune Foundation), contributed the first of a series of annual grants. Also, in both 2007-08 and 2008-09, CCLCP received financial support from Lipman Hearne, a Chicago marketing communications firm that serves the non-profit sector. As support from the Office of the Provost expired, the UIC College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, became CCLCP’s “home college” and assumed program costs not covered by grant funds. For three consecutive years beginning in 2009, CCLCP has received grant support from UIC’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE). In addition, a new funder—J.P. Morgan Chase—provided a generous grant to UIC in 2011-12.


Here, briefly, is a list of the accomplishments that have merited support for CCLCP from both inside and outside the university:

August 2004: First cohort of CCLCP students begins pilot five-course program, the first undergraduate academic program of civic engagement ever offered at UIC. During the pilot period, CCLCP develops an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on developing writing and other literacy skills, research, civic responsibility, and leadership; creates procedures for establishing and nurturing partnerships with not-for-profit community-based organizations; estab­lishes an administrative infra­struc­ture; presents and publishes information about the pro­gram; and designs and implements a multi-modal assessment plan.

Spring 2005: A comparison of research-based, thesis-driven papers writ­ten by CCLCP students with the papers written by randomly selected (but age-, gender- , and ACT-score-matched) students in traditional writing courses demonstrates the super­iority of CCLCP students’ work. (A second study in Spring 2008 replicates these findings.)
Fall 2006: Results of CCLCP’s writing study are published in Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning and presented at the annual conference of International Association for Research in Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Portland, OR. (For the full list of CCLCP publications and presentations, click here.)
December 2006: First CCLCP cohort completes program.

January 2007: First post-CCLCP interns begin community-based projects. First CCLCP Convocation held to honor students who completed the program.

August 2007: CCLCP launches second student cohort in revamped four-course curriculum.

January 2008: UIC Faculty Senate grants CCLCP campus certificate status. Students who complete the program will have the Chicago Civic Leadership Certificate noted on their academic transcripts.

July 2008: Professor Ann Merle Feldman, founding director of CCLCP, is awarded citation for distinguished engaged scholarship by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts.

August 2008: CCLCP launches third student cohort.

May 2009: Second student cohort completes CCLCP; this is the first group granted the official campus certificate.

November 2009: Dr. Feldman, CCLCP Associate Director Diane Chin, and Assessment Coordinator Tom Moss present on CCLCP at international research conference in Canada. CCLCP receives curriculum development grant from IPCE. Dr. Chin honored with UIC Chancellor’s Award of Merit for CCLCP work.      

May 2010: Third CCLCP cohort completes program.

August 2010: Fourth CCLCP cohort begins program.

November 2010: CCLCP receives IPCE grant for first year of research project studying long-term effects on student of participation in CCLCP.

June 2011: Dr. Feldman, Dr. Chin, and researcher Michael J. Bolz, UIC Learning Sciences Research Institute, present preliminary look at IPCE-funded research at conference on civic engagement at Boston University.

November 2011: CCLCP receives IPCE grant for second year of research project studying long-term effects on student of participation in CCLCP. Dr. Chin and Mr. Bolz present aims and design of this project at international research conference in Chicago.