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Civic Leadership Program

Your pathway to active citizenship

Learn and practice the skills of engaging with your communities and creating positive social change alongside 14 other committed first and second year students. The Civic Leadership Program spans a Spring, Summer, and Fall term, includes two one-credit course opportunities, and provides you at least $1000 for a community-impact summer project.

Applications to join the 2025 cohort will be posted in late fall 2024. If you would like to be notified when the application is live, complete this interest form.

Why Join:Civic leadership students volunteering at Dream Catchers
  • Unique opportunities like meeting with civic leaders, attending social change conferences, taking community engagement courses, and completing meaningful community projects
  • Supportive community among a cohort of students dedicated to positive social change 
  • Personal and purposeful advising to strengthen your leadership skills

civic leadership students in class together


 "At the beginning of the year, I joined because I really enjoyed community service and wanted to help people. This is still true, but I have a more nuanced, advanced perspective now. I am developing the skills and resources needed to combat complex social issues." -Civic Leadership Program past participant


Core Experiences
description of the core experiences of the program
Spring: Community Engagement in Context (1 Credit Course)
Mondays 1-1:50
We will learn and apply concepts and practices that support effective, justice-oriented service work as part of a community. We will explore ideas of what community can be and what it means to lead and serve in a community context. You will complete at least eight community engagement experiences as part of the course.
Summer: Funded Community Experiences

You will complete a community engagement experience (direct service or community-based internship) which fits your interest, skills, and schedule. You are expected to spend at least 65 hours on this experience and will receive at least $1000 in support of your work. You may either develop your own experience in partnership with a community organization, or apply for an existing program or internship (which may require a greater time commitment and provide greater funding).

Fall: Community Engagement on Campus (1 credit course)
Tuesdays 4-4:50

Together we will investigate the role of college students and higher education in community change. In what forms have campuses engaged with the processes of community change? What are the opportunities and limitations of community engagement on college campuses? You will select and complete a community-engaged project focused on a particular social issue or community organization as part of the course.


After completing the Spring-Summer-Fall cycle, upperclass students in the Civic Leadership Program will:

  • Engage in sustained community partnerships developed either independently or through existing W&M programs and student organizations (such as Branch Out Alternative Breaks, CKI, Williamsburg Engagement, etc.)
  • Serve in leadership and advisory roles for Civic & Community Engagement including serving on grant and award review committees, leading student service teams for one-day or weekly programs, representing OCE at campus and community events, etc.
  • Compile a Civic Leadership portfolio reflecting your active citizenship experiences and growth



 The Civic Leadership Program is coordinated by Elizabeth Miller.