Online Advanced Certificate Program on Community Schools

In partnership with Binghamton University, the Children’s Aid National Center for Community Schools has developed the nation’s first on-line certificate program on community schools. The program is designed for school professionals, community-based service providers, or anyone seeking to have measureable impact on people’s lives and their communities.

What are community schools?

Community schools are a strategy for organizing school and community resources around student success. Each Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community, open to everyone, all day, every day, evenings and weekends. Community schools represent a strategy, not a program.

Learn more about community schools: Frequently Asked Questions.

About the program

  • Courses offered entirely online
  • Program completion in one year of part-time study
  • BA or BS required
  • No Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • No professional licensing and/or certification required


CSC 501 - Fundamentals of Whole Child Education PK - 12

This course will introduce students to the major policy and practice trends in education over the past 20 years with a focus on fiscal, political, pedagogical and structural shifts in and surrounding the educational landscape. Participants will have an opportunity to utilize ecological systems theory to examine how current trends touch down in their own communities as well as explore how guiding principles from the Community School Standards developed by the Coalition for Community Schools can transform schools and communities.

Instructor: Elizabeth Anderson

CSC 502 - Structural Elements of a Community School

This course will examine the core structural elements that make a community school different than a traditional school: full-time community school director; systematic needs assessment process; partner recruitment and coordination; site-based governance; and, data-driven decision making. Participants will learn about how these structural elements are combined in different models of community schools and will learn about the similarities and differences in these models.

Instructor: Janice Chu-Zhu

CSC 503 - Community School Programs

This course will explore six different types of programs that are typically found in community schools: early childhood; expanded learning; health; mental health; family engagement, family support and adult education; and community and economic development. Participants will learn about best practices, evidence-based approaches, and funding sources in each of these program areas.

Instructor: Janice Chu-Zhu

CSC 504 - Whole School Strategies in a Community School

This course will examine best practices in three areas of school-wide intervention in community schools: attendance; health and wellness; and school climate. Participants will learn about the research, policies, and ethics that undergird these approaches as well as the resource organizations that support implementation in each area.

Instructor: Janice Chu-Zhu

CSC 505 - Capstone Project

Participants will develop and conduct an interdisciplinary capstone project that demonstrates their ability to apply what they have learned in CSC 501, 502, 503, and 504 to build on and advance existing knowledge in their practice sites.

Instructor: Elizabeth Anderson
Tuition/ Fee Type NYS
exclusively online
Graduate  Tuition per credit $462.00 $555.00
Academic Excellence and Success Fee $21.00 $21.00
Graduate Activity Fee $7.25 $7.25
Student Health Services Fee* $21.25 $21.25
ID Card Fee* $5.00 $5.00
Recreation Fee* $6.75 $6.75
Technology Fee $42.50 $42.50
Transportation Fee* $11.00 $11.00
College Fee $4.25 $4.25
CCPA Program Fee $8.00 $8.00
Totals per credit $594.00 $687.00
Totals per 15-credit program $8,910.00 $10,305.00

*Fees may be waived according to the current fee waiver policy.

Fees are current for July 2018 and are subject to change.

Note: Enrolling in another program may adjust the tuition and fee rates.

To apply, visit the Binghamton University certificate program admissions page.

If you would like to learn more about the Online Certificate Program or have questions, please contact Tami Mann, director of recruitment, admissions and certification, at or 607-777-5322.