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About the Certificate

Schools of Social Work with macro practice specializations, as well as other professional schools or academic disciplines with similar community curricula, recognize the importance of educating the next generation of community practitioners. Graduate students and alumni often consider opportunities to strengthen their resumes and gain qualifications in their respective fields including community practice. As students critically assess their own skills and professional development options in their careers, certification that defines and affirms practice competencies has become increasingly important to their advancement.

The Association of Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) will now offer a Community Practice Certificate partnership as a means of helping your students advance their careers in community organizing, community planning, community development, and community (social) change. This is an opportunity for your school to join with ACOSA to promote the strength of your community practice curriculum.

In initiating this Community Practice Certificate, ACOSA will work with Schools of Social Work and other disciplines that offer curriculum programs that focus on the domains of community practice - community organizing, community planning, community development, and community or social change. ACOSA is an international membership organization, both individual and institutional, that includes educators, students, and practitioners of community practice. ACOSA offers the Journal of Community Practice: Community Organizing, Planning, Development, and Change, published in hard copy and on-line by the Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. ACOSA also administratively sponsors the Special Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice, maintains the COSA track for the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting, and supports United for Macro Practice efforts.

We hope you will partner with ACOSA to provide your graduating students and alumni with this Community Practice Certificate. Through this partnership you will:
  • Promote your school’s alignment with the Association for Community Organization and Social Action’s mission of advancing social change through community practice;
  • Receive endorsement from the Association for Community Organization and Social Action, an international association dedicated to advancing community practice, relative to your community practice curriculum; and
  • Provide a certificate to your students and alumni, which they can use to strengthen their portfolio when seeking employment and career advancement in community practice.
The guidebook describes the Community Practice Certification process, defines Community Practice – its domains and competencies, and provides a checklist of practice domains and competencies to guide your school/program in aligning your curriculum with ACOSA’s new certificate. Please review these guidelines and if you have questions, contact the Community Practice Certificate committee via


ACOSA Community Practice Certificate Committee

Certificate Partners