Certificate in Applied Community Psychology

The Certificate in Applied Community Psychology program is designed for individuals employed in a range of advocacy and/or human services fields who wish to improve their skills and increase their career options. It also provides excellent opportunities to recent university graduates in the social and behavioral sciences who are interested in entering community intervention work, deepening their understanding of community life as they develop practical skills for facilitating community and social change. Faculty members have extensive experience working in urban and culturally diverse communities. Classes are lively, informal, and small, offering students from varied life backgrounds opportunities to work closely on real-world community issues. Students are introduced to theories that are then applied to community-based course assignments and projects.

Program Structure

The 20-unit Certificate in Applied Community Psychology program can be completed in five quarters over 15 consecutive months. Students in the Applied Community Psychology certificate program conduct all of their coursework on the AULA campus, taking classes alongside master’s in Psychology students.

Program Schedule

Students may enter the program during any quarter. Quarters begin in October, January, April, and July. To apply, click here.

Program Curriculum

Through class projects and field study opportunities, students acquire valuable skills and hands-on experience in program development and evaluation; prevention and promotion; community consultation and collaboration; and workshop and in-service development. Students round out their program of study with elective workshops, or may elect to participate in additional field study experiences.

Required Coursework:

Community Psychology: Theories and Methods

This course introduces students to the field of community psychology as preparation for work with communities on issues relevant to the diverse contemporary urban environments of Southern California. Emphasis is placed on the role of extra-individual processes (e.g., social settings, policies, laws) in understanding the social contexts which shape individual behavior. Students learn new paradigms (e.g., principles of ecology, prevention, power, and empowerment) for working with communities to promote a balance between personal, relational, and collective wellbeing. Class members engage in reading and critical discussions on the role of values in the work of family therapists in the broader community. Students learn theory and skills that promote engagement of the broader community in assessing problems in the community and addressing them through ameliorative and transformative interventions.

Program Development and Evaluation

The central goal of the course is to introduce students to basic principles of program development and evaluation as practiced in mental health and community service settings addressing social problems. Emphasis is on practical considerations of what can and cannot be accomplished in real-world community settings with respect to design and implementation of evaluations and the use of evaluation findings in program development. Topics include: performing a needs assessment, developing program goals and program objectives, identifying resources and funding sources, assigning leadership tasks, implementation, evaluation and revision.

Prevention and Promotion

This course introduces students to strategies, models, and methodologies used in the prevention of mental health and psychosocial problems and promotion of competence in individuals, families, and communities. The course emphasizes the importance of problem definition in the development of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies and examines how definition of problems guides the focus of prevention programming. Prevention strategies discussed include consultation, psychoeducational interventions, and empowerment. Attention is given to such issues as community violence, delinquency, adolescent pregnancy, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS, with special attention given to needs of historically underserved and oppressed populations. Topics include: defining social problems targeted for prevention; origins, rationale, and need for prevention; fundamental concepts and models of prevention; the social context of prevention; prevention strategies and exemplary programs across the lifespan; program evaluation; and empowerment, community mobilization, self efficacy, and social change.

Psychoeducational Groups and In-Service Training Development

This course introduces students to fundamental elements of designing and implementing psychoeducational programs for the general public and allied professionals (educators, social service agency personnel, etc.). The course emphasizes a hands-on approach, as each student develops a psychoeducational program or in-service training on a topic of his or her choice. Topics include: the fundamentals of group training, audience assessment, how to develop topics, how to generate effective handouts and audio-visual aids, presentation skills, and evaluation and assessment.

Community Consultation and Collaboration

This course introduces students to the role of professional psychologists as consultants and collaborators with individuals, groups, organizations, and agencies providing services to a variety of communities and constituencies (social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, mental health service providers, schools, etc.). Topics include the role of consultants and their relationship to the consultee. The course will emphasize consultation skills with attention to all phases of the consultation process: entry, assessment, diagnosis, development, intervention, and termination. The course also focuses on community-based consultation efforts, with particular attention to issues of diversity, community and school settings.

Field Study in Applied Community Psychology

This course provides students with the opportunity to work directly with a community agency on a project involving program development, evaluation, consultation, collaboration, psychoeducational group and/or in-service training development.

Eligibility Requirements

The Certificate in Applied Community Psychology program was designed for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and are interested in engaging in community work.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information
Antioch University provides certain information about certificate programs in order to comply with the new Gainful Employment regulations from the U.S. Department of Education. We hope the following information is helpful to you. If you have further questions about this certificate program, please do not hesitate to contact MA in Psychology Director of Weekend and Satellite Programs Grant Elliott.