I believe there is a community builder in all of us whether we take courses or not.  We all have different communities that we move in, help shape, and celebrate with. Unfortunately we don’t always realize our strengths and roles...What Campus for Communities is doing for London through the Community Development for Practitioners Certification, is helping to clarify the roles community leaders and organizations can play. It is  giving us a common language to increase the effectiveness of our conversations and is providing new skills and knowledge that we may not have attempted to learn. The webinars are fun, interactive, and just relaxed enough to allow everyone to express their opinions. The course work practiced in our neighbourhoods makes it real and has an immediate impact on our communities. Brenda Herchmer is a fantastic facilitator with an amazing knowledge of building community. Thanks so much for providing these opportunities to our community so we can grow together and strengthen London as a city, one community and neighbourhood at a time.  

 -- Karen Oldham, City of London, Neighbourhood, Children and Fire Services                

 "I don’t recommend programs or services without personal experience. I had the opportunity to audit both certificate programs in community development offered this year. They were well designed, accessible, informative, practical, realistic in time and cost, and very applied, with participants from across the country. Brenda has done an excellent job of creating real time webinars that are combined with other resources and the shared experiences of participants.  I have experimented with many kinds of learning opportunities (as a provider and as a student) throughout my career and while I recognize there are no miracles out there, the Campus for Communities is doing great work that allows people new and experienced, and with or without formal education, to add to their community development knowledge without a lot of cost or hassle. The course fees are primarily for evaluation and credentialing. If a participant doesn’t care about those issues, the program costs are extremely modest. The Campus website also contains a lot of free resources that anyone can access." 

-- Retired Alberta University Professor

  

 What Participants Had to Say About the Training

 

  • "Best course I have ever taken! The assignments really solidified my learning." 
  • Your courses have made 'something' click for me. A lot has come together...the materials presented and the order you have brought to the process of community development and community building is invaluable to me.
  • ...this is one of the most interesting and interactive trainings I have participated in a long time.  I found the conversations and feedback very valuable.
  • I loved the community building courses. I usually find it difficult to participate and learn in webinar sessions but that is not the case with these ones. Brenda is very engaging.
  • ...we have all climbed a mountain together in taking this curriculum and now the other side of the mountain looks rather different.
  • "Fantastic course for anyone looking to make a change in their community. Awesome perspective and learnings from other participants across Canada."
  • "For me this course demystified the concept of community development, pulled it from the clouds, and put it on the ground. It's a process, and you get these concepts grounded and the skills you need to be a leader."  
  • "I now have so much more faith in the people in this community because I learned the starting point is not the service providers, it's the communities who are the experts. I know that it's okay to step back and release the reins....A good leader knows when to step back and watch the geniuses do their work."  
  • Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this course! I have richly benefited from the modules and learning opportunity. There is a part of me that is going to miss not having this as a regular part of my work as it was a great opportunity to refocus on what and why I do what I do. Thank you doesn’t seem enough, but I hope to demonstrate my gratitude by what is accomplished in this community.”
  • "I have really been pleased with how the webinars have been led. The training is excellent and the teaching/communication style is perfect for keeping attention (at least for my learning style(s)). Also, kudos to your web development team. The classroom and access to the various resources is exceptional and could be the game changer for training and empowering community developers and leaders across Canada. Well done!" 
  • I appreciate that the course is *mostly* go-at-your-own-pace-and-on-your-own-schedule, but I absolutely love that there is a slight formality about "gathering" at a certain day and time to tackle the materials together (not to mention the multi-modal teaching & learning that happens there).  It makes the course into a "class" and turns the participants into "classmates" in a way that other online learning may lack."
  • Our communities need learners to go out and promote their beliefs and to shape their concepts of a society. I believe this is what the Campus for Communities' training seeks to do---not teach but rather to get us out the door so we work our ideas, albeit many of them sewn by you...Thanks."

  • "We adopted community development strategies drawn directly from this webinar program -- built trusting relationships, applied holistic systems thinking, engaged many sectors of the community and invested them with a true sense of ownership."

  • "This learning experience is really kick starting some great initiatives and community development planning. We are getting as much for the community as people are getting for themselves taking the courses. You are really doing great work!"

  • "This course has offered me the ability to understand processes that occur in the various stages of community development. I am now also equipped with language to describe actions I am taking in my work, and I find this helpful in conveying to others what my work intentions are....It has been a great experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat!"  

  • Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this course! I have richly benefited from the modules and learning opportunity. There is a part of me that is going to miss not having this as a regular part of my work as it was a great opportunity to refocus on what and why I do what I do. Thank you doesn’t seem enough, but I hope to demonstrate my gratitude by what is accomplished in this community and city.”

  • "I loved the webinars and especially the fact that we could view them later if we missed them.  I found myself totally focused - not sure if it was the delivery, material or both but it sure worked for me.".

  • "I think all elected municipal officials should be required to undergo the Community Building and Community Connector training.  It will really help them help us in promoting this new way of approaching community building."   

Sample Projects (completed as requirements for community development certification)

  • Carolyn Luistro and Charles Innis spearheaded the opening celebrations for Carling-Thames Family Centre in London, Ontario. An unprecedented 1000+ turned up for the event!  For the details of this spirited community building event click here. 
  • Kevin Van Lierop wrote a volunteer description and developed marketing posters for Our Street Londonto find a volunteer to lead its Wednesday Night Bike Rides initiative; developed Terms of Reference for VegUp London, and collected a selection of resources (both digital and traditional) in an online toolkit that community developers can utilize to do better work.
  • After it was determined that a better understanding of community food security was required, Kate Ledgely developed and will be delivering this webinar
  • To facilitate better communication and awareness of neighbourhood  activities and events Joe Antone faciliated a discussion and merged a number of l neighbourhood sites on one website.
  • James Coolidge helped strengthen and position his organization by developing an outcome measurement tool to measure a lunch project and a youth basketball program; developed a logic model; set up a twitter account and created this powerful promotional video. 
  • Shane O'Neil continues to share his inspirational thoughts and knowledge about community on this blog.