What is Community Organization and Advocacy?
Community Organization and Advocacy is a field of study punctuated by activity of a group to influence others. More specifically, community organization and advocacy groups strive to help positively influence social, political, economic, and institutional change. In order to navigate systems to enact change, community advocates must be able to effectively:
- Recognize current trends in social change
- Actively participate in community development
- Synthesize disparate information
- Understand the history of labor movements
- Take action and motivate others when necessary
The curriculum built around a community organization and advocacy degree program will allow students to implement a wide array of strategies to challenge others and improve the social system(s) of a community.
Degrees in Community Organization and Advocacy
When considering a future in community advocacy and community organization, students will have a number of programs to choose between. The most common degree programs are undergraduate programs while some students opt for a certificate program. Additionally, many colleges and universities have begun to roll out online learning programs. Online degree programs are also known as distance learning and provide students the ability to access top-tier curriculum while not being tethered to a physical classroom. To help prospective students determine what program is best for them, we have created a summary of each of the most popular degree tracks below. Simply find the program that is best for you and connect with the accredited colleges found on this resource page to learn more about their program.
Certificate Programs in Community Organization and Advocacy
Online certificate programs in community advocacy and community organization are foundational programs. In other words, a certificate program is designed to provide students with the essential elements of a community advocate. Classroom-based certificate programs as well as the online counterpart will vary in length and course design. For example, an undergraduate certificate in community organization at one school may place more weight on social work while another school may emphasize social justice.
On the other hand, a graduate certificate in community organization and community advocacy is a much different track. More specifically, students in a graduate program must have the academic and work experience qualifications to enter the program. Upper-level classes are structured in a way that will challenge working professionals and qualifying students in the field of study. Graduate degrees will typically be one-year programs. These certificate programs are utilized to help advance careers, remain competitive, upskill, and/or help prepare for a career transition.
Online Associate Degrees in Community Organization and Advocacy
Associate degree programs in community advocacy and community organization are conferred as either Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Associate of Arts (AA), or Associate of Science (AS). The type of degree earned will be a direct function of the program emphasis and curricular design of the degree. Regardless of the type of degree, students can expect an associate’s degree program to last 2-years of full-time work.
The associate degree blends liberal arts education with core classes to help students see the world differently and expand integrative thinking skills. General education courses will vary from school to school but will often include classes such as history, communications, philosophy, sociology, statistics, art, and psychology. Core classes will cover essential topics to prepare students for a variety of work experiences after graduating. These courses may include marriage and family, human psychology, psychology, community service skills, political science, pubic relations, and similar classes.
Online Bachelor Degrees in Community Organization and Advocacy
Bachelor’s degrees in community advocacy are 4-year programs for full-time students. Part-time students will have a longer path to completion as a function of course load, curricular requirements, and pace. Online bachelor degree programs in community organization will provide students with a variety of classes to help provide a well-rounded education. Courses in a bachelor degree track in community organization will depend on the program’s emphasis. For example, students may elect to register for classes with emphasis in social justice, mental health, social services, human services, early childhood development, and/or non-profit management. Each track will help prepare students for a variety of careers in a broad range of sectors upon program completion.
Educational Requirements for Community Advocates
In terms of educational requirements, Community Organization and Advocacy degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Language
- Behavioral Science
- Environmental Science
- Public Policy
- Education & Curriculum Training
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Community Organization and Advocacy, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from health specialist, mental health counselor, public policy administrator, politics, rehabilitation counselor, social worker, career counselor, behavior disorder counselor, account manager, and benefits administrator to name a few possible career tracks.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The job growth in the greater Community Organization and Advocacy domain are well above average. For example, the rate of job growth for community health specialist is expected to rise 13% through 2024 and social workers a 13% growth rate is expected during the same period. Given the broad nature of the Community Organization and Advocacy degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location. Related fields include teaching, counselor, administrator, benefits administrator, community advocate, politics, and health specialist.