Thank you for your interest in our Public Leadership Certificate Program.
The selection period for our March through May 2022 Cohort has closed.
Please complete the EOPA Interest Form to signup for the Fall 2022 cohort.
Every Monday from 4-7 p.m. Pacific Time thereafter for seven weeks (online times subject to change to accommodate participants' schedules).
Certificate Webpage: Canvas
Instructor Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-319-4511
Office Hours: Wednesdays at 09:00 a.m. Pacific or by appointment
30 hours of instruction
Tuition is $2,500 and $1,500 for those with financial needs.
If electing to attend in person, participants are responsible for travel and lodging. Full scholarships to include travel and lodging are also available. To request a scholarship please select the box at the end of the application.
USF's Certificate in Public Leadership is designed for a diverse set of officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels. Elected official staff and those passionate about civic service - including veterans and military families from across the globe are also eligible. The hybrid in-person and online modules will advance participants' ability to further the public good while implementing policy solutions. The eight-week certificate program is designed for professionals with experience in public service. Major themes include modules in emotional intelligence and public leadership, value-based communications, public speaking, empathy-based fundraising, constituent engagement, public policy procedures, military and veteran engagement, and climate change policy solutions. Participants will leave with the skills to lead, create, resource, advocate, communicate, and implement policy solutions locally and nationally.
Certificate Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the Certificate, students will be able to:
Understand the basics of emotional intelligence (EQ) associated with leadership and management.
Create a strategy for policy objectives to be implemented at the local, state, or federal levels.
Apply the latest field engagement tools and techniques to improve constituent outreach.
Frame, target, and mobilize an audience using visual, value-based communications.
Implement a media campaign that mobilizes an audience through narratives that create emotion to drive action.
Deliver an effective and impactful speech, interview, debate, or video.
Demonstrate an understanding of the elements needed to fundraise for nonprofits, advocacy programs, and political campaigns.
Analyze advanced fundraising tactics to connect through values and build empathy with donors.
Understand the myths, organization, and culture of the military to effectively engage with veterans and military families.
Gain a clear understanding of how climate change is impacting constituencies and current proven innovative policy solutions.
Identify the impact of climate change on constituencies and implement innovative policy solutions.
The Certificate in Public Leadership program will expand lawmakers' and civic leaders' knowledge to effectively create, communicate, and implement policy through gaining a deeper understanding of emotional intelligence leadership and management, value-based communications, legislative procedures, and empathy-based fundraising while connecting with elected officials who have had a significant impact on public policy.
This eight-week program will bring policymakers together at USF for two days of experiential learning, followed by online instruction for two hours each week for seven weeks. The in-person segments will be focused on EQ leadership and management and value-based communications, including public speaking.
Participants will choose a policy objective that impacts their communities. They will focus on this policy objective during each online module to increase their policy and advocacy implementation skills. In the final module, participants will apply each week's lessons to their policy objective and present a plan for fellow lawmakers and community leaders to critique and evaluate.
On-campus modules will include:
Online modules will include:
Speaking and Marketing Your Message
Successfully Positioning and Passing Policy
Constituent and Community Engagement
Climate Crisis Urgency and Solutions
Capstone Policy Presentations
Guest instructors will include highly-qualified field experts and elected officials who have successfully passed significant legislation. This program will coordinate closely with the Master of Arts in Public Leadership to include joint networking events and guest lectures.
Certificate content will be informed by the real-life professional experiences of the entire class – the instructors and the students. In addition, the certificate will use a variety of articles, podcasts, clippings, videos, etc., to serve as the basis for class discussion. Readings and discussion assignments will be posted on the certificate Canvas site.
The online portion of the certificate will meet via Zoom. Participants will be expected to be in a location with internet sufficient to utilize their camera as active listening and purposeful participation is key to individual and group learning. The certificate will include lectures, debates, breakout group activities, and online discussions.
Emotional Intelligence and Public Leadership: (4 sessions, 2 hours each) Harvard Business Review compiled over 300 studies and found EQ is the single most important factor in career and personal success. The course will increase students' ability to empathize with others, to listen accurately, to communicate authentically, and create a legislative/campaign/office environment that maximizes team performance and creativity. Part one focuses on individual skill-sets and recognizing patterns of behavior. Part two focuses on using EQ to build connections and productivity in their staff and caucus. Part three focuses on bringing EQ skill sets into their team's goals and mission.
Value-Based Communications: (3 sessions, 2 hours each) In a media environment where we receive five times more information every day than just five years ago, distinguishing oneself from the crowd to make a lasting impact is essential to an organization or campaign. This module will focus on how we communicate through framing, targeting, and implementing a media campaign that connects through stories that create emotion to create action. Through experiential learning, students will create their narrative and apply it to real-life events.
Public Speaking for Elected Officials: (1 session, 2 hours) Students will gain tools to deliver effective and impactful speeches, interviews, debates, and video performances both in-person and online. Based on social science and highly experiential, students will learn the importance of eye contact, pauses, structure, body language, public reading, and advanced techniques to engage and motivate their audience.
ONLINE (7 sessions, 2 hours each)
Speaking and Marketing Your Message with Rep. Paul Evens Students will implement the lessons introduced in Value-Based Communications to create a communications strategy which utilizes a range of media such as digital and broadcast advertising, op-eds, social media, and film.
Empathy-Based Fundraising: This module introduces students to the elements of fundraising for nonprofits, advocacy programs, and political campaigns. We then expand to advanced fundraising tactics to connect through values and build empathy with the funder. Students will understand what makes a compelling fundraising ask and evaluate the most effective fundraising tactics.
Successfully Positioning and Passing Legislation with Director Andy Katz: We will cover basic and advanced tactics to advance legislation through development, the committee process, and legislative bodies to include rule-making tactics and external and internal support tactics.
Constituent and Community Engagement with Senator Faith Winter: Students will create a constituent engagement program that identifies, mobilizes, and brings community members up the engagement ladder to support their policies. We will utilize the latest voter and consumer data platforms to map, engage, organize, and mobilize the population at the grassroots to grasstops. Additionally, students will focus on digital engagement with the media and community.
Climate Crisis Urgency and Solutions: Students will leave with a clear understanding of climate science and the impact of climate change on frontline communities. We will follow the history of energy development and the policy decisions that created the environment we live in today. Additionally, we will highlight innovative proven climate policies that can be replicated across the U.S.
Military 101 with Delegate Pat Young - Students will be introduced to the mythology, organization, and culture of the military so candidates can connect and work productively with a segment of the population that Pew and Gallup found are the most credible messengers after Doctors and Nurses.
Capstone: students will compile everything they have learned into a campaign or engagement plan and present it to a panel of elected officials and staff.
Assignments and Grading
Late assignments will be docked a letter grade per day late without prior approval or appropriate documentation. Requests must be made in writing.