Certificate in Town-Gown Relations - Level 1

This interactive session is designed for participants to engage with the instructors and each other in a reflective process of planning for the future in their community. This pre-conference workshop will be offered Tuesday, May 29, 8:30am-4:30pm at the 2018 ITGA Conference in Columbus, Ohio.  

This program provides a foundation for understanding the complex issues in strengthening or repairing relations in a town and gown community. Cities where university students comprise a significant percent of the population face special issues. Noise, over occupancy, parking, excessive littering, affordable housing, and alcohol use may create friction between university and city management, as well as student renters and permanent community members. These points of conflict can be a symptom of the larger issue of a disconnect between a university and the local government. 

The emergent university-community relationship includes strategic governance, planning, and a teaching and learning function where the university and civic leaders play a significant role in maintaining a healthy partnership with local residents, institutions and community groups. 


  • Develop a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the social, cultural, economic and physical transformations that occur in a community with a college and large off-campus student population
  • Learn how communities have their own unique personalities, with varying levels of understanding and readiness to address key problems such as alcohol and high-risk drinking
  • Learn from experienced practitioners in how effective problem solving, integral thinking and reshaping the environment can produce creative solutions when navigating the rough waters of town and gown conflicts
  • Network with and learn from counterparts in other communities around the world that are working to improve town-gown relations
  • Cultivate professional excellence and opportunities for career advancement
You must have completed Level I before taking Level II.

See what graduates are saying about the Certificate program

"The conference was marvelous, and the certificate program was an excellent way to meet people and get valuable face time with the instructors...One thing that many of us agreed on was that spending time with the certificate program students gave us friendly faces to connect with throughout the conference. A number of us socialized or sat together at lunches or in sessions during the rest of the conference and discussed how things we heard tied into what we learned Sunday. Having the program the day before the conference provides excellent context for what comes next."  
"Most of us who work in this field have some expertise in one or a few subject areas but the Certificate Program provides a much larger perspective on the many aspects of town-gown relations. Understanding how 'the parts fit together' provides a greater appreciation for the complexity of town-gown relationships and the greater effectiveness in managing any one or more subject areas." 
"I have learned a great deal, particularly about town-related matters. I am much better positioned to work, supportively, with our coordinator of off-campus relations."

"I am absorbing new facts and ideas that give me a new perspective as I find my place in the community."

"Before taking the certificate program, I would have not considered the role the university/college could play in the community they are situated in. I mainly viewed the university as a separate institution from the town/community."