A collaborative relationship between the community (town) and the local college or university (gown) contributes to an overall quality of life for everyone involved. However, issues such as local budget cuts, off-campus student conduct, and campus expansions too often cause strained relations between town and gown. Initiating a dialogue and opening up the lines of communication between the campus and its neighbors can foster a positive relationship based on a common understanding of the role that each plays—or can play—to promote a healthy and thriving community.
The International Town and Gown Association (ITGA) brings its industry experience in the world of town-gown relations to a new comprehensive Certificate in Town-Gown Relations offered at the annual conference. Designed for busy university professionals, community leaders, city officials and their staff members, and students, this program uses real-world experiences to inform practical solutions. The Certificate program is led by professionals who have specialized for decades in addressing the social, cultural, physical, and economic situations unique to communities that are also home to college and university campuses.
The purpose of this program is twofold:
- To help all stakeholders understand and address complex challenges and processes associated with city and university relationships; and
- To identify, foster, and promote the skills necessary for the effective development of collaborative partnerships and alliances throughout college towns.
The program is designed for:
- University/college professionals
- City/county officials, and staff
- Community leaders
- Undergraduate and graduate students interested in town-gown relations, public service, political science, and other fields
- Develop a deeper understanding of the issues that strain town-gown relationships so they can be resolved.
- Learn to identify collaborative partnerships and practical solutions that benefit all “sides” of town-gown issues.
- Network with and learn from counterparts in other communities around the country that are working to improve town-gown relations.
- Cultivate professional excellence and opportunities for career advancement.