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. To see the modules and instructors, click here.  

Increase your town-gown expertise and expand your professional skills with the ITGA Certificate in Town-Gown Relations, offered by the International Town-Gown Association (ITGA.) This course will help you manage and advance relationships and problem solve issues between colleges and universities and their host communities. For questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Fountaine

Tom Fountaine, Borough Manager, Borough of State College, PA

"The Borough of State College has been honored to be a member of the International Town and Gown Association since its inception.  Connecting with other cities and universities has been extremely valuable for our staff and elected officials as an ongoing resource. I participated in the inaugural ITGA Certificate in Town Gown Relations program, and I found it very beneficial.  Since then, our staff has been part of both the ITGA Certificate in Town Gown Relations Program Levels I and II.  These certificate programs have provided opportunities for us to learn from other college towns about their experiences in addressing so many of the complex issues that we face, ranging from community building to addressing dangerous drinking."

Certificate Level I in Town Gown Relations


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.


  • Development of a deeper understanding of the issues that strain town-gown relationships so they can be strengthened.
  • Development of skills to identify collaborative partnerships and practical solutions that benefit all “sides” of town-gown issues.
  • Networking with and learning amongst colleagues in communities around the country and internationally that are working to improve town-gown relations.
  • Cultivation of professional excellence and opportunities for career advancement. Establish your standing as a town-gown professional.

Design For

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 field
  • More than 275 professionals have completed the Certificate program since 2012, representing the US, UK and Canada. 

Program Overview

This 14-hour class consists of seven two-hour virtual sessions that will meet online via Zoom on Wednesdays, March 29- May 10, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Each two-hour module will have a specifically focused topic presented via a combination of presentations, panel discussions, activities, and group discussions. In addition, as part of the coursework, you will examine a challenge specific to your town or institution and work through options and solutions.