New CWRU certificate program provides tools for civic engagement and community benefit

Image of computers and numbers from above

In Pursuit of the Public Good

What: Certificate in Data Sciences for Social Impact

Why: The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and Case School of Engineering partnered on the program to help participants better understand and use data science and analytical tools to inform social work practices, public policy and civic discourse.

It’s aimed at graduate students as well as professionals in fields such as social services, government, grantmaking and journalism.

Ultimate Goals: To prepare participants to develop solutions that are human-centered and data-driven; understand best practices involving data and analytics; and share a common language for collaborations among data scientists and social scientists, and with communities.

“Now, more than ever, it is necessary to empower social justice-minded professionals with the tools to navigate and influence technology and data driven solutions in social welfare and policy,” said Francisca García-Cobián Richter, PhD, one of four faculty co-developers of the certificate and a Mandel School research associate professor.

“Real data can have such an impact on society, but it is often messy. Students learn so much cleaning data and exploring its complexities.”
— Laura Bruckman, PhD, research associate professor at Case School of Engineering and a co-developer of the data-sciences certificate program

By Melanie Klass

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Think magazine. Read more stories from the magazine.