Civic Leadership Launchpad

Small group of students sitting around CCEL office table while two students present about CCEL on white paper.
Small group of students sitting around dining table in Nord smiling at camera.
Small group of students posting in front of a cafe window.
1 student in front of wall of brainstorming post-it notes explaining vision.

The Civic Leadership Launchpad is an exciting CCEL program designed to help you explore how you want to engage in your community while making connections to take the next step. Through interactive seminars you will:

  • Build relationships with a cohort of other CWRU students committed to civic engagement. 
  • Learn foundational principles of responsible civic engagement to positively impact social change.
  • Explore your passions and values to identify how you want to make community impact.
  • Investigate civic pathways that can guide your development as a civic leader.
  • Connect with civic leaders for inspiration and networking, including current CWRU students, alumni, and Cleveland changemakers.
  • Develop a plan to engage in the community and issues you care about to take your involvement to the next level.

Participation is open to all current first and second-year CWRU students in good academic standing. Please check this web-page and join CCEL's CampusGroups page to receive CCEL's e-newsletter, which will notify students of the next spring semester Launchpad. If you have questions, please reach out to CCEL at

The first two sessions are dedicated to intentional team building activities as a cohort and establishing a foundational understanding of the social change process through learning about the different forms of civic engagement, CCEL’s Best Practices of Responsible Community Engagement, Cleveland’s civic landscape, and more.

The next three sessions include opportunities to learn about leading in the civic realm both on and off-campus through engaging with current student leaders involved in social change work, CWRU alumni from different professions who are active in their communities, and prominent Cleveland leaders who work in advocacy, politics, philanthropy, and more to influence positive change in the region. Students will explore their own interests and how they can plan to engage in community-focused initiatives. 

The final session is an opportunity for cohort members to reflect on lessons learned throughout the series and share their visions for how they plan to stay civically engaged as a student and beyond.

In addition to the sessions, cohort members are asked to complete short pre-session activities to help build their civic vision, such as researching a student civic club or nonprofit in Cleveland that appeals to them, a community issue they’re passionate about and its impact in Cleveland, notable Cleveland leaders affecting change, and more. Some pre-session activities can be completed in partnership with other cohort members to continue fostering relationships outside of the sessions.

The Civic Leadership Launchpad is intended to help students build relationships in a smaller group setting with peers who share a passion for civic engagement. It is also meant to provide space for students to discover and reflect on causes they care about while networking with others to help achieve their civic aspirations, including learning about ways they can continue to build their civic leadership skills through CCEL beyond the program.

Students who successfully complete the program by attending all sessions and participating in pre-session activities will receive a certificate of completion and a digital badge in addition to being able to share on their resumes how they’ve made a commitment beyond their coursework to continued self-discovery and learning about the civic realm.