Skip to content
Female counselors talking to one another

Put young people’s well-being at the center of your work.

Offered through Clark University’s Department of Sustainability and Social Justice (formerly IDCE), the unique professional youth work practice certification explores exciting, effective ways to engage young people in coordinated youth development and leadership programs. You can advance this evolving profession by learning from faculty and expert youth workers who are wholly dedicated to engaging with youth in our vibrant, urban Worcester community and beyond.

While contributing to the field, you learn the tools you need to build trust-filled, authentic, mutually respectful relationships with young people as well as how to design and manage youth development programs. You also gain experience working with different kinds of organizations that support young people’s social and emotional development, learning, and skill-building.

Why a Certificate in Youth Work Practice at Clark University

  • A youth work program that is entirely co-created with local youth workers designed for aspiring, junior-level, and experienced youth workers.
  • Can be completed in two semesters, with morning and online classes to accommodate youth workers’ schedules.
  • Earn a head start in your master’s program by applying 100% of your certificate course credits toward the full degree graduation requirements.
  • A culturally rich, diverse, international classroom community.
  • Curricula model that emphasizes the value of discussion and collaboration between practitioners.

The Essentials

Program Overview

The Youth Work Practice Certificate is open to anyone who is currently employed in youth work or who plans to enter the field, from practitioners in the Worcester community to those working at institutions around the country.

You can complete the program at whatever pace you choose, from a full-time schedule in just one semester to a flexible, part-time program.

Our program has been co-created with Worcester-area youth workers — their on-the-ground needs drive our curriculum.

  • Fundamentals of Youth Work
  • Youth Work: Everyday Practice and Social Justice
  • Program Evaluation for Youth and Community Initiatives
  • Education and Development
  • Non-profit Management
  • Community Needs Assessment and Resources Analysis

Partnering with communities to face challenges with them, not simply for them, makes you an attractive candidate for a job conducting advanced work developing viable solutions that drive lasting results in the field.
Our faculty are directly engaged in youth work practice or research, and students join their efforts to create healthier communities. We understand the challenges facing youth, communities, and the organizations that support them are complex. You study these challenges in great depth and learn ways to address them, in order to bring about lasting change.



3 Course Units

  • 2 core courses
  • 1 elective

Course Catalog

Explore the Department of Sustainability and Social Justice