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The Bachelor of Arts in Community Education Program

The accelerated 120-credit hour (three-year) Bachelor of Arts in Community Education will prepare future leaders in all aspects of community education through the working and teaching in 21st Century non-formal and informal learning environments.

The Community Education Program gives students the option to select one of seven wide-ranging, interdisciplinary majors that expand learning and knowledge of children and adult learners outside the realm of traditional classrooms into the community:

The strength of the majors within the Community Education Program is enhanced through vibrant community-based partnerships. The Community Arts major is addressed through the theatre component (e.g., City Theatre Pittsburgh PA, Towngate Theatre Wheeling WV, and West Liberty University Theatre) of the Community Education program. The Disabilities Services major is addressed through the special education components (e.g., Easter Seals, Wheeling WV, and REM Wheeling, WV) of the Community Education program. The Museum Education major is addressed through partnerships with museums (e.g., Ohio Valley Children’s Museum Wheeling WV, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh) of the Community Education program. The Educational Leadership in Faith Organizations major is addressed through partnerships with local faith organizations of all kinds (e.g., Covenant Community Church Wheeling WV, West Liberty University Catholic Campus Ministry) of the Community Education program. The Outdoor Education major is addressed through collaboration with Environmental Centers (e.g., Schrader Environmental Center) and Outdoor Centers (e.g., Linsly School Outdoor Center) of the Community Education program, and the Sports, Recreation and Wellness major is addressed through partnerships with a variety of after-school programs (e.g., YMCA) and Recreation and Wellness Centers (e.g., Wheeling Recreation Department) of the Community Education program. Please see the Plans of Study for the 2-Year and 3-Year Community Education cohorts.


The mission of the Community Education Program at West Liberty University is to attract intelligent and creative students showing an interest in education that is not limited to “traditional teacher education” in the classroom. The program seeks candidates who are open to serve as competent and effective professional educators and facilitators, willing to marry the two worlds of Formal and Non-Formal Education through active engagement in and through the community.

The curriculum is designed to structure, facilitate, and promote the 21st Century skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Students are encouraged to communicate and collaborate with individuals, groups, and institutions of the community on a local, national, and even international level. The program aims to develop master educators, facilitators, and educational leaders that contribute to community development at various levels, by engaging in the community through teaching, motivating its members through reflection, and consequently changing lives in a positive way.IMG_6276

Students will be equipped to serve the community/non-formal education of children, adults, and the communities of lifelong learners through a broad set of coursework. The acquired knowledge of specific common core courses, community education courses, and the possibility of specification in one of the six majors of Community Arts, Disabilities Services, Educational Leadership in Faith Organizations, Museum Education, Outdoor Education, and Sports, Recreation, and Wellness will not just embrace the students’ interests and strengths, but also provide students with multifaceted employment options in schools, universities, museums, community, faith, and sport centers, and other community facilities upon graduation.

Program Objectives

At the completion of the program, students will:

Goal 1Speak, write, and effectively present on issues and research related to Community Education.
1A: Critically analyze and compare non-formal and formal educational models.
1B: Collect and present research to varied audience.
1C: Advocate on behalf of non-formal education and community-based education through community engagement.
Goal 2Work with a diverse group of children and adolescents and global communities on a local, national, and international level.
2A: Adjust programs for special needs students.
2B: Include multicultural themes in the curriculum development.
2C: Establish the development of collaborations with people and institutions on a local, national, and international level.
Goal 3Support Community Education by designing programs and measures of assessment.
3A: Develop an after-school programming plan.
3B: Include outdoor activities and learning spaces.
3C: Create and implement measureable learning outcomes for Community Education.
3D: Design and model various facets of educational assessment.
Goal 4Develop effective leadership, administrative and managerial skillsets relevant to community-educational and non-profit organizations.
4A: Create a comprehensive, strategic plan for an educational and community-based non-profit organization that includes fundraising, marketing, and enrollment.
4B: Identify grant resources and develop a grant proposal.
4C: Connect community resources in the greater region/ community with educational and non-profit agencies.
4D: Develop programs and collaborations between schools and community resources.
Goal 5Integrate the arts and foster 21st Century Skills in various majors in Community Education.
5A: Organize field trips to sights of interest, exhibitions, and museums that match their major.
5B: Take ideas from international educational examples and apply them to their major studies.
5C: Use the arts to design interdisciplinary units.
5D: Foster and model 21st Century Skills (e.g., Creativity, Problem- based Learning, Critical Thinking).

List of Career Opportunities

List of employment opportunities that are likely to be available to Community Education Program graduates in the fields of Community Arts, Disabilities Services, Educational Leadership in Faith-Organizations, Museum Education, Outdoor Education, Sports, Recreation, and Wellness, and Teaching English & Global Education:

  • Activity Specialists
  • After-School Program Directors
  • Camp Directors
  • Community Outreach Coordinators
  • Directors of Education
  • Education Program Coordinators
  • Environmental Literacy
  • Programmers
  • Non-profit Administrators
  • Non-profit Grant Writers
  • Outdoor and Environmental Center Facilitators
  • Program Coordinators for Art-based Organizations
  • Program Directors of Parks and Recreation
  • Programming Specialists
  • Recreation and Wellness Specialists
  • Recreation Leaders
  • Recreation Supervisors
  • Summer Camp Directors
  • Tourism Education
  • Youth Program Promoters
  • Youth Ministry
  • Jobs with Nonprofits

Community Education Minor – 15 hours

The Community Education minor is appropriate for students in any career fields who get in contact and are interested in teaching and working with children, youth, and adults (lifelong learners) in the community and 21st Century non-formal and informal learning environments. These fields could include business, (elementary/secondary) education, nursing, psychology, science, social work, speech pathology, etc. Students in comprehensive area programs (art, music, and physical education) would also be able to add the minor.

Choose a minimum of 15 hours from the following:

CEP 411 – 3 hrsFormal and Non-Formal Education Models
CEP 421- 3hrsPromoting Creativity and the Arts
CEP 422- 2hrsOutdoor Learning Spaces
CEP 433 – 3hrs


CEP 473 – 3hrs


Program Design and Implementation


Community & School-Based Programming


CEP 442 – 3hrsCommunity Empowerment and Engagement
CEP 443 – 3hrsFundraising and Grant Writing
CEP 452 – 3hrsReggio Emilia & Other Approaches
CEP 463- 3hrsLeadership in Community Education
CEP 493- 4hrsInternship/International Community Experience
EDUC 201 – 3hrsHuman Development
EDUC 205 – 3hrsIntegrated Arts for Elementary Teachers
EDUC 290 – 3hrsInstructional Technology
SPED 241- 3hrsExceptionalities and Diversities

*Note: The Community Education Major and Minor do not lead to teaching certification.

Community Education Minor Planning Check Sheet