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The Community Learning Partnership (CLP) is a national network of Community Change Studies (CCS) programs that prepare students for careers in community organizing; community and economic development; and advocacy to improve quality of life for residents in low-income communities.

The Community Learning Partnership's mission is to develop a workforce of community change agents — leaders, organizers, advocates, developers, program directors and managers — from low-income communities of color, to work for change in their communities. CLP's national goal is to graduate 5,000 students with certificates and degrees in the field of Community Change Studies over a 10-year period.

National CLP develops, supports and connects local CLP partnerships and their CCS programs in Los Angeles; San Jose/Cupertino; Minneapolis; and New York. In 2012 CLP is expanding its network of local partnerships and CCS programs into Oakland; Detroit; and Fresno. Additional sites are in the planning stage for implementation in 2013 and beyond. We plan major expansion in numbers of Community Learning Partnership sites and Community Change Studies programs in the years ahead.

Community Change Studies (CCS) certificate and degree programs prepare students for careers in community change work. CCS programs develop the core competencies — knowledge and skills — needed by change agents for working in social justice, advocacy, community organizing and development organizations; public and private agencies; and community-based institutions.

The Community Learning Partnership (CLP) was founded in 2002 to respond to the critical need for many more knowledgeable and skilled leaders and organizers to address injustice and inequality in low-income communities of color. CLP addresses this need by creating new educational pathways — Community Change Studies programs — for leaders and organizers entering careers as community change agents.

There are four key components to CLP's strategy for advancing Community Change Education so it becomes widely available for potential change agents:

  1. We are working with local partners to develop a growing number of Community Change Studies programs at the community college, college and midcareer levels.
  2. Together we are developing a national network to forge close links, peer learning, and collaboration among people and institutions committed to solving the pipeline crisis through such programs.
  3. With support from the US Department of Education, we are developing a replication system to help new sites develop curricula, teaching materials and faculty teams — including experienced organizers and other practitioners — for these programs.
  4. The network is advocating for greater recognition and funding for these educational programs, including collaborating with grassroots groups, academics, funders and The Democracy Commitment, a growing network of Community College Presidents committed to expanding civic education.
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