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NCDD Commentary: A Unique Certificate Program in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement

Jan Elliott submitted this commentary about Fielding Graduate University’s certificate program for the NCDD website on May 13, 2004. Fielding Graduate Institute, in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) and the Kettering Foundation, launched a unique new 16-week graduate level Certificate Program on Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement.

The certificate program is now offered through Kansas State University, and NCDD is a collaborator in the project. Learn more at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/dialogue/.


Why have these 3 organizations decided to launch this new initiative? The nub of it is our deep belief that these dialogic and deliberative practices are critical to robust democracies and effective organizations. To support this belief, we want to help deepen the bench of practitioners. Each of us in the core faculty (Hal Saunders, Barnett Pearce, Phil Stewart, Keith Melville, Jan Elliott) actively practice and promote innovative forms of dialogue and public engagement, as do our guest scholar-practitioners (e.g. Juanita Brown, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Bob Stains, Jane Mansbridge). The idea began because several of us at Fielding Graduate Institute (faculty, alumni and students) do our life’s work, and have done our doctoral work, in these fields. We realized that this collection of talent and commitment (Fielding, IISD and Kettering) had the potential to help build greater capacity and broaden networks in this field. This innovative program is the result!

Fielding Graduate Institute – one of the most respected names in networked learning for mid-career professionals – has 30 years of experience in designing and offering learning programs. It is also a life long learning community where you can deepen your life’s work.

What is the program? This distinctive new program focuses on recent innovations in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement featuring faculty who have played key roles in developing these approaches. This 16-week networked learning program will offer the chance to work directly with renowned Core faculty and guest scholar practitioners. The program will cover strategic design considerations, including different approaches to dialogue, deliberation, and creating collaborative action. It will focus on developing diagnostic skills to help in deciding on the most appropriate approach to engagement, ways of designing and facilitating meetings conducive to dialogue and deliberation, and helping self-assessment and development of skills for in-the-moment interventions that facilitate dialogue and deliberation. It will also feature a capstone project where a member of the core faculty will coach participants.

The course begins with a three-day face-to-face meeting September 17-19, 2004 and continues with 16 weeks of online training and Master dialogues ending with a face-to-face meeting January 16-18, 2005. We would love to have you join us and be part of this challenging scholar-practitioner program that doesn’t require taking several months away from your normal responsibilities.

Jan Elliott, Ph.D. – Co-Director of the Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate Program at Fielding Graduate Institute

Resource Link: www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/dialogue/

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