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Community Leadership and Civic Engagement Major


Community Leadership and Civic Engagement
The 'Make a Difference' Major

One-of-a-kind in Illinois and among only a select few in the United States, NIU’s Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) program equips students to make a living while making a difference.

CLCE is a hands-on, interdisciplinary program that draws from areas such as sociology, public administration, and business. Students are able to work closely with faculty on community projects that allow them to apply classroom learnings while building professional skills and experience.

Nonprofit Careers: Good News for Graduates

The nonprofit sector is one of the fastest growing in the nation, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, nonprofit employees earn slightly more than those working at for-profit companies. With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. employing more than 14 million people, graduates enjoy excellent job prospects in a wide variety of rewarding nonprofit careers. Many of the types of jobs found in the nonprofit sector are nearly identical to those in governmental and business sectors, including senior management, programs and service delivery, administration, human resources, finance, development and fundraising, and communications.

Students choose one of the following emphasis areas within the major to customize their learning experience while finishing the degree requirements.

Areas of Emphasis:

See Degree Requirements >

student volunteersMaking a Difference

Our students get involved! A group of CLCE students directly contributed to a successful grant application that brought in $8.5 million for a local library. Others regularly take part in campus service groups such as Helping Hands, National PanHellenic Council, Circle K, We Care 4 NIU, and the CLCE SA.


CLCE students are encouraged to take part in internships, which can be completed for course credit. 

student internshipExamples include Noi, who interned at the United Nations; Isabelle, who interned with PEACE Mexico; and Amanda, who served as a  congressional intern in the U.S. House of Representatives.

International Perspective

Students often choose to study abroad, like Jacob, who studied in Indonesia while earning course credit that was applied to the CLCE major.