Student Associate Program

Develop a skill that can be applied to nearly any industry: the ability to get people to connect and problem solve.

About the Program

The Center for Public Deliberation has been facilitating community conversations for over 10 years. Every semester, the CPD selects around 15 new students to become trained facilitators. Students are enrolled in a 3-credit course, Applied Deliberative Techniques, to learn all of the skills needed to manage effective and meaningful conversations.

Following the first semester, students are required to register for at least one credit of practicum. Every practicum credit is equal to 40 hours of CPD-related work. This work includes facilitating at community events, working on a CPD team, data entry, and various other skill-building tasks. Though students are only required to complete one semester of practicum, most continue earning credits with the CPD for multiple semesters.

Learn about our deliberative projects.

Why Apply?

The CPD is an incredible opportunity to earn CSU credits while simultaneously developing professional skills.

Develop skills employers want

Students who complete the program develop the ability to think critically about contemporary issues, facilitate difficult conversations, and empower communities to affect change. The CPD also offers opportunities to develop skills in:

  • Event planning
  • Community outreach
  • Data entry and analysis
  • Video recording and editing
  • Public relations
  • Project management

According to Forbes, the ability to work in teams, make decisions and solve problems, and communicate verbally are the skills most sought out by employers. The CPD can teach you how to do just that.

Make a change in your community

Fort Collins and the surrounding Northern Colorado community is known as one of the most desirable places to live in the country, and the CPD plays a role in making our community great. We help our community talk through tough issues like affordable housing, elder abuse, marijuana legalization, and homelessness (to name a few). This empowers citizens to be more informed about political decisions that affect their lives. As a facilitator, you are on the front lines, helping citizens to become more engaged and ultimately, playing a major part in making our community a better place.

Put your education to work

Participation in the CPD is a great way to put some of the skills you learn in the classroom to actual use. Students oftentimes learn about communication, management, conflict management, relationship building, and politics in their classes. These classes, however, can seem overly theoretical.  Group projects or class activities can feel more like a simulation than the real thing. Student associates get the chance to apply skills they’ve learned throughout their education in real-world scenarios.

About Our Students

While the Center for Public Deliberation operates out of the Communication Studies (SPCM) department, we welcome and encourage all majors to apply for our program regardless of your year at CSU. Many MA programs also allow this course to count towards your degree.

Students associates have majored in:

  • Natural Resource Management
  • Business
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Psychology
  • Journalism and Media Communication
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Greenhouse Gas Management
  • Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
  • Communication Studies
  • Biomedical Science
  • Health and Exercise Science

Questions about fitting the CPD program into your degree program? Contact us.