A collaborative relationship between the community (town) and the local college or university (gown) contributes to an overall quality of life for everyone involved. However, issues such as local budget cuts, off-campus student conduct, and campus expansions too often cause strained relations between town and gown. Initiating a dialogue and opening up the lines of communication between the campus and its neighbors can foster a positive relationship based on a common understanding of the role that each plays—or can play—to promote a healthy and thriving community.

Increase your town-gown expertise and expand your professional skills with the ITGA Certificate in Town-Gown Relations, offered by the International Town-Gown Association (ITGA.) This course will help you manage and advance relationships and problem solve issues between colleges and universities and their host communities. For questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The purpose of this program is twofold:

  • To help all stakeholders understand and address complex challenges and processes associated with city and university relationships; and
  • To identify, foster, and promote the skills necessary for the effective development of collaborative partnerships and alliances throughout college towns.


  • Development of a deeper understanding of the issues that strain town-gown relationships so they can be strengthened.
  • Development of skills to identify collaborative partnerships and practical solutions that benefit all “sides” of town-gown issues.
  • Networking with and learning amongst colleagues in communities around the country and internationally that are working to improve town-gown relations.
  • Cultivation of professional excellence and opportunities for career advancement. Establish your standing as a town-gown professional.

Design For

The program is designed for:

  • University/college professionals
  • City/county officials, and staff
  • Community leaders
  • Undergraduate and graduate students interested in town-gown relations, public service, political science, and other field
  • More than 275 professionals have completed the Certificate program since 2012, representing the US, UK and Canada. 

Program Overview

This 12-hour class consists of six two-hour sessions that will meet online via Zoom on Wednesdays, March 22 - May 3, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In addition, participants have the option to present final projects at the ITGA Annual Conference at Fort Collins, CO in June.

Each two-hour module will have a specifically focused topic presented via a combination of presentations, panel discussions, activities, and group discussions. In addition, as part of the coursework, you will examine a challenge specific to your town or institution and work through options and solutions.