For those committed to people and place
The Great Plains IDEA Community Development master’s degree or graduate certificate is offered 100% online and will empower and equip you to be a changemaker in your community or organization. This program is diverse, just like our profession. With flexibility in course selection, you can create a program that feeds your passion.
What is community development?
Community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, equality, economic opportunity, and social justice, through the organization, education, and empowerment of people within their communities, whether these be of locality, identity or interest, in urban and rural settings. (As adopted by IACD, CDS, and NACDEP.)
Learn more about how faculty and students leverage a community's assets to make change.
In this video, a current student explains why this program is helping him reach his goals as a park ranger for the National Parks Service.
What can I do with this degree?
|A master’s degree or graduate certificate in community development is ideal for current and aspiring professionals in areas such as:|
In this video, a graduate of the program explains how the project-based curriculum provided her the opportunity to become a changemaker in her community.
Am I right for this program?
This program is perfect for those who:
- Enjoy working with others to find solutions to local or regional problems.
- Are passionate about working in urban neighborhoods, rural areas, or tribal communities.
- Seek to better understand how global issues are tied to specific places.
- Volunteer in communities and want to be even more effective.
- Desire to lead change that improves the quality of life in communities.
- Already work with communities and want to enhance your skills, knowledge, and credentials by earning a graduate certificate or degree.
- Are new to the profession and seek to gain expertise to help you be most effective.
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In this video, community development professor emeritus Dr. Gary Goreham explains the characteristics a student needs to be successful in this program.
Degree and certificate titles vary by university. Download the Community Development Student Handbook (PDF) to see a list.
A master's degree for community leaders, practitioners, and those working to help communities and regions build their capacity for an inclusive, sustainable future. The program has six core courses leaving you with six elective choices to create a custom degree program.
The graduate certificate is offered by Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and South Dakota State University. The certificate includes two core courses and your choice of two elective courses.