For those committed to people and place
The Great Plains IDEA Community Development master’s degree or graduate certificate will empower you to lead communities to action and engage citizens in democratic decision-making.
How does the program work?
Our programs are offered completely online, providing flexibility for busy adults who don’t have access or time to attend on-campus classes.
The faculty in the community development program work collaboratively across five partner universities, providing diverse perspectives on the field, which will provide you with unique experiences you couldn’t get when taking classes from just one university.
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.)
|A master’s degree or graduate certificate in community development is ideal for professionals working in areas such as:|
Am I right for this program?
This program is perfect for you if you:
- Enjoy working with others to find solutions to local problems.
- Are passionate about working in urban communities, rural areas or with tribal communities.
- Now work with communities and want to enhance your skills, knowledge and credentials.
- Seek to better understand how global issues are tied to specific places in order to better organize others to respond to climate change, health disparities, and economic shifts.
- Are a volunteer in your community and want to be even more effective.
In this video, community development professor Dr. Gary Goreham explains the characteristics a student needs to be successful in this program.
What will I learn in this program?
The Great Plains IDEA Community Development programs will teach you:
- Critical thinking
- Ethical consideration
- Careful planning
- Involvement of all stakeholders
Our electives allow students to pursue subtopics such as land development, housing, community economic strategies, immigrants in communities and sustainable communities.
Learn more about the courses taught in this program by visiting the Course Planner.
Degree and certificate titles vary by university. Consult each university for the title as it will appear on the diploma or certificate.
Diane M. Wasser