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Professional Development in Community Development

This report is an inventory of degree programs, extension programs, and other organizations working towards community development in the Northeast. The organizations were chosen because of their impacts on communities and the connections to land grant institutions and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.

By Erica Hildabridle and Stephan Goetz   

Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development and Penn State

Undergraduate degree programs

Penn State: Community, Environment, and Development

The Community, Environment, and Development degree at Penn State is a Social Science degree. The CED program has three different options that prepare students to work in a variety of fields including policy, environment, international development, and economics. Students go onto work in NGO’s, government agencies, private industry, and some continue to graduate school.  

University of Vermont: Department of Community Development and Applied Economics

The Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont has three degrees; Community Entrepreneurship, Community and International Development, and Public Communication, that prepare students to work with the public either directly or indirectly. The degrees allow students to work in the real world context in their program that gives them the skill set for when they have graduated.  When students graduate they can work in policy, industry, media, international work, and many other fields.

Graduate and Professional programs

Penn State World Campus: Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development

The Professional Studies degree in Community and Economic Development at Penn State’s World Campus offers students the opportunity to learn at a distance.  Students are prepared to work in social, environmental, and economic areas solving issues. Students can use this title in a variety of settings areas from rural to urban and use their knowledge to assist in planning processes.

Rutgers: PhD in Public Affairs, Community Development

Rutgers’ PhD program allows students to get the interdisciplinary approach to Public Affairs that will prepare them for occupations in the fields of: law, policy, and private business. This program offers an emphasis on Community Development and gives students the tools to build capacity in communities. 

University of Delaware: Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Public Policy

The University of Delaware’s MA in Urban Affairs and Public Policy prepares students to work in a variety of communities from local neighborhoods to the nation. The students will be prepared to handle any number of challenges.  This program offers an interdisciplinary approach to community problem solving. 

University of New Hampshire: Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice


The Masters of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire prepares students to work in sustainable development at a national or international level. This program targets individuals in the industry to expand their knowledge and give them more tools to continue the work they are doing. 

University of Vermont: Department of Community Development and Applied Economics


The Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont offers a Master’s of Science Degree in Community Development and Applied Economics. This program offers students the opportunity to study a multitude of areas of interest and progress forward of their careers.     

Clark University: Community Development and Planning Program

The Clark University Community Development and Planning program prepares students for work in urban areas in the United States. The program trains students to work in a variety of areas to bring social equality and social justice. 

Extension

West Virginia State University Extension

The West Virginia State University Extension Service has a dedicated team of Community and Economic Development specialists who work to develop communities, economics, and small business. They also work with disaster relief, town revitalization, and greening efforts. 

West Virginia University Extension

West Virginia University’s Extension service created an area of focus in Community Development and Workforce Development. This focus is on leadership and collaboration in communities. This department trains a multitude of people in different areas including first responders, and those interested in labor, social justice, health training, and education. 
Organizations 

Community Development Society-Western Regional Center

The Community Development Society is an organization set to offer leadership and training to those people who are in the community development field. The Society holds training events and compiles the most up to date information possible for their members. 

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals, or ISSP, is a professional organization for sustainability professionals around the world.  The organization provides career information, job practices, and other important information to further the organization. 

International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council, or IEDC, is a non-profit professional organization that works to educate economic developers. Their goal is to further the profession and improve the life of the people they work with. 

Community Development Institute

The Community Development Institute or CDI is an organization that has been in business for nearly 50 years. The organization works with leaders to bring about results with their followers. 

Cornell University: Community and Regional Development Institute, CaRDI

The Community and Regional Development Institute, or CaRDI, at Cornell University is a resource where research and outreach professionals work together to bring new information about community development. This institute looks at areas of critical need to build capacity, resiliency, and also sustainability. 

Delaware State University: Delaware Center for Enterprise Development

The Delaware Center for Enterprise Development is a little different than the other centers listed here. The DCED is focused on economic and entrepreneurial development in communities. The DCED has been around for over 20 years helping to build capacity and bring business back to local people. 

Temple University: Center for Social Policy and Community Development (CSCPD)

The Center for Social Policy and Community Development began as an outreach initiative between Temple and the surrounding community.  The center now focuses not only on community building but also in social policy, training, research, and evaluation. The center also works in the community to teach adults and help them earn their GED’s.