Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics: An Interactive Online Course

Two eXtension Communities of Practice and the four Regional Rural Development Centers have joined efforts to offer a professional development program for those working/interested in Community Development.

Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics, an interactive online course offering community development skills and tools you can use

 DATES:  Thursday afternoons, 2:00-3:30 (eastern), October 3-November 14, 2013 (7 sessions).


  • $150/Individual
  • $50/Shared Connection (per person sharing a connection with one person registered at the individual rate)
  • $25/Student/Youth (per individual 16 years of age and older currently enrolled in a full-time program of study and interested in community development)


Would you like to understand how communities work? Are you curious about why good ideas sometimes fall flat? Do you watch groups struggle to make decisions without adequate data? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions we encourage you to join us for Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics, a unique online course presented jointly by eXtension (Enhancing Rural Capacity and Entrepreneurs and Their Communities), USDA’s Regional Rural Development Centers, Cornell University, the University of Vermont, and a team of nationally recognized Community Development professionals.

Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics, level one of the Foundations of Practice in Community Development program, provides an introduction to community development core competencies, focusing on the ability to understand community of place, the nature of public issues, the dynamics and interdependencies of the various segments of the community, and the basics of community development work. Open to all individuals working in a community context this course is offered as an entry level course in community development. No prior knowledge or experience is required; beginning and veteran community development professionals have found value in this course

The seven-week series will begin October 3, 2013 and conclude November 14, 2013. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on topics that include demographics, economic development, strategic planning and power structures. Supplemental resources and online discussion opportunities will be available on the course website.  

QUESTIONS, contact Mary Peabody ( or Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman (