The Community Development and Planning program provides current and future community development practitioners, activists, and scholars with a strong foundation—based on theory, skill development, and practice—to take on the challenges of urban revitalization in the United States. Our program links theory to practice through insightful participation of practitioners in seminars, high quality internships, and studio and practicum courses that allow students to learn directly from residents and community-based organizations about their resources, priorities, and strategies. Students in the Community Development and Planning Program learn alternative ways of thinking and transforming communities to achieve greater equity and social justice.
The CDP Program offers core courses and hands-on skill development in critical areas such as: community development and planning theory, planning techniques, community organizing, community development finance, grant writing, land use, decision-making and negotiation, non-profit management, youth and community development, geographic information systems, and research and project evaluation methods. CDP students also benefit from a unique interdisciplinary approach to community development that integrates the perspectives and ideas of the other departmental programs: Environmental Science and Policy, Geographic Information Sciences for Development and Environment, and International Development and Social Change.
The CDP Experience
Through the CDP program, students will:
- Understand social, economic, and political forces that shape places
- Understand communities in a regional and international context
- Gain rigorous analytical training—the ability to explore and research complex social issues, solid quantitative and qualitative skills, and strong writing and public communication skills
- Challenge existing structures of power from within or outside transitional development organizations
- Develop professional practices that trigger social change to improve quality of life
- Prepare students to be leaders in a diverse range of community development and planning roles.
“The world needs more intelligent passionate people who can think and act quickly on the complex issues facing our communities. CDP gives students who are passionate about serving their community a great foundation of knowledge to build upon.” Jimmy Royster (CDP/M.A. ‘06)
See www.clarku.edu/departments/idce/academicsGradCDP.cfm for details about the Community Development and Planning program.