Penn State's 30-credit, online Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to economic and community development. The program balances theory and practice and offers examples and opportunities for you to consider application of these concepts to real issues facing communities and regions.
The course topics include:
- perspectives on development, democracy, and decision making
- economic development planning
- structures and processes of communities and community organizations
- land use, population change, and municipal finance
- leadership in communities and nonprofit organizations
- methods and techniques of community and economic development
Collaborative Experience, Practical Applications
The community and economic development curriculum uses a blend of web technology, print, and other media to provide an effective balance of flexibility and interaction.
Students communicate with faculty and each other through discussion forums, chat rooms, and email. The learning environment is collaborative and designed so that students can share their knowledge and experiences and learn from each other. The curriculum and course format offer theoretical understanding of sociological and economic development concepts and application of those concepts to effective community and economic development practice. Students have noted that they can immediately apply what they have learned in the courses to their jobs or elected positions.
In addition, please contact CEDEVinfo@psu.edu for information about optional webinars we are designing that focus on applications and practices for community and economic development, giving students an opportunity to interact with faculty members, fellow students, alumni of the program, and other practicing community development professionals in a virtual environment outside of the "classroom" setting.
The program requires:
- completion of 7 core courses (21 credits)
- 3 to 6 credits of elective course work
- 3 to 6 credits to complete a master's paper (may be based on a project or internship) that integrates theory and practice on an issue or topic of your choice
Course List - Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development
|Principles of Local Economic Development||CEDEV 430||Concepts, strategies, and techniques of local economic analysis, planning, and development; decision-making exercises.
Prerequisite: introductory course in economics
|Community Structure, Processes and Capacity||CEDEV 452||Social organization and change in communities; use of sociological principles in analysis of community problems and development.
Prerequisite: 6 credits in rural sociology, sociology, or psychology
|Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice||CEDEV 500||Understanding theories, concepts, and frameworks of community and economic development and community decision-making models in application to community development practice and issues.||3 credits|
|Leadership Development||CEDEV 505||Exploration, understanding, and application of leadership roles, strategies, and principles in group and community settings.||3 credits|
|Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance||CEDEV 509||Understanding the interaction of population characteristics, land use, municipal funds, and taxation in a locality and how they impact the operation and management of government jurisdictions.||3 credits|
|Methods and Techniques for Community and Economic Development||CEDEV 575||Understanding and applying methods and hands-on experience with techniques used in community and economic development.||3 credits|
Applied Research Methods
|Descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, power, estimation, confidence intervals, regression, one- and 2-way ANOVA, Chi-square tests, diagnostics.
Investigates methods for assessing data collected from experimental and/or observational studies in various research setting.
For the master's paper requirement, students must take the course below:
|Community and Economic Development Research Application and Practice||CEDEV 580||Course outlines the steps for students to apply CEDEV theories and methods to a topic in writing their Master's paper.||3 credits|
Electives (3–6 credits) Electives are not limited to these courses and may include resident courses and graduate courses from other accredited institutions. Other possible elective courses require approval from the CEDEV graduate program coordinator or your MPS program faculty adviser.
|Regional Development: Principles, Policy, and Practice||CEDEV 560||Regional growth and development, focusing on challenges to theory, policy, and practice, emphasizing change in metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural areas.
Prerequisites: CEDEV 430 and CEDEV 500
|Resilient Communities and Environments||CEDEV 567||Understanding connections between communities and surrounding ecosystems; exploration of management techniques for building adaptive, resilient, and sustainable communities and environments.
Prerequisites: please contact the CEDEV program manager and academic adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Entrepreneurship in the Community||CEDEV 597A||Entrepreneurship in the Community, empirically and conceptually examines the relationship between entrepreneurs, small businesses, and local economic development. The course examines the multiple definitions of "entrepreneurship," and how these individuals affect — and are affected by — the social and economic dynamics of their community. The course develops a rich understanding of the entrepreneurship process from a community-based view rather than a traditional firm-based view, illustrating the many ways that entrepreneurs and their local society interact. The course begins by examining the role of the firm in society, and the ways that local life enhances and contains opportunity and opportunistic action. Students will also learn ways to measure small business dynamics locally, and develop an understanding of how different community development approaches may affect different types of entrepreneurship.
Prerequisites: CEDEV 430
|Topics in Economic Development||CEDEV 597B||Topics in Economic Development provides an overview of modern approaches to developing places and regions, including policy options and limitations; fundamental reasons for the world-wide decline of some rural areas and the growth of cities are also explored.
Prerequisites: CEDEV 430 and STAT 500 or STAT 800
|Launching Community Ventures, Nonprofits, and Organizations||CEDEV 597C||Launching ideas from socially and environmentally conscious for-profit businesses, to nonprofits, to spin-offs of existing models.
Prerequisites: CEDEV 430
|Principles and Practices of Planning||CEDEV 597D||This course is an overview of the field of planning. It examines that history of planning and the theories behind it, and the corresponding roles that planners can play in their communities. It establishes the legal framework for planning as a profession, and examines landmark legal cases involving planning and its tools. It then looks at the different types and levels of planning, and examines the process of planning, what data needs to be collected, how a comprehensive plan is made and implemented, and who planners must interact with in the course of doing their job. Finally, the course reviews the current issues in planning, such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Sustainability. Throughout, the course attempts to emphasize both the positive and negative impacts of planning.||3 credits|
|Theories, Principles, and Institutions of International Development||CEDEV 597E||Provides a strong foundation in theories and concepts of international development that inform practice. Addresses issues of how economic growth and disparity are spatially distributed, differentiated, and what causes these patterns to occur.||3 credits|