Graduate Certificate in Community Development

A graduate certificate in community development allows students to complete graduate work without having to complete a full master's degree seeking program. Get more information on sample courses and admittance requirements.

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Offered online and on-campus, the graduate certificate program in community development helps students learn how to improve the quality of life for communities. Courses explore ways to improve programs that contribute to community health, which can be done through a variety of ways. These methods of improving communities include tactics such as improving public health and better conceiving urban design.

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General Degree Program Information

Classes vary from one school to another. However, in many cases, each program covers the same material under a different course name. Here are a few of the most common types of courses you are likely to find while completing your graduate certificate program in community development.

Sociology of Community

This course is designed to help students better understand how organization occurs in the community. Consequently, this is a study of groups and social forces inside of a community. Relationships between members within the group are studied and perspectives on future U.S. communities are offered.

Disaster Management

Students taking this course will learn how to apply sociological analysis to disaster incidents. Following the course, students are expected to understand how disasters originate and how they impact a community. Also explored are the social dynamics that can be damaged due to a disaster.

Community Leadership

During this course, students are expected to learn different approaches to leading and developing leadership. Students will also examine the relationship between leaders and the ability to build communities. The course covers how leadership is built and applied in the workplace.

Economic Development Strategies and Programs

This course emphasizes economic development in the community. As the course progresses, students will learn about the economic issues facing modern communities. Students are also expected to understand concepts such as economic development planning and community-based development.

Fundamentals of Community and Economic Development

Students in this course will come to understand the underlying principles of community development. This includes learning about economic development in communities and decision-making models that can apply to communities. Students are also expected to discover a range of theories that apply to community development.

Program Admittance Requirements

While every university is different, there are some similarities in the admission standards of different programs. The certificate program can typically be completed in as few as between 12 and 15 hours. You will need to have already received your bachelor's degree, but you won't necessarily need to be pursuing a master's degree. Graduate level work is possible without also trying to complete a full master's program. You will also need to have a minimum GPA of between 2.8 and 4.0. There are also some cases in which you will need to have letters of recommendation written for you as well.

The graduate certificate program in community development instructs students on how to build communities through methods such as evaluation, assessment, research and planning. These short programs require many of the same admissions requirements as standard graduate programs, but can more readily prepare you for careers in community planning, social justice, sociology and economic developments.

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