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Community Development Certificate


    Program Description

    The Certificate offerings span a variety of sub-specialties in Community Development, any of which consist of 5-courses/15-credits, and are a snapshot into a specific sub-field of study that examines theory, skills, and practices through classroom and field-based experiences. Any Certificate can also be applied to the Bachelor's degree as a track in the form of a minor or specialization.

    This introductory certificate is designed for people who are seeking to develop or strengthen their core skills and knowledge of the field. Coursework focuses on the integration between public policy and community-based practice, with an emphasis on preservation and development of affordable housing, managing community-based organizations, programs, and projects and the core theories and principles that guide community development practitioners in their day-to-day work.

    Certificate offerings in Community Development include:

    • Housing Development
    • Arts & Creative Placemaking
    • Urban Education
    • Community Wealth Building

    The program was designed in partnership with the Housing Network of Rhode Island. Students are expected to satisfy the requirements of an internship with the Housing Network or an affiliated community development organization. This requirement may be satisfied through the documentation of community development employment experience or through learning experiences acquired by placement.



    Required courses (5 courses)

    CD 220 Elements & Issues in Community Development
    CD 351 Sustainable Economic & Community Development

    Three (3) Electives chosen by the student based on the certificate sub-specialty. From the areas of leadership and non-profit management; housing, planning and development skills; and community economic and social development. 

    Course Descriptions

    CD 220 – Elements and Issues in Community Development
    Overview of the concepts, theories, and applications in the field of community development. This is the foundation course for the Community Development program, but it is appropriate for all students interested in a comprehensive look at the elements required to understand what makes for successful communities, from housing to education, to social services and infrastructure. (3 credits) Fall, Summer

    CD 351 – Sustainable Economic and Community Development 
    Explores key subject areas related to sustainable economic development, including business creation and retention, microenterprises, co-ops, job creation, asset development, sector analysis, the connection between economic development and social health. Examines the role that community development professionals can and should play in ensuring that economic development occurs in a sustainable manner. (3 credits)