Building Capacity and Diffusing Innovation in Community Development Education

In July 2017, members of the Community Innovation Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from UC Davis, University of Detroit Mercy, and Western Illinois University received a three-year, USDA NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant. The grant's purpose is to explore the current status of Community Development Education within post-secondary institutions across the United States. Three of the primary grant objectives include:

  1. Conduct a national study examining the status of graduate and undergraduate Community Development Education to assemble and compare student demographics, program epistemologies, philosophies, programmatic structure, and educational practices.
  2. Build a network of Community Development educators by convening a national education symposium focusing on innovative curricula, educational practices, student development and professional development needs.
  3. Build institutional capacity to support Community Development Education by creating a virtual community of practice to share educational research, practices, resources, and community engagement techniques.

Important information and grant progress will be highlighted on our website with links to events and updates provided below. To learn more about our grant please read our Brief Sheet.

 Photo Credit: University of Detroit Mercy

Photo Credit: University of Detroit Mercy

Community Development Education Symposium - Detroit, MI (May 16-18, 2019)

The inaugural Community Development Education Symposium will bring together community development educators from across the country to share knowledge, best practices, and new ideas for teaching and learning. The gathering will create a space for community development educators to come together and explore:

  • What new knowledge is emerging?
  • Are there new and emerging models for community development education?
  • Are there changes in the meaning and perception of community development that inform education?
  • What sources of opportunity are influencing innovation in community development education? What are innovative methods for teaching and learning community development?

Through conversation exchanges, tours, and workshops, the symposium will weigh current educational practices and program design. It will also showcase emerging and innovative curricula, educational methods, and student and professional development towards advancing the impact of community development education.

 Photo Credit: UC Davis Center for Regional Change

Photo Credit: UC Davis Center for Regional Change

National Study of Community Development Higher Education

The UC Davis Center for Regional Change and the University of Kentucky Community Innovation Lab are conducting a national study of community development post-secondary education in the United States in order to:

  • Compile baseline information of undergraduate and graduate community development programs.
  • Build institutional capacity to advance community development higher education.
  • Create a community of practice to strengthen communication and shared knowledge around research, pedagogy,practices, and resources. 
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Community Development Education Community of Practice

The Community Innovation Lab at the University of Kentucky is a host site for a national community of practice for community development educators. The CD Ed COP will be a place for CD educators to discuss innovative instructional strategies, student/university engagement, post educational artifacts, and post topics for discussion. (Forthcoming)