Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

In rural areas throughout the world, citizens, non-profit leaders, agency staff, and elected officials are coming together to frame complex issues and bring about change in local policy and practice.

This course will outline the theory and practice of community development, drawing on the instructor’s experience with the D_thchas Project for sustainable community development in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Mount Desert Island Tomorrow, and other examples in the literature. In short, community development allows community members to frame issues, envision a preferred future, and carry out projects that move the community toward that preferred future.

Students will gain practical community skills in listening, designing effective meetings, facilitation, framing complex public issues, project planning and development of local policy. Readings, discussions and guests will introduce students to community development theory and practice. Class projects will be connected to community issues on Mount Desert Island including the areas of community design/land use planning, transportation, community health, housing, economic development, the arts and youth empowerment. Short written papers will provide opportunity to reflect on class content, community meetings, newspaper stories and reading assignments. This class is designed to include both COA students and community members.

Evaluation will be based on preparation for and participation in class discussion, several short papers, participation in field work, and contribution to a successful group project.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.