School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration

Undergraduate Specialty: Community Development and Planning

Community Development and Planning professionals facilite creation of community visions and transform them into physical and social infrastructures. They work in the community development corporations, neighborhood associations, and public planning agencies found throughout urban and rural America. They are engage in a wide variety of activities including organizing old city neighborhoods, designing innovative residential communities, preserving historic structures, building affordable housing, and curbing urban sprawl.

Preparing for a career in Community Development and Planning includes studying the economic, social, political, physical, and environmental dimensions of communities and developing strong organization, leadership, planning, and management skills.

Community Development and Planning field requires the ability to identify: the interrelationships among major community actors; the processes and power structures which create community governance; the policies and institutions that foster strong, vibrant communities; the relationship between a community's physical and social infrastructure; and the organizational challenges that face neighborhood associations and community development corporations. These abilities are developed in PA 495 Community Analysis. The field also requires knowledge of planning techniques used to advance community goals. These techniques are taught in GPY 309 City and Regional Planning. A strong foundation in Community Development and Planning might also include an urban studies background, strong organizational and leadership abilities, some GIS or other applicable technical skills, and familiarity with social diversity issues. The courses in the Community Development and Planning specialty offer an opportunity to build this background. Students desiring recognition for this specialty must complete PA 495 and at least three of the following courses, including GPY 309:

  • GPY 309--City and Regional Planning (Required)
  • GPY 307--Introduction to Computer Mapping/GIS
  • HST 327--Urban History
  • PLS 338--Citizenship
  • SOC 382--Minority and Ethnic Relations
  • PA 390--Leadership Dynamics

Page last modified March 14, 2014