Why Take EKU’s Community Development Course?

EKU Online > Why Take EKU’s Community Development Course?

Like all living things, if a community is not growing, it will eventually wither and die.  EKU’s community development course focuses on cultivating human communities so that they are vibrant and successful for years to come. 

Building Your Skillset

Throughout the course students learn to analyze existing communities and identify the strengths and weaknesses each community faces. What resources does a community have?  Does it have natural resources and land?  What about cultural and social resources?  How much money does a community have access to?  Students learn how existing assets can be used to grow the community, and they learn how to identify gaps in the community’s existing resources and how to fill those gaps.  Whether it is applying for grants, attracting businesses, or developing the local population, students will be able to guide their communities into being all that they can be.  Like any social organization, students learn to combine the assets of each community to grow that community into the best that it, uniquely, can be.

Aspects of Community Development

Community development is more than economic development or infrastructure.  It’s educational improvement.  It’s housing.  It’s community events and culture.  It’s the land and natural resources.  Sure, many people live somewhere because “it’s a job,” but what makes a community is everything else.  It’s kayaking the creeks and hiking the hills.  It’s the music at some hole-in-the-wall bar & grill.  It’s a place where you can build a life and learn more about yourself and your world.  Whatever it is for your community -Community Development will help you find it and make it the gem of your town.

Learn to be Creative

Many communities reboot themselves with cultural events, and community developers can help people refine their culture for a broader audience.  Perhaps your community needs a music festival, or a massive block party with a 5K race.  Community developers help bring people together to make the community an active place.  Students will learn to draw information from public sources and from interviews with the community and use that information to direct the community forward.

By the end of the course, students will be able to come to a community and see both what it has going for it and also what it needs, and they will know how assemble all the resources to a great place to live and work, whether the community is a few hundred people or thousands of people.

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