Projects around the world help those in need while master’s degree students apply newly learned knowledge and skills in their chosen communities
Those with the passion and desire to have a greater impact in their communities need the critical knowledge and proven skills to effect the changes demanded by today’s rapidly changing world. The Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program is ideal for community development practitioners and those transitioning into the field. Students can choose to complete the program in 14 or 24 months with short, in-person terms during the summer followed by interactive online courses during the fall through spring terms, allowing for students to continue their full-time jobs. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and experience required to qualify for management positions within non-profit, non-governmental, and community-based organizations in addition to government agencies and private corporations.
A key part of the program is the capstone project. Students directly apply what they learn in the classroom by carrying out a yearlong project within their communities, developing a valuable toolkit that meets the gold standard in project management, from design to evaluation methodologies. Below are just a few examples of the types of projects our students have recently completed:
Market Opportunities for New Hampshire Seafood (New Hampshire, USA) – Eliot Jones
During the last decade, the fishing industry in New Hampshire has seen about 98% of the domestic catch exported, while importing low-cost seafood from other areas. Due to federal regulations that put catch quotas on certain types of ground fish, the industry has been forced to look for sustainable measures to incorporate under-utilized species into local markets. This project had 3 main goals: (1) to understand consumer preferences (2) to determine market capability for underutilized seafood in grocery stores, restaurants, and seafood-specific markets, and (3) to strategically investigate potential markets and products to help aid the ailing ground fishing fleet.
Action Plan for Community Development Based on Turtle Conservation in La Flor Wildlife Refuge (Nicaragua) – Liza Ivanova Gonzalez
Poachers have decimated the sea turtle population in La Flor Reserve in Nicaragua, one of the most important mass nesting beaches in the Eastern Pacific. Liza’s project aims to prevent ongoing conflicts between poachers, community members, and reserve managers by providing alternative sources of income and improving the integration of local communities to reduce poaching and preserve the reserve’s rich biodiversity through sustainable use of its natural resources.
$ Matter Circular Head Financial Literacy Project (Australia) – Julia Curtis
Julia’s $ Matter program involved collaboration with young Aboriginal women from the Circular Head Aboriginal Community for one year to improve financial skills practices. Increasing financial literacy has the potential to address the complex issues of persistent disadvantage in the community by reducing welfare dependency and improving life chances for the young women and their children. Julia’s project used a mix of direct activities with the participants, such as introducing budgeting behaviors and teaching about money. The project builds ongoing capacity at the community level through the development of a cohort of money mentors, incorporating a peer-to-peer learning model.
To read about more exciting projects completed by students in the Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program, click here.