The Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice prepares individuals for advanced policy- and practice-oriented work in sustainable development both in the United States and in developing countries. A unique feature of the program is an applied field project that students conduct in their communities over a fourteen-month period with full faculty support. Below are just a few examples of the types of projects our students have recently completed:
Writing to Communicate (New Hampshire, USA) – Hannah MacBride
In the Winnisquam Regional School District of New Hampshire, test scores have been decreasing across the board over the last ten years with students currently scoring far below average in writing. The school has chosen to focus its efforts on improving writing, since writing as a form of communication is essential for college and many careers. The goal of this project is to incorporate a writing curriculum into math, science, and social studies classrooms to ensure students are writing to communicate in all classes.
Sunflower County United for Children (Mississippi, USA) – William Buster
Sunflower County in Mississippi is a community where 90 percent of students are African-American. The legacy of racism and low expectations of its children leave many of Sunflower County’s African-American children receiving an inadequate and inequitable education. This project begins to address the issues preventing high educational attainment of the county’s children by increasing the number of high quality early childcare providers, supporting parents to help their children attend kindergarten, and supporting principals and teachers with the tools they need to provide an excellent education for their students.
Empowering Somali Youth to Prevent Radicalism & Piracy (Mogadishu, Somalia) – Safia Farah
More than 70 percent of Somali youth today lack employment opportunities stemming from twenty-one years of civil war and a vacuum of government institutions. These factors and pervasive youth hopelessness have led to war profiteers and criminal enterprises taking advantage of Somali youth, leading to involvement in both terrorism and piracy. This pilot project in Mogadishu provides youth with an opportunity to develop and implement projects. The goal is to inspire the local community and businesses in Somalia to duplicate these programs of youth employment creation to prevent the Somali youth’s dire situation, hence improving the security situation for the country.
To read about more exciting student projects, click here.