Community Development

Community Development deals with challenges faced by communities in the United States and other countries, particularly those in rural areas. Global economic restructuring and the devolution of government services have produced an environment in which Community Developers are called on to think and act in innovative ways.

Community Development is a progressive field, actively promoting positive social, economic, cultural and environmental change. It encourages people to see the "whole picture," engaging citizens in democratic decision making and action.

In the Great Plains IDEA Community Development program, a diverse faculty from several institutions teaches critical thinking, ethical consideration, careful planning and involvement of all stakeholders. A master's degree or graduate certificate in community development equips the student with a breadth of perspective and depth of cutting-edge material in the field.

The Great Plains IDEA online programs are ideal for community development students and practitioners. Students seeking a professional career in community development can attain the necessary knowledge base without commuting or relocating. Community development practitioners who wish to augment their training can use the skill set gained through the community development master's degree or graduate certificate to work most effectively in, or to advance beyond, their current position.

A Master's degree in Community Development is ideal for professionals in a wide variety of fields:
  • Community and Regional Planning
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Geography
  • Local Planning Departments
  • Community Economic Development Organizations
  • Cooperative Extension Services
  • Housing Agencies
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Tribal Programs
  • Non-Profit Organizations focusing on Community Enhancement

Degree titles vary by institution. Consult each institution for the title as it will appear on the diploma.


Students select one university to be their "home institution", this is the university to which you apply, enroll and pay tuition. Students must meet the admissions requirements of the home institution. Contact the Campus Coordinator at the institution you wish to call "home" for more information.

Iowa State University Michelle Zander
Kansas State University Rachel Ohmes
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Diane Wasser
North Dakota State University Karen Murie
South Dakota State University Theresa Ireland

Student Resources

Student Success Center

The online hub of resources to support your academic and student experience.

Learning Management Systems

Students use the Learning Mangaement System at the teaching university. Contact the campus coordinator for more information.

Iowa State University Blackboard
Kansas State University Canvas
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Blackboard to Canvas
North Dakota State University Blackboard
South Dakota State University D2L


Course Matrix

Review degree or certificate requirements and plan your courses for future semesters.

Course Information

Information regarding program courses, including descriptions, contacts, and textbooks.


Iowa State University
Kansas State University
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
North Dakota State University
South Dakota State University

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