All course information is listed within this syllabus.

CEDEV 500: Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice (3 credits). Understanding theories, concepts, and frameworks of community and economic development and community decision-making models in application to community development practice and issues.

Prerequisites: None


Instructor for CEDEV 500

Frans J.G. Padt, Ph.D.
Teaching Professor

Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
214 Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone (Office): 814-863-8644
E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

Educational and Professional Background

Frans Padt has more than 25 years of experience in community and regional environmental planning and design as a researcher, educator, policymaker, and consultant. He received his Ph.D. in Political Sciences of the Environment from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 2007. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His teaching and research include the political, institutional, and leadership aspects of community and regional environmental planning.

Teaching Experience

  • CED 409 — Land Use Planning and Procedure
  • CED 309 — Land Economics and Policy
  • CED 155 — Science, Technology and Public Policy
  • CED 327 — Environment and Society
  • CEDEV 500 — Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice
  • CEDEV 509 — Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance
  • Landscape Architecture Studios and Seminars

Course Overview

CEDEV 500 provides an overview of principles of community and economic development.

CEDEV 500 consists of 14 modules, all located within our password-protected learning management system, Canvas. This course is a synchronous course, meaning that you are part of a "cohort" or learning community. There are regular due dates for assignments, and a fixed start and end date. There are interactive sessions where you communicate with others in the class.

Course goals are to:

  1. increase your conceptual and intuitive understanding of development and decision-making related to development generally and
  2. provide frames of reference you can use in thinking about community development issues that will be applicable throughout the CEDEV program. One of our goals for the course is to offer the opportunity for you to become familiar with different views of development and to consider their relevance for community development practice.

Course Objectives

By the end of CEDEV 500 you should be able to:

  • identify and use conceptual and analytical frameworks for analyzing community and economic development issues
  • discuss theories and important concepts of development
  • identify important public and private institutions influencing development
  • describe the concepts of community and how they relate to community development and change
  • critically assess approaches to development decision-making
  • analyze the role of power in development, particularly who benefits and who loses
  • use research to inform development decision-making and community development practice
  • articulate how theories and concepts of development and decision-making apply to community development practice


What Is Expected of Our Group and Its Members (Learning Community)?

  • Shared responsibility: While your purposes for taking this course may vary, our learning activities will draw upon peer insight and feedback and involve a combination of individual and collaborative learning activities. Each of us should contribute to our web of learning, as well as benefit from it. Please exhibit a willingness to engage with others in a respectful manner.
  • Keep on top of things: Please establish a routine that allows you to regularly pace yourself and remain actively involved with course activities. While you can choose which time of the day and which days of the week you log on and contribute, please do not disadvantage yourself and the rest of us by falling behind. The pace of this course is intense enough to make catching up a challenge. Log on at least three times per week to keep abreast of new postings, current e-mails, updated discussion, and overall course progress.
  • Submit assignments on time: Assignments must be submitted on or before the due date. Ten points will be deducted from the assignment grade for work that is late (up to 24 hours). No assignments will be accepted after the 24-hour window. When time runs out, submit what you have. If extenuating circumstances arise, a request for an extension may be granted. Requests should be made as far in advance of the due date as possible.
  • Prepare for absences: I encourage you to work one lesson ahead, at least with the readings, as protection against job stress and personal or family illness. If you need to be away from the course due to personal or family needs, please communicate with me and your team members via course e-mail. If unexpected or extenuating circumstances arise that will keep you from being an active contributor, please communicate with me and I will do the same with you.
  • Issues of confidentiality, privacy, and ethics: As professionals, we face ethical issues frequently. Having the academic freedom to express ourselves in class demands that we protect each others' confidentiality outside of class. I expect that what is "said" on our course site will stay there.

What Can You Expect of Your Instructor?

  • Contact and presence: My goal is to acknowledge or respond to personal and group questions, suggestions, dilemmas, or other course-related issues within 48 hours. However, the grading of course assignments usually takes longer.
  • Flexibility: I am prepared to accommodate vacations, illnesses, and job emergencies, provided there is a reasonable prospect or plan for making up the work. If you need to be late with an assignment or prefer to do something else suitable to that topic, please discuss it with me prior to the assignment deadline. If prior arrangements are not made your work will not be graded.
  • Sense of community: This course has been designed to operate within a learning community: having a shared purpose (course goals), a distinctive place to gather (the Canvas site), promoting effective work products from within our group (weekly assignments), establishing accepted norms (netiquette and mutual expectations), and allowing for a range of member roles and participation (team projects and responses to postings).

Course Outline

CEDEV 500 is organized so that each module contains a summary of module objectives, an essay setting the context and raising issues for your consideration, questions to guide your critical thinking about the readings, and a set of readings (readings are available through electronic reserve unless otherwise indicated). This learning experience will be different from traditional classroom education mostly because we will not be meeting face-to-face and our discussions on a topic will be spread over several days. Because of this, each of you needs to contribute to discussions to be engaged in the course.

There are several interactive activities, generally a "discussion" where you have the opportunity to discuss a question related to the readings with the class (in this case, the class includes students and instructors). A second discussion topic will be identified by the class to allow exploration of a particular issue of interest to you. If you want to discuss topics with colleagues or the instructor, you may do so in one of the several course discussions. In addition, a separate discussion "Questions About Readings" can be used for questions you may have about the readings or other aspects of the course. This is an area where you can ask about ideas or issues that were not clear in the readings, for example. Other students are encouraged to respond, as will the instructor. You will be asked to complete four short two- to three-page essays during the course. These papers give you an opportunity to further develop your own ideas about how the concepts relate across modules and to provide your own insight into how the ideas and concepts relate to community development practice. A fifth and final essay, four to five pages long, is an opportunity for you to integrate and apply ideas and concepts from the entire course.

You will spend the most time reading the assigned materials, followed by participating in the discussions and writing the integrative essays. Interaction among all of the students and instructors is essential to a high-quality learning experience. In a typical classroom setting, we present issues and questions that relate to the material being covered to generate discussion, or to allow the class to examine a community development issue or opportunity using the class material. In each case, these are opportunities to more fully understand the concepts in the readings and their application in community and economic development. We do the same here. We will ask questions or ask for examples of certain situations from each of your experiences. You are expected to participate in the discussions during the module that particular course content is covered. This will generate further discussion among the class. We also expect that you will have individual questions about the materials. Please contact your instructor or post these questions in the "Questions About Readings" discussion.

If this is your first online learning experience you may find it a bit strange, so be sure to let your instructor know if you have particular concerns or difficulties. We will be looking for your comments and suggestions throughout the course, and for your participation in making this a valuable learning experience.

Throughout the course, you will notice various methods of teaching and learning. Included in this course are:

  • Framing Essay and Guiding Questions -- introductions to the readings and the key concepts developed in the readings. The framing essay is supplemented with questions intended to guide and focus your reading and evaluation of the assigned materials.
  • Readings and Supplemental Resources -- either from the required readings or from the library electronic reserves.
  • Discussions -- online discussions which focus on questions or reading analysis, primarily asynchronous in nature.
  • Assignments -- the place where you will submit your essays for the course. Each is identified with the module number and a short assignment name.
  • Integrative Essays -- essays where you will be asked to select issues or ideas you see as critical to community development and most interesting to you, where you will describe how these issues or ideas are presented in the readings and how the concepts can be applied to a community development issue or opportunity with which you are familiar.

While you may recognize these as commonly used teaching and learning methods, their use in an online environment will add new meaning to what our experiences might have been in a face-to-face learning environment.

Module Readings

You will access readings from Penn State Library's Course E-Reserves. The Library Resources link on the left Navigation Menu in Canvas will allow you to access readings. E-Reserves are all on one page in alphabetical order.

Complete list of CEDEV 500 readings:

Module 2: What Is Community Development?

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Sanders, I.T. (1970). The concept of community development. In L.J. Cary (Ed.), Community development as a process (pp. 9-31). Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
  • Summers, G.F. (1986). Rural community development. Annual review of Sociology, 12: 347-371.
  • Leigh, N.G, & Blakeley, E.J. (2013). Planning local economic development: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Newbury Park: Sage. Chapter 3 "Concepts and theory of local economic development only" (pp. 71-98) only.
  • Bradshaw, T.K. (2008). The post-place community: Contributions to the debate about the definition of community. Journal of the Community Development Society, 39 (1): 5-16.
  • Wilkinson, K.P. (1991). The community in rural America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Chapter 4 "Rural community development" (pp. 87-108) only.

Background Reading (Skim):

  • Phifer, B.M., List, E.F., & Faulkner, B. (1980). History of community development in America. In J.A. Christenson, & J.W. Robinson, Jr. (Eds.), Community Development in America (pp. 18-37). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.

Book on Careers in Community Development (Not Required and Not in E-Reserves):

  • Brophy, P., & Shabecoff, A. (2001). A guide to careers in community development. Washington DC: Island Press.

Optional Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Shaffer, R, Deller, S., & Marcouiller, D.W. (2004). Community economics: Linking theory and practice (2nd ed.). Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. Chapter 1 "Defining community economic development" (pp. 1-19 ) only.
  • Flora, C.B., Flora, J.L., & Fey, S. (2016). Rural communities: Legacy and change (4th ed.). Boulder: Westview Press. Chapter 12 "Generating community change" (pp. 427-468) only.
  • Warner, P. D. (1989). Professional community development roles. In J.A. Christenson, & J.W. Robinson, Jr. (Eds.), Community development in perspective (pp. 117-135). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.

Module 3: Paradigms of Development

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Sachs, J.D. (2015). The end of poverty: Economic possibilities for our time (3rd ed.). New York: The Penguin Press. Chapter 2 "The spread of economic prosperity" (pp. 26-50) only.
  • Langhelle, O. (1999). Sustainable development: Exploring the ethics of "Our Common Future." International Political Science Review, 20 (22), 129-149.
  • Cuthill, M. (2010). Strengthening the 'Social' in Sustainable Development: Developing a Conceptual Framework for Social Sustainability in a Rapid Urban Growth region in Australia. Sustainable Development, 18, 362-373.
  • Sen, A. ( 1999). Development as freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Chapter 1 "The perspective of freedom" (pp.15-34) only.
  • Chowdhry, G. (1999). Engendering development? Women in Development (WID) in international development regimes. In M. Marchand, & and J.L. Parpart (Eds.), Feminism postmodernism development (pp. 26-41). New York: Routledge.

Optional Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Galston, W.A., & Baehler, K.J. (1995). Rural development in the United States: Connecting theory, practice, and possibilities. Washington, DC: Island Press. Chapter 2 "Development: A conceptual framework" (pp. 23-37) and Chapter 4 "Development: A political strategy" (pp.61-76) only.

Module 4: Understanding Community Change

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Bender, T. (1978). Community and social change in America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Chapter 1 "Introduction: The meanings of community" (pp. 3-13) only.
  • Luloff, A.E. (1990). Community and social change: How do small communities act? In A.E. Luloff, & E. Swanson (Eds.), American rural communities (pp. 214-227). Boulder: Westview Press.
  • Bridger, J., & Luloff, A.E. (1999). Toward and interactional approach to sustainable development. Journal or Rural Studies, 15 (4), 377-387.
  • Delanty, G. (2010). Community (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. Chapter 1 "Community as an idea: Loss and recovery" (pp. 1-17) and Chapter 2 "Community and society: Myths of modernity" (pp. 18-36) only.
  • Shuman, M.H. (2000). Going local: Creating self-reliant communities in a global age. New York: The Free Press. Chapter 1 "Place matters" (pp. 31-50) only.
  • Wilkinson, K.P. (1999) The community in rural America. New York: Greenwood Press. "Introduction" (pp. 1-12) and Chapter 1 "The community: An interactional approach" (pp. 13-40) only.

Module 5: Citizens, Government, and Development

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Bowles, S. (2004). Microeconomics: Behavior, institutions, and evolution. New York: Princeton University Press. Chapter 14 "Economic governance: Markets, states, and communities" (pp. 473-501) only.
  • Boyte, H.C. (2004). Everyday politics: Reconnecting citizens and public life. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Chapter 1 "The stirrings of a new politics" (pp. 1-16) and Chapter 4 "Citizenship as public work" (pp. 57-76) only.
  • Fiorina, M.P. (1999). Extreme voices: A dark side of civic engagement. In T. Skocpol, & M. Fiorina (Eds.), Civic engagement in American democracy (pp. 395-425). Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
  • Bridger, J.C., & Alter, T.R. (2006). Place, community development and social capital. Journal of the Community Development Society, 37 (1): 5-18.
  • Bizjak, I. (2012). Improving Public Participation in Spatial Planning with Web 2.0 tools. Urbani Izziv, 23 (1): 112-124.

Optional Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Swedberg, R. (2003). Principles of economic sociology. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Chapter 8 "Law and economy" (pp. 158-188) only.
  • Miller, D. (2003). Deliberative democracy and social choice. In J.S. Fishkin, & P. Laslett (Eds.) Debating deliberative democracy (pp. 182-199). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Module 6: Conflict and Consensus Models of Society

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Bernard, T. J. (1983). The conflict-consensus debate: Form and content in social theories. New York: Columbia University Press. "Introduction" (pp. 1-29) and Chapter 8 "Parsons and Dahrendorf" (pp. 145-190) only.
  • Harper, C.L., & K.T. Leight (2011). Exploring social change: America and the World (6th ed). Milton Park, UK: Taylor and Francis. Chapter 2 "The causes and patterns of change" (pp. 13-42) and Chapter 3 "Social theory and social change" (pp. 88-112) only.
  • Fairhurst, G.T., & Sarr, R.T. (1996). The art of framing: Managing the language of leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Chapter 1 "Framing: Seizing leadership moments in everyday conversations" (pp. 1-22) and Chapter 2 "From the inside out: How your own view of reality shapes communication goals" (23-49) only.

Module 7: Stratification and Inequality

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Rank, M. (2004). One nation, underprivileged: Why American poverty affects us all. New York, NY: Oxford Press. Chapter 7 "A New Paradigm" (pp. 169-191) only.
  • Task Force on Persistent Rural Poverty (1993). Persistent poverty in Rural America. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Chapter 4 "Spatial location of economic activities, uneven development, and rural poverty" (pp. 106-135) only.
  • Firebaugh, G. (2003). The new geography of global income inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Chapter 1 "Massive global income inequality: When did it arise and why does it matter?" (pp. 3-14) and Chapter 2 "The reversal of historical inequality trends" (pp. 15-30) only.
  • Rothman, R.A. (2005). Inequality and stratification: Race, class and gender (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Chapter 1 "Inequality and social stratification" (pp. 2-25) and Chapter 4 "Institutionalizing and legitimizing stratification" (pp. 68-96) only.

Module 8: Community Policymaking and Democracy

Required Readings from the Textbook:

  • Taylor, M. (2011). Community in policy and practice. Chapter 3, pp. 22-44, in Public policy in the community. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Taylor, M. (2011). Power in the policy process. Chapter 8, pp. 135-157, in Public policy in the community. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Tauxe, C.S. (1995). Marginalizing Public Participation in Local Planning: An Ethnographic Account. Journal of American Planning, 61 (4): 471-482.
  • Horlings, I., & Padt, F.J.G. (2013). Leadership for sustainable regional development in rural areas: Bridging personal and institutional aspects. Sustainable Development, 21 (6), 413-424.
  • Mills, Roger C. (2005). Sustainable community change: A new paradigm for leadership in community revitalization efforts. National Civic Review, 94 (1), 9-16.
  • Fischer, F. (2000). Citizens, experts, and the environment: The politics of local knowledge. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Chapter 1 "Democratic prospects in an age of expertise: Confronting the technocratic challenge" (pp. 5-28) only.

Optional Readings from the Textbook:

  • Taylor, M. (2011). Experiencing empowerment. Chapter 9, pp. 158-185, in Public policy in the community. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Module 9: Power and Influence in Communities

Required Readings from the Textbook:

  • Taylor, M. (2011). Power and empowerment. Chapter 7, pp. 110-134, in Public policy in the community. New York: Palgrave.

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Boulding, K.E. (1989). Three faces of power. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Chapter 1 "The nature of power" (pp. 15-34).
  • Lyon, L., & Driskell, R. (2012). The community in urban society (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. Chapter 12 "Community Politics" (pp. 173-190) and Chapter 13 "Measuring local power" (pp. 191-201) only.
  • Gaventa, J. (1982). Power and powerlessness: Quiescence and rebellion in an Appalachian Valley. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Chapter 1 "Power and participation" (pp. 1-32) only.
  • Seitz, V.R. (1995). Women, development and communities for empowerment in Appalachia. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Chapter 1 "Introduction" (pp. 1-13) only.

Optional Readings from the Textbook:

  • Taylor, M. (2011). The challenge for communities. Chapter 12, pp. 240-265, in Public Policy in the Community. New York: Palgrave.

Optional Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Lukes, S. (2005). Power: A radical view (2nd ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 3 "Three dimensional power" (pp. 108-150) only.

Module 10: International Community Development

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Abloh, F., & Ameyaw S. (1997). Ghana. In H. Camfens (Ed.), Community development around the world: Practice, theory, research, training (pp. 277-327). University of Toronto Press.
  • Clark, J.D. (2013). Ethical globalization: The dilemmas and challenges of internationalizing civil society. In M. Edwards, & J. Gaventa (Eds.), Global citizen action (pp. 17-28). New York: Earthscan.
  • Perez, N. (2002). Achieving sustainable livelihoods -- a case study of a Mexican rural community. Community Development Journal, 37 (2): 178-187.
  • Prokopy, J., & Castelloe, P. (1999). Participatory development: Approaches from the global South and the United States. Journal of the Community Development Society, 30 (2): 213-231.
  • Parpart, J.L. (1995). Deconstructing the development expert: Gender, development and the "vulnerable groups." In M.H. Marchand, & J.L. Parpart (Eds.), Feminism / postmodernism / development (pp. 221-241). London, UK: Routledge.

Optional Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Campfens, H. (1999). International review of community development. In H. Campfens (Ed.), Community development around the world: Practice, theory, research, training (pp. 13-46). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Module 11: Research for Community Change, Part I

Required Readings from the Textbook:

  • Stoecker, R. (2013). Research methods for community change: A project-based approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

For this module, read Stoecker, pp. ix-101, Acknowledgements through Chapter 4. Next module, read Stoecker, pp. 103-214, Chapters 5 through 8.

Beginning list of sources for applied/practitioner-oriented studies (Please let others in the class know of other possible resources you have identified):

Case studies or program evaluations are a very important resource, but where can they be found? There are some published, refereed journals that include articles based on applied research. But, much of this applied, community-based research ends up in books, reports to sponsors, or in reports of work funded or conducted by centers or various non-profit organizations. Most journal articles about applied research projects will reference a longer report that likely contains a lot more of the 'gory details' about what actually happened. We have identified a few journals that regularly include articles based on practice related to community and economic development.

  • Journal of the Community Development Society
  • Community Development Journal
  • Journal of Extension

Articles on practice or program evaluation sometimes appear in the following journals:

  • Journal of American Planning Association
  • Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

The web is truly our friend in these searches. Typing in a phrase such as 'rural entrepreneurship' quickly identifies web sites and reports authored in various non-profit organizations, or university-related centers, including programs and materials developed by Cooperative Extension Educators. The first page of that search listed fifteen resources specifically on rural entrepreneurship. Only a few were duplicates. You will need to wade through some junk, but typically centers related to universities or state or federal government, or non-profit centers or institutes that have longer histories are reliable sources of information.

While you are a Penn State student you also have access to the full resources of Pattee Library. By using electronic access to journals from the Library's main home page, you can access published journal articles on specific topics. You will need to sort through these to find those specifically related to practice. Take note of research-focused articles that relate specifically to the topic, as well. There are times that research findings can be very useful in making the case for a grant proposal or for helping community residents understand the consequences of particular actions--at least as they have occurred in other places.

Module 12: Research for Community Change, Part II

Required Readings from the Textbook:

  • Stoecker, R. (2013). Research methods for community change: A project-based approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Last week you read Stoecker, pp. ix-101, Acknowledgements through Chapter 4.

This week, read Stoecker, pp. 103-214, Chapters 5 through 8 again.

Module 13: Community Development Practice

Required Readings from E-Reserves:

  • Daniels, T. L., Keller, J.W., Lapping, M.B., Daniels, K., & Segedy, J. (2007). The small town planning handbook (3rd ed.). Chicago: The American Planning Association. Chapter 4 "Determining community goals and objectives" (pp. 31-56) only.
  • Hyman, D., McKnight, J., & Higdon, F. (2001). Doing democracy: Conflict and consensus strategies for citizens, organizations and communities. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers. Chapter 9 "Two models of organizing and implementation: Locality development and social Action" (pp. 217-248).
  • Kretzmann, J.P., & J.L. McKnight, J.L. (1993). Building Communities from the Inside out: A path toward finding and mobilizing a community's assets. "Asset-based community development: Mobilizing an entire community" (pp. 345-354).
  • Reybold, L.E,. & Herren, R.V. (1999). Education and action in Magnolia Community: Rethinking community development. Journal of the Community Development Society, 30, (1): pp. 1-14.

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

Most World Campus courses require that students purchase materials (e.g., textbooks, specific software, etc.). To learn about how to order materials, please see the Course Materials page. You should check the World Campus Course Catalog approximately 3–4 weeks before the course begins for a list of required materials.


ISBN: 978-1412994057
Stoecker, R. R. (2013). Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. (E-Book option available)

ISBN: 978-0230242654
Taylor, M. (2011). Public Policy in the Community (2nd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. (E-Book option available)

For pricing and ordering information, please see the Barnes & Noble College website.

Materials will be available at Barnes & Noble College approximately three weeks before the course begins. It is very important that you purchase the correct materials. If your course requires one or more textbooks, you must have exactly the correct text required (edition and year).

E-Book Option

An online version of one or more of your texts is available at no cost as a Penn State Library E-Book. Some E-Books will only be available online, while others will be available to download in full or in part. You may choose to use the E-Book as an alternative to purchasing a physical copy of the text. You can access the E-Book by selecting Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, and then selecting the E-Reserves link. For questions or issues, you can contact the University Libraries Reserve Help (UL-RESERVESHELP@LISTS.PSU.EDU).


This course requires that you access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course. You can access these materials by selecting Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, or by accessing the Library E-Reserves Search and searching for your instructor's last name.

Integrative Essays

There are four integrative essays:

  1. Integrative Essay #1: Foundations of Community Development, due after Module 3.
    • Select issues or ideas you see as critical to the foundations of community development (content from Modules 1-3) and most interesting to you. Describe how these issues or ideas are presented in the readings and how the concepts can be applied to a community development issue or opportunity with which you are familiar. Submit a three (3) page essay to the appropriate assignment page.
  2. Integrative Essay #2: Democracy and Society, due after Module 6.
    • Select issues or ideas you see as critical to democracy and society (content from Modules 4-6) within community development and most interesting to you. Describe how these issues or ideas are presented in the readings and how the concepts can be applied to a community development issue or opportunity with which you are familiar. Submit a three (3) page essay to the appropriate assignment page.
  3. Integrative Essay #3: Community, Policymaking, and Power, due after Module 9.
    • Select issues or ideas you see as critical to Community, Policymaking, and Power (content from Modules 7-9) within community development and most interesting to you. Describe how these issues or ideas are presented in the readings and how the concepts can be applied to a community development issue or opportunity with which you are familiar. Submit a three (3) page essay to the appropriate assignment page.
  4. Integrative Essay #4: Final Project, due after Module 14.
    • For your final essay, select a key idea, theory, or principle discussed in the course (of special interest to you) and demonstrate its application in a practical context. This essay should highlight your understanding of the primary source readings on the essay topic, and your own field experience. Submit a five (5) page essay to the appropriate assignment page.

Grading Policy

The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Cumulative Point Value Weight
Participation in Discussions 2400 45%
Three Integrative Essays 300 40%
Final Integrative Essay (Final Project) 100 15%
TOTAL: 2800 100%

The following table is the grading scheme for the course.

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage
A 100% – 94%
A- < 94% – 90%
B+ < 90% – 87%
B < 87% – 84%
B- < 84% – 80%
C+ < 80% – 77%
C < 77% – 74%
D < 74% – 64%
F < 64%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Graduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it is assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the internet.

Getting Help With Canvas Courses

Canvas support is available 24/7 via chat or phone.

It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Try to include information such as the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Support Services

As a student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the following resources for more information:

Accessibility Information


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's " The Core Rules of Netiquette " for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Penn State Policies

Login Policy

Students are expected to log in regularly to keep up to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Course Availability

Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures, and the Code of Conduct ).

Please read the academic integrity guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's academic integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff, and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity at the Report Bias page.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their Web Privacy Statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff page for information regarding its rules governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD40, Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services, addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under federal and state laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The University offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Accommodations for Persons With Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources page.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus' disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search to start planning ahead.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search to start planning ahead.