Master of Community Development degree attracts students from varied careers
Now that the students in the first class of the University's new Master of Community Development (MCD) program have completed their first semester, they are beginning to formulate how the degree will fit into their personal career goals. Some are looking for career changes, while most expect the degree to enhance current careers or provide new avenues to explore.
Linda Riley Hathorne '90, '94, a middle school counselor with the Detroit Public Schools, simply hopes to "make a difference with our youth." The degree will help her to explore ways to "take cognizance of the youth in utilizing resources of the city so they can build character strengths to become responsible, respectable and trustworthy citizens." Hathorne, who previously taught for 10 years at the elementary and middle school levels, believes that one way for her to do this is to start building a support network of resources with other professionals in the same pursuit.
The program, which has attracted teachers, youth counselors, Detroit City Council staff members and information technology professionals, well represents the interdisciplinary nature of the program. The curriculum was designed to utilize faculty and content areas from across the University. The program model integrates human, economic, physical and organizational aspects of community development so that a comprehensive approach to the renewal of communities can be undertaken. Service, social justice and sustainability comprise a three-part philosophical and ethical foundation for the program.
According to Associate Professor of Architecture Will Wittig, who co-directs the MCD program with Assistant Professor of Counseling and Addiction Studies Nancy Calley, the UDM program is unique in that it offers a broad-based approach to community development. "Most programs around the country look at very specific aspects of community development, such as economic development or neighborhood design," says Wittig. "The UDM program takes the full range of issues into consideration."
The master's program ends with a capstone project that will engage students in work with a community group on a real-world project, perhaps a business plan for a neighborhood development project.
Read more http://www.udmercy.edu/mcd/ about the Master of Community Development program and a list of course descriptions.