The MCD curriculum has five elements: an intensive introduction, a core curriculum, a series of 3 skill-building workshops, a program of concentrations and a capstone project. "Introduction to Community Development" provides an overview of the concentrations, while the remaining core curriculum explores more complex issues in contemporary community development, including diversity, social justice, regional and global issues and trends. The total credit hour requirement is 36 credit hours.

Introduction to Community Development, 2 credit hours

Course description

MCD 5010:
This course introduces students to UDM, the MCD Program, and Community Development in Regional Detroit.  The course provides students with an introduction to the MCD concentrations and core courses.  Course format will feature case studies, guest lectures by community leaders, local tours, and exposure to Community Development techniques and resources.  The course structure will emphasize community building including team projects and opportunities for  service learning and social justice advocacy.

Core Curriculum, 19 credit hours

Course list and descriptions

MCD 5020 : Introduction to Economic Development, 3 cr.
(Prerequisite: MCD 5010: Introduction to Community Development). The objective of this course is to study the conditions that will strengthen the viability and vitality of enterprise and increase employment in the community. Topics include: principles of economic development and growth (community history and community growth potential, the role of business, labor, & jobs, building sustainable systems, social capital); the role of community-based institutions (community support organizations, sources of funding); economic development planning (local economic development incentives, building public/private collaboratives); the economic influence of neighborhood and building design; and measuring economic growth (data sources, methodology).

MCD 5040 : Introduction to Human Development, 3 cr.
(Prerequisite: MCD 5010: Introduction to Community Development) This course applies human development principles and methods to define the interaction between the social, natural, and built environments and to study the behavioral and attitudinal reaction of the human inhabitant in terms of mutual and ongoing transactions. The course integrates theory, research, and practice in human ecology and ecofeminism; reviews critical factors affecting people in their environment; and offers a basis to assist community developers in the design and planning of the human environment in terms of social sustainability. Special emphasis will be given to neighborhood and residential environments.

MCD 5060 : Introduction to Physical Development, 3 cr.
(Prerequisite: MCD 5010: Introduction to Community Development)
This course is an introduction to the physical aspects of community development. The course focuses on the relationship between physical conditions (built and natural environments) and the economic, social and environmental sustainability of communities. Subject matter includes the role of physical place in the historical and contemporary development of communities, the role of the built environment as an integral component of sustainable communities, and concepts related to real estate development and capital projects. The course is taught by an inter-disciplinary team of instructors, and incorporates real world examples and project based learning.

MCD 5080: Introduction to Organizational Development, 3 cr.
(Prerequisite: MCD 501 : Introduction to Community Development) This course is an introduction to the organizational development concentration. It will survey topics of transformational leadership, organizational management, and financial management. Primary emphasis will be on understanding 1) how to create, inspire and sustain a shared vision for community-based or agency-based initiatives; 2) the theories, dynamics, and life cycles of community development; and 3) how to utilize strategic planning, action planning, and financial management strategies to create sustainable community change initiatives. The course will utilize open systems theory as the theoretical framework in which community assessment and organizing, organizational design and development, interpersonal and team dynamics, and organizational funding and financial management are studied. Theory and practice are integrated.

MCD 5100: Role of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Community Development, 2 cr.
This course is designed to explore the role of diversity and multiculturalism on community development. Cultural identity and cultural institutions provide the foundation for an in-depth exploration of various aspects of diversity related to individuals, organizations, communities, and physical environments. Culturally based needs assessment is used to increase understanding related to community design and the influence of diversity in community development, specifically focusing on human services, community organizations, businesses, and the arts. Case studies are utilized to assess the various dimensions of cultural identity and to illustrate the influence of such on community development. Various awareness-raising experiences will be utilized in order to further promote cultural awareness and sensitivity.

MCD 5120 : Environmental, Social and Economic Justice, 2 cr.
This course examines the contested meanings of social justice in the U.S.  Questions are raised about the ethical adequacy of existing social, political, and economic norms (legal and ethical) by examining concrete economic and environmental issues related to the dehumanizing conditions that shape urban communities of marginalized people, disproportionately persons of color, women and children.  This course will intentionally introduce contesting knowledges from marginalized voices and focus on the reality of Detroit.  Throughout this process, the principles involved in doing social ethics will be explored.

MCD 5140 : Regional Development and Sustainability, 2 cr.
This seminar course will introduce students to ideas about the form of metropolitan regions and how they begin, grow, decline and grow again. We will investigate the ways in which we define "Region" - the natural, political, economic, social, cultural, technological and temporal boundaries that we assign to regions, and the way in which they function and play increasingly important roles in the United States, North America, and throughout the world. The pedagogic approach will be case study methodology. We have identified Regional Detroit as our "laboratory", and will include comparative case studies of other national, North American, and international regional efforts in regional planning and development. Students will be required to analyze case materials utilizing the following regional themes: catalyst, development, choice+consequence, governance, and assessment. The seminar will include readings, discussions, site visits, team and individual written and graphic assignment.

MCD 5200 :   Skills Workshops (1 cr.)
During the course of the MCD program, students must complete three MCD program workshops of their choice focused on useful skills for working in a community development setting. Topics may vary.

Concentrations, 9 credit hours

Following the MCD core curriculum, students select an area of concentration to focus their elective coursework.  Students select 3 courses for a total of 9 credits.

Elective courses for all four concentrations are offered in the following programs: Architecture, Business, Civil Engineering, Counseling, Economics, Education, Health Professions, Psychology, Religious Studies, Security Administration and other Liberal Arts programs.           

Human Development

This area of study emphasizes the relationship between people and their social and physical environment. Students study human interactions, by people of all ages that take place in community settings such as the home, the school and the neighborhood. Community needs assessment and social service requirements are part of this concentration. Suggested courses include:

  • CNS 5360 Counseling Services: Organization & Administration
  • EDU 5140 Society and Education
  • EDU 5820 School / Community Relations
  • HLH 5320 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
  • HLH 5700 Health Care Delivery & Policy Issues
  • PYC 5020 Lifespan Development
  • RELS 5480 Justice: Contemporary Issues and Theories

Economic Development

This area of study emphasizes the complex role of economics in community development. Students study an array of issues including job creation, business development and entrepreneurship and their impact on communities. Suggested courses include:

  • ECN 5100 Economic Analysis
  • ECN 5220 The Economics of Cities in Metropolitan Areas
  • ECN 5450 Economics of the Public Sector
  • ECN 5790 Economic Development
  • MBA 5160 Foundations of Marketing
  • MBA 5620 Entrepreneurship
  • RELS 5430 Ethics and Economic Theories

Physical Development

This area of study emphasizes the man-made environment and its importance to the creation of community. Students study planning and design issues, ecological criteria of design, real estate development and the physical elements that help create a sense of place and identity in the community. Suggested courses include:

  • ARCH 5180 Urban Design Issues
  • ARCH 5290 Real Estate Development Practicum
  • ARCH 5970 Urban Public Policy & Politics
  • ARCH 5980 Revitalizing the Core: Historic Preservation
  • ARCH 5980 Introduction to Urban Design & Development
  • ARCH 5980 Social Justice in Design
  • SEC 5240 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

Organizational Development

This area of study emphasizes how communities can organize to address their human, economic and physical conditions. Students study organizational funding and financing, transformational leadership, organizing volunteer services and working with governmental agencies to create community change. Suggested courses include:

  • MBA 5210 Personal Development and Social Responsibility
  • MBA 5250 Organizational Process and Leadership
  • MBA 5680 Diversity in Management and Marketing
  • MBA 5850 Organizational Development and Change
  • PYC 5700 Issues in Industrial / Organizational Psychology
  • PYC 5740 Training and Development
  • PYC 5760 Multi-Cultural Issues and Race Relations in Work

Capstone Project, 6 credit hours

Course descriptions

MCD 5900 Capstone Preparation, 3 cr. (Prerequisite: advanced status in the MCD program) Capstone Preparation is a six week seminar course intended to prepare student teams for the successful completion of the Capstone Project. This course will outline research methods and project expectations. It will also serve as a vehicle to establish student project teams, faculty advisory committees, and project abstracts. All three elements should be completed and approved by the Program Chair prior to beginning the Capstone Project. Abstracts must also be submitted to the selected sponsoring agency for approval. The Capstone Preparation course will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

MCD 5950 Capstone, 3 cr. (Prerequisite: MCD 5900: Capstone Preparation) The final step of the Master of Community Development program is the creation of a comprehensive community development project. The project must make a proposal for a real situation in a specific community that integrates economic, human, organizational and physical concerns. The project is to be developed by a team of students and must be pursued in collaboration with a local municipality, community development corporation, or other non-profit sponsoring entity. Each student team will be advised by a primary Faculty Advisor as well as a Faculty Advisory Committee. Although actual realization of the project is not expected, the project should be framed with that future possibility in mind.