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ASU offers new BA degree in community development to help meet growing demand for jobs

The challenge to take on the intersecting crises of our times — from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate emergency to the struggle for social and racial justice — is at the core of a new bachelor’s degree program in community development designed to qualify graduates to meet a growing demand for interesting and important jobs in the field.

Students will be trained by academic specialists and key industry experts who are actively engaged in community development, said Christine Buzinde, director of the School of Community Resources and Development.

“This is an applied program that will equip students with hands-on learning experiences needed to be successful in pursuing jobs in a diverse range of community development contexts,” Buzinde said.

Students will learn applications and principles of community management and gain community engagement skills and know-how to use the tools needed to work with stakeholders, said Professor Mark Roseland.

Graduates will be able to apply knowledge of sustainable development, social and environmental justice, participatory democracy and communicating the impact of various entities’ actions on society, Roseland said. This knowledge can be applied to careers related to affordable housing, food security, renewable energy and sustainable transportation.

“Students will help in the transition from a ‘take, make, waste’ linear economy to a more circular economy based on reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling,” Roseland said.

He said that the benefits of a circular economy are estimated to be worth $2.7 trillion per year by 2050.

“With this degree, students can either enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or pursue graduate study,” Roseland said. The School of Community Resources and Development is also launching a graduate degree in community development.

Students who receive this Bachelor of Arts degree can expect to see 10% job growth this decade with a mean salary of $69,430, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses designed for the bachelor’s degree program include CRD 100: Introduction to Community Development; CRD 200: Foundations of Community Development; CRD 300: Research Methods and Applied Skills and CRD 400 Capstone: Leadership, Applied Skills and Community Development.

The first course, CRD 100, launches this fall semester, marking a great opportunity to get in on the start of the program, Roseland said.

MORE: Courses required for the new degree. Request more information on the program.