This is an archive of the 2021-2022 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2021-2022 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit



DCDL 500. Theories of Community Development, Social Justice and Structures of Inequities (3)

In this course, students will be introduced to an intersectional approach to understanding community development, social justice and structural inequities from interdisciplinary perspectives. Students will learn critical theories regarding race, class, gender and indigeneity, which will enable them to understand and interrogate systems of power as they manifest in multiple community contexts. Students will also understand how community development leaders must work in alliance with members from the community to address power inequalities. This course will provide a theoretical foundation to guide student thinking around community development leadership.

DCDL 510. History of Diverse Urban Communities (3)

In this course, students will be introduced to an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to understanding how structural factors have shaped the experiences of various racial and ethnic groups in urban America. The course is organized thematically according to several historiographical debates central to the study of urban history, including race, immigration, and spatial segregation; religion and struggles for urban justice; resilience in the face of disaster; and urban revolutions. Rather than mastering the particularities of any individual community, students will leave the class equipped with the tools to research the history of the communities they will serve as future leaders.

DCDL 520. Issues in Community Development and Empowerment (3)

In this course, students will analyze how community development partners align themselves with community-centered approaches to tackling some of the most prominent issues in urban centers. Students will learn about how social and environmental justice issues intersect with community-based organizations. Students will learn about case studies from different regions about the development of policies that have been destructive against communities. Students will also learn how community partners can be useful allies to advance the empowerment of community-centered activism.

DCDL 530. Applied Leadership (3)

In this course, students will be provided with an overview and examination of applied leadership. Leadership in diverse context(s) often operates differently from traditional conceptualizations of top-down, individual-based leadership models. Exploring the theories, histories and issues presented in leadership studies, we will pay particular attention to diverse leadership styles and their effectiveness in various community contexts. The course explores critical leadership practices that facilitate culturally responsive approaches to community change and conflict resolution. Students will also contemplate an interdisciplinary framework to ensure diversity, inclusiveness and equity in teaching and learning. Students will learn critical theories regarding applied leadership (race, class, gender and indigeneity), which will enable them to understand and interrogate systems of power as they manifest within several community contexts.

DCDL 600. Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative (3)

In this course, students will be introduced to key quantitative and qualitative methods from an interdisciplinary approach. Students will learn how to collect, manage and assess data necessary for effective management and leadership of diverse community organizations and to address community needs. Qualitative methodologies, such as community-based participatory action research, grounded theory and case study, will be introduced. Ethical treatment of human research subjects in general and diverse communities in particular will be discussed.

DCDL 610. Communication Skills in Community Development (3)

In this course, the capacity of students to apply communication strategies to create and present a proposal in support of diverse communities will be promoted. Students will be introduced to signature aspects of communication, including interpersonal and public speaking, marketing, public relations and positioning. Students then apply those skills in the creation of one advocacy campaign.

DCDL 620. Building Community-Government-Private Partnerships (3)

In this course, students will explore how to build partnerships between community, public and private organizations for the purposes of fundraising, grant writing and community advocacy. Emphasis will be on negotiating complexities and controversies between partners in the adoption, implementation and evaluation of policy. Students will explore sources of funds and resources required for fundraising/grant acquisition. The course focuses on ways to establish partnerships for sustainable impact and investment.

DCDL 630. Organizing in Diverse Communities (3)

In this course, students will be provided with a theoretical and practical overview of community organizing in a U.S. context. Students will explore various models and approaches related to community organizing and social movements within diverse communities, using historical and contemporary case studies. Community outreach, leadership development and capacity building processes will be emphasized as a skills-building component of the course. Community organizing will also be examined within and beyond the construct of American political and economic institutions to highlight systemic opportunities and barriers, especially for historically marginalized groups.

DCDL 698. Capstone Graduate Project (6)

In this course, students will implement their approved community development capstone proposal. Under faculty supervision, students collaborate with the community partner to determine the scope of work to address a specific community issue. Students apply research to make evidence-based decisions to develop and evaluate alternative proposals for the community partner. Using appropriate communication strategies, students present the outcome to the community.