Community Development

MU Extension helps people create communities of the future. Community development education helps citizens tap into local strengths and university resources.

Missouri communities are made up of more than the people who live and work there. Every community is a tight-knit fabric of relationships, woven by the leadership of its citizens and partnerships of local businesses and agencies to build better lives for all residents. The Community Development Program works collaboratively with communities to foster economic development, leadership development, community decision making, community emergency preparedness and inclusive communities.

Community Development Programs

Community Planning
Groups, organizations and communities develop a vision, identify priorities, develop an action agenda, and successfully develop and implement programs and projects.

Community Decision Support
Using a variety of tools, Community Decision Support enhances local capacity to make sound policy choices. Tools include economic models, demographic analysis, Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping and fiscal impact tools.

Data tools to support community decisions:

  • CARES — Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems
  • Community Commons - Interactive mapping, networking, and learning utility working to create healthy, equitable and sustainable communities.
  • CPAC — Community Policy Analysis Center
  • OSEDA — Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis
  • PPRC — Public Policy Research Center

ExCEED — Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development
Recognizing that new approaches to rural economic development are essential to ensure a strong economic future, the university partners with rural communities to identify and implement new strategies for community economic development.

Group Facilitation — Sometimes organizations and groups need an impartial outsider to assist them with their meetings. Perhaps they’re looking for a staff retreat focusing on teambuilding. Or maybe they are looking for a group process to help them set goals for the future. Extension Community Development specialists can provide those facilitation skills.

Public Deliberation — Many of today’s complex issues require the public and policy makers to come together to find workable solutions. National Issues Forums take citizens beyond debate, to a deliberative process that works to find common ground. As trained moderators, CD specialists can lead forums on a wide range of topics including racial tensions, health care and the achievement gap in public education.

Step Up to Leadership
This course builds the capacity of community-minded people who want to make a difference, are interested in group processes and the complexities of collaboration, and are ready to take on the challenge of leadership.

CEMP — Community Emergency Management Program
Provides education and technical assistance to individual and families, local governments, businesses, schools and organizations in preparing and responding to natural and man-made disasters.