Course 3 — Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities

Finished product is a little dress

The finished product shown is a dress Course 3 participants made for littledressesforafrica.org.

Register for course 3

Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities focuses on developing an understanding of current and emerging concepts and methods of community-based development including citizenship and local governance, participatory systems-based processes for change, conflict mediation and resolution, dealing with disenfranchisement, and professional ethics. Participants will deal with methods, approaches, and practices for successfully engaging groups and organizations in community-based development to create and implement purposeful desired community change, form effective relationships, and sustain community vitality.

Course requirements

Satisfactory completion of Course 1 — Building Communities from the Grassroots and Course 2 — Empowering Communities for the Future, or satisfactory completion of Course 1 and the permission of instructors is a pre-requisite to Course 3.

Course 3 topics

  • Change, Ethics and Sustainability explores the concepts and integration between community, change, ethics and sustainability.
  • Citizen Participation, Power, Influence and Authority explores concepts, methods and procedures used in the development of collective, community-based power that enhances citizen governance using the case study of Dudley Street in Boston, Mass.
  • Whole Systems Processes for Development and Change explores the basic principles and dynamics for design and use of participatory, large group, systems-based processes in planning for and creating community and organizational change.
  • Small Group Processes reviews basic principles of group dynamics and gives tools to get community work done in small groups.
  • Preparing Communities for Effective Organizing focuses on the critical components of traditional methods expounded by Saul Alinsky and on successful variations to "organizing" a community for specific change actions.
  • Getting Unpoor: More than Tinkering at the Edges links the theoretical and practical aspects to affect positive change, development, and meaningful participation in the development process and the community when working "with" the poor and disenfranchised.
  • Community Conflict and Intervention provides an understanding of community conflict and introduces and provides simulations in processes and steps to minimize destructive consequences of community conflict.
  • Community Development in Action provides the opportunity to learn from and interact with Academy participants who are actively engaged in innovative and collaborative community work.

Educational objectives

  • To increase the capacity of University of Missouri Extension faculty and others to skillfully use the concepts and procedures presented in the course in an integrated manner with citizens in designing and implementing community-based programs which deal with issues and opportunities at the local level. Such issues, regardless of their specific nature, include the skillful art of involving the whole system in creating change, in-depth community organization development, dealing with poverty, resolving and mediating conflict and sustaining community development programming.
  • To develop networks and partnerships that support community development practice.
  • To understand and maintain professional ethics and integrate the skills and concepts of all three CDA courses into practice.
  • To engage participants in ongoing mutual learning and support.

Schedule and credit information

Course 3 schedule

Course 3 syllabus (if you are taking the course for credit)