Course 2 — Empowering Communities for the Future

Register here for Course Two


Participants engage in a group activity to learn collaboration concepts during Course 2.

Empowering Communities for the Future focuses on the professional practice and applications of community-based development, including action research, community economic development, organizational development, use of technology, citizen education, and integration of practice. Participants will deal with methods, procedures, and approaches to community-based development that serve the purpose of enhancing capacities of citizens, organizations, and institutions to give purposeful direction to their collective future.

Course requirement

Satisfactory completion of Course 1 — Building Communities from the Grassroots or the permission of instructors is a pre-requisite to Course 2.

Course 2 topics

  • Grounding Development in the Community reviews the basic tenets and principles of community-based development.
  • Understanding the Local Economy deals with analyzing how resources flow into and out of communities, determining a community’s economic base and basic strategies for affecting the base.
  • Role of Government in Local Economic Development helps participants to understand the role of local government in economic development and to know what actions are appropriate for governments.
  • Community Food Systems looks at how to establish networks to provide greater access to local foods as a development strategy.
  • Keys to Sustaining the Future of Communities explores the principles of sustainability and how they are applied in a community contest.
  • Participatory Action Research details developing community based information for use in community decision formation.
  • Working Together Effectively through Networks, Partnerships and Coalitions deals with building successful working groups over time, and giving attention to the different aspects and levels of cooperation and organization necessary for each structure.
  • Governance and Civil Society concentrates on the basic tenets of citizen participation and methods of engagement in local issues.
  • Empowering Communities for the Future is designed to enable participants to relate what they have learned to actual community development work, and explore components of empowering communities for the future.
  • The Environment and Sustaining the Future of Communities engages students in activities to create a dialogue about how environmental choices affect development and the role of communities in addressing environmental issues.
  • Group Process and Civic Engagement: The Bedford Falls Experience engages students in various roles over the span of the course in a simulation of community development planning in the community of Bedford Falls. The module includes group reflection on learning about group processes in community settings.
  • 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 discrimination, participatory action planning, community organization development and finance, fostering appropriate cooperation and partnerships, and appropriate use of telecommunications.
  • To develop networks and partnerships that support community development practice.
  • To engage participants in ongoing mutual learning support via learning teams.

Schedule and credit information

Course 2 schedule

Course 2 syllabus (if you are taking the course for credit)