M.Ed. in Community Development and Action (CDA)
A master's degree in Community Development and Action (CDA) offers professional preparation for leadership in community and human services organizations and institutions. The coursework is designed to be a combination of theory, research, and practice material that prepares the student as a "Reflective-Generative Professional."
Graduates of the CDA program can work in community organizations, governmental agencies, and development institutions. some have continued on to further post-graduate degrees in various fields; future study might include Social Work, Law, Public Health, Community Development, and social sciences such as Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology.
CDA accepted its first students in 2001. The program trains professionals seeking to foster developmental change in human communities. We analyze development as freedom to choose among opportunities for realizing our human potential. We seek people with the intellectual drive and creativity to pursue the link between analysis and action.
In the late 20th century, public sector investment in community development increased life expectancy from 46 to 65 years, dropped infant mortality from 149/1000 to 6401000, elevated literacy from 42% to 73%, and saw the number of democracies in the world increase from 42% to 61%. In the 21st century, communities are struggling to sustain these achievements as the public sector shrinks and the private sector is called upon to contribute.
The CDA program equips students with the skills and knowledge to work on community development effectively in for-profit and not-for-profit settings. During some summers, a "fieldschool" in intercultural education is offered either internationally or domestically. Community and practicum placements in agency contexts help students learn to conduct primary and secondary data collection and analysis in order to design and implement interventions.
The overall content of the CDA program consists of coursework, practicum experience, and a final assessment. This content is designed for the purpose of providing students with opportunities to develop:
- competencies as a self-directed, life-long learner
- competencies in helping roles that the student may perform as a human services worker
- group relations competencies
- administrative and organizational competencies
- competencies as a change agent
- research competencies upon which all the above depend
For further information, contact Professor Linda Isaacs via e-mail or by phone at (615) 343-4881.
For information on how to apply, visit our graduate and professional admissions page, or contact: Sherrie Lane
Department of Human and Organizational Development
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, Tennessee 37203-5721