Syllabus for MSP-520



This foundation course provides an overview of the theories, models, issues, and policies for community and community economic development in the United States. Beginning with an examination of the theoretical framework for community development and community economic development, the course considers the economic development movement, housing and redevelopment policies, the community development corporation and its role, place-based redevelopment, and neighborhood job creation and planning. Continuing, the course examines recent development strategies and trends. This course concludes by approaching some of the challenges faced by existing community economic development delivery systems and challenges faced by professionals who apply them.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO 1        Demonstrate a working knowledge of the issues in community development.

CO 2        Summarize the policies that influence community development decisions and approaches, and analyze how they are applied.

CO 3        Compare and contrast how different tools are applied to solve community economic development problems.

CO 4        Critique the global community development movement and its impact on local community economic development strategies.


You will need the following materials to complete your coursework. Some course materials may be free, open source, or available from other providers. You can access free or open-source materials by clicking the links provided below or in the module details documents. To purchase course materials, please visit the University's textbook supplier.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13: 978-0415703567

ISBN-13: 978-1483344034


Community and Economic Development and Leadership is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in nine online discussion forums, complete five written assignments, participate in one synchronous event, and complete a two-part final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in SafeAssign.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in nine discussion forums.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion board interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. These assignments ask you to discuss, analyze, and participate in local public community meetings. Some of them will involve case studies. All assignments are designed to help you to integrate the theory of community development with the practice of community development.  To the extent possible, you will connect with practitioners in the field so that you have first hand accounts of actual community development activities.

Final Project

The capstone project brings together the theory and practice of community development. You will synthesize the readings, research, models and other information contained in the course and course activities with research from the workplace to demonstrate mastery of and the ability to synthesize, integrate, summarize and report on a subject to be developed by you. Take either of the following three approaches:

A full description of the project and its requirements is found in the Final Project area of the course website. Please consult the Course Calendar for the due dates for the final project paper and presentation.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


To ensure success in all your academic endeavors and coursework at Thomas Edison State University, familiarize yourself with all administrative and academic policies including those related to academic integrity, course late submissions, course extensions, and grading policies.

For more, see:

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