Penn State ag college offers new degree programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – People who care about the future of rural and developing communities now have two educational opportunities in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

A master’s degree and a graduate level advanced certificate in community and economic development are being offered at the University Park campus. The advanced certificate also will be offered online through Penn State’s World Campus beginning in January.

“Students will improve their decision-making skills in how to empower local communities to make their own decisions and how to improve the social and economic well-being of individual citizens,” said Drew Hyman, professor of public policy and community systems and senior faculty coordinator for the programs.

“Graduates will be prepared to work for public, nonprofit or private organizations that deal with development issues in America’s towns, boroughs, small cities, community organizations, neighborhoods and rural areas.

“While many universities focus attention on larger urban and metropolitan areas, this is an applied multidisciplinary program that draws on the rural and agricultural expertise of our faculty,” Hyman said.

These issues may include developing new organizations and industries, growth management, protecting the environment, revitalizing downtown areas and neighborhoods and assisting educational, social, health and human service systems, said Hyman.

The master’s program requires 35 credits, including an internship or field project leading to a paper or thesis. Students must complete a core program of required courses in economic development and leadership, rural organization, economic planning, statistics and research methods and land use, as well as electives tailored to their individual plan of study.

The World Campus certificate program requires 13 credits, consisting of four three-credit courses and a one-credit integrative project/paper. Courses will be delivered through the Internet, e-mail, print media and CD-ROM.

Five core courses are shared with the resident master’s program, so learners already working in the field can begin their master’s degree without leaving home or work.

For more information on the master’s degree in community and economic development, contact Drew Hyman at 814-863-8655 or visit the World Wide Web at www.aers.psu.edu/cedev/index.htm.

For more information on the World Campus certificate program, call 800-252-3592.

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