Community Organizing and Development Minor

About this program

Why a minor in Community Organizing and Development?

The Community Organizing and Development minor is ideal course of study to students with interests in organizing, developing and sustaining community, institutional and social change. The minor provides a holistic overview of community organizing and development including:

  • a focused field experience in community organizing and development;
  • an exploration of approaches to community empowerment and social justice; and
  • an understanding of the impact of public policy on low-income populations and people of color.

What will I do in the Minor?

All Community Organizing and Development minor courses are taught by faculty members with long track records in the classroom and in the field. All courses incorporate examination of both historical and current forces and strategies in the community organizing and development traditions. Students will see the field and explore movements including: mutual aid associations, settlement houses, the community organizing tradition founded by Saul Alinsky, the community development movement, and the poor peoples and working class movements. Students will explore these developments in the context of globalization and draw connections between practice here and approaches in regions around the world. Students in the Minor will take 20 credits of community organizing and development courses.

What can I do with the minor?

A Community Organizing and Development Minor is an excellent complement to a number of majors. These include:

  • Professional programs such as psychology, law enforcement, criminal justice, human services, social work, and international business
  • Liberal arts programs in history, gender studies, professional communication, ethnic studies, or philosophy

Student outcomes

  • Explore multiple movements, focusing on the practices used not only in the United States but around the world.    
  • Have field experiences in community organizing and development.    
  • Explore the approaches of community empowerment and social justice. 
  • Understand the impact of public policy on low-income populations and people of color.

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Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

To be admitted to the community organizing and development minor, students must meet with the minor advisor and complete a minor declaration form. The advisor orients students to the minor and provides consultation throughout the program.

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Community Organizing and Development Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Community Organizing and Development Minor

Course requirements

Requirements (20 credits)

ETHS 309 Race and Public Policy

4 credits

This course will examine public policy and practice, and its impact on historically and politically disenfranchised communities of color in America by studying the development of public policy in relation to race, racial identities, and racial communities, and the impact of policy processes and procedures on the private and public realms of social and economic activity in the United States. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Full course description for Race and Public Policy

SOC 311 Community Organizing and Social Action

4 credits

This course examines the theories, current trends and practical dimensions of how people organize to effect change. Topics include the nature of community organizing, cultural and historical models, issue identification, leadership development, approaches to social power, campaign planning and implementation, and the relationship of community organizing to other forms of social action. The class is participatory and includes intense interpersonal and reflective exercises designed to increase students organizing skills. Students will supplement classroom learning with a case study of a Metro area community organization.

Full course description for Community Organizing and Social Action

IDST 343 Perspectives on Community Development

4 credits

This class will examine theories and models of community development, and introduce students to the realities of community development work. The course explores the history of the community development field from its origins in the late 19th-century urbanization through present innovations fueled by grassroots, foundations and public policy initiatives. The lens of movement and industry approaches will be a key analytical tool. Three traditions in the field community building, community organizing, and community development will be critically examined and compared, including exploring the dynamic relationship between these three traditions. Special attention will be given to community development challenges facing traditionally disenfranchised communities, including factors of race, class and gender. The class will emphasize both a theoretical understanding of community dynamics, and an introduction to practical skills used by people working in the community development field.

Full course description for Perspectives on Community Development

SSCI 365 Leadership in Organizations and Public Life

3-4 credits

Students gain experience in applied social science while working as an intern in a non-profit or community-based organization, the public sector, or a social action group. Prior to registering, students meet with the instructor to select their specific internship project. Students supplement their specific field experience with participation in the group internship seminar which meets five times during the semester. Through this combination of extensive community-based experience and guided reading, writing and analysis, students develop their ability to integrate social science theory with community-based experience.

Full course description for Leadership in Organizations and Public Life