Economics of development as a field embraces both citizen activists and professionals in planned efforts to identify, enhance, and create social and physical assets that increase the capacity of residents to improve their quality of life. Economics of development focuses on how to develop at grass root level, community-based initiatives, complimenting the field of Community and Regional Planning, which is often more policy driven and government sponsored.
Students will learn to understand and think critically about the social, political, economic, historic, and cultural dynamics shaping various types of countries. Courses provide important knowledge, values, and skills necessary for rural development work. Students will learn how to engage stakeholders; assess a country’s assets, needs and opportunities; plan what the country wants to achieve: and develop strategies, programs, and policies to improve quality of life. Learning will extend beyond the classroom with hands-on experience through service learning, field research, informal gatherings, and workshops.