To obtain the Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (CED), a participant must obtain a minimum of 30 course credits and a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.70 or a B-. Courses offered within the Program range from required (3 credit) core courses, a required (6 credit) practical project course, (3-credit) elective Area of Concentration courses, to (1 credit) open session courses.
Full-time progression through the Program is:
- Autumn semester: three core courses (9 credits total) and one open session (1 credit);
- Winter semester: three core courses (9 credits total), including a four-month project course (3 credits), and one open session (1 credit);
- Summer semester: two elective courses within a chosen Area of Concentration (6 credits total), the last four months of the internship or project course (3 credits), and one open session (1 credit).
Since learning activities are of an intensive and often collaborative nature, attending all classes is essential for each participant. However, justified absences may be inevitable for unexpected health or other personal reasons. Hence, in order to be eligible for obtaining course credits, participants must attend a minimum of 75% of classes of any given course.
Please note: For the definitive listing of course requirements and regulations, please refer to the Graduate Calendar.
General community economic development practice integrates a working knowledge of adult learning methods, community organizing and development, business development, job readiness training, macro and microeconomics, and social policy development and implementation. All participants take five required core courses addressing knowledge and skills that cut across CED practices. Case studies are included from an extensive range of communities and social movements across Quebec and Canada.
Required core courses consist of the following:
- an overview course on the history, philosophical dimensions, theoretical foundations, and operational contexts of CED (SCPA 501),
- a course relating to comparative models and approaches, specifically regarding organizational development and conflict resolution within CED contexts (SCPA 502),
- two courses on the practical skills required for building community capacity and for supporting individual and community empowerment (SCPA 503 and SCPA 504), and
- one course on social enterprise development (SCPA 505).
Throughout these core courses, focus is placed on community mobilizing strategies and techniques and on how these apply to CED intervention. This emphasis on the "organizing" and "empowerment" side of CED distinguishes the Program from other economic development and business administration programs. As well, participants are encouraged to go deeper into their community practice, analyzing it through a consideration of historical context or theoretical perspectives. This distinguishes the Program from training programs concerned solely with technical aspects. Each core course consists of 3 credits, for a total of 15 credits.
Since specific fields of CED practice require specialized knowledge, participants are able to concentrate on specific educational goals related to their work or personal interests by taking elective courses in a specific Area of Concentration. As a participant’s field project may well relate to their Area of Concentration.
These Areas of Concentration are offered within the program:
- International development and CED
- Aboriginal CED
- Financing CED initiatives
- Housing, land use, and urban planning from a CED perspective
- Communications, technology and CED
The range of Area of Concentration courses actually offered in a given year depends on sufficient interest among program participants, as indicated by their stated priority Area(s) of Concentration on their application to the Program, as well as on the program’s available resources. Each Area of Concentration is composed of a set of two 3- credit courses (Part I & Part II)
Each year, at least three short (1 credit) open session courses are offered to participants of the Program. At times open to non-registered practitioners as well, these courses relate to topics of particular interest to those involved in CED practice. The themes the various open sessions may change from year to year. A series of open session courses in Feminist Approaches in CED has been offered each year since the start of the program.
- SCPA 543 A-Z: Open Sessions (1 credit each)