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Program content and approach

The Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (CED) offers a structured opportunity for participants to step back and critically explore their practice or community experience with others. Such exploration engages with the complexity of practice and nourishes hope and action within social justice efforts. Through participating in the program, critically reflective practitioners push themselves further, challenging the limits of their analyses and practices.

Instructors within the program are significantly involved in both community-based and university settings. They bring practical experience, theory and research to classes.

Program Values

The Graduate Diploma in CED program:

  • views the contribution of knowledge and experiences brought by participants as essential to learning within the program.
  • seeks knowledge and skill development in a context of critical questioning and ethical considerations.
  • takes into account the ‘bigger picture’ of the social and economic context, policies and relations when analyzing and strategizing local economic intervention.
  • includes several Areas of Concentration per year, based on the group of participants’ priorities and the program’s resources, including: International Development and CED; Aboriginal CED; Financing CED Initiatives; as well as Housing and Land Use from a CED Perspective.
  • offers a series of 1-credit courses, including some on Feminist Approaches to CED.
  • favours methods that encourage participants to return learning to their communities.
  • encourages networking among participants to support ongoing learning, practice, and an expansion of each person’s resources.
  • values strategic questions and considerations over the purely technical.
  • examines community organizing processes within community economic development.
  • studies the relation between wider policy issues and political/economic processes, such as globalization, and local realities and initiatives.
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