Community Development Work Involves Global Citizenship Work

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    Sep 01, 2014
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Community Development Work Involves Global Citizenship Work Photo by Pamela Wendell

When entering fields within community and health studies, it is essential to show employers that you care about your role as a local, national and international citizen. At Centennial College, certain programs offer students the opportunity to complete a Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio through its Institute for Global Citizenship and Equity. Because Centennial College is a recognized leader in global citizenship, social justice, and equity education, it places a strong emphasis on ensuring its relevance in these areas and, in 2009, established the Institute for Global Citizenship & Equity as an avenue for ensuring that it continues to achieve this goal. The portfolio students complete documents their engagement with the College’s signature global citizenship and equity competencies.

Students of the community develop program (known as Community Development Work) partake in this initiative during their two years of studies, which focus on the interdisciplinary field that incorporates politics, economics, research and an understanding of cultural diversity. Community development is a form of social planning that aims to boost the social and economic well being of people living in various communities. As such, students are prepared for careers in public, private and non-profit sector careers in a wide array of positions geared at building community capacity, promoting sustainable community and managing/directing community economic development initiatives.

Included in the curriculum are topics such as sustainable community development, communication fundamentals, community engagement and participation; community development in action, community development policy, business essentials, and more.

Aside from on-campus experiences, students also partake in two separate field placements. These are opportunities to work in communities to advocate for change strategies that promote social and economic justice and challenge patterns of oppression and discrimination. At the same time, students get to network and build their system of professionals. While the first placement (during the third semester) takes place locally, the final semester placement may be completed internationally. Both placements involve:

  • Applying principles that lie within the scope of practice guidelines for a community development worker;
  • Applying principles of community development practice through the planning, implementing and evaluating of community development related activities and programs;
  • Establishing and maintaining professional, ethical working relationships that address conflict of interests;    
  • Executing roles and responsibilities required of a community development practitioner within a specific community agency based on research related to the theory and practice of the community development field;
  • Performing self- evaluations and self- appraisals related to the execution of community development roles and responsibilities;
  • Preparing a professional career portfolio that incorporates ways to market oneself and seek employment in the community setting

As one of the respected community development programs in Ontario, this offering has admission requirements that students must meet in order to apply. Aside from having an interest in the field, applicants are required to have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older) as well as English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission.

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Author explains what community development program at Centennial College that trains students for the field, possible areas in which students may work and more.

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