MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN
COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What degree program is being offered and who is offering it?
A. Southern New Hampshire University’s Community Economic
Development Program and the National Community Action Foundation
(NCAF) have partnered to provide a course of study leading to a Master of
Science degree in Community Economic Development. We have taken
SNHU’s nationally known and award-winning master’s degree program
and customized it for community action professionals.
Q. Why is this being offered?
A. Leaders on numerous national community action boards, along with many
CAA veterans, have indicated that the CAA network needs to invest effort
and resources in the credentialing of our future leaders. NCAF is
exploring educational credentialing opportunities with several universities
in a variety of disciplines. That this first community action degree program
is in community economic development, reflects the strong emphasis
community action agencies are placing on CED as a core strategy in their
Q. Who is eligible to apply for this program?
A. Any interested full-time CAA employee may apply. You should possess a
bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and you will be
required to submit your undergraduate transcripts as part of the
application process. A waiver of the BA/BS requirement may be granted
under certain circumstances. Please refer to the Southern New
Hampshire University web-site to review the general requirements for
Q. What are the components of the program?
A. The M.S. in CED is a 36 credit-hour online offering with up to four short-
term residencies: the first, a three day orientation and kick-off session tied
to an NCAF event, and the others geographically dispersed, and tied to
other relevant conferences or training events.
Students typically enroll in two classes per term and can complete the
degree in just 18 months. This highly affordable program offers small
SNHU CED Masters Program
classes and the flexibility of Southern New Hampshire University’s online
Q. What are examples of courses I will take?
A. Students take a combination of nine required core courses and three
Core courses include:
Introduction to CED
Foundations of Community Action
Research Methods in CED Management
Project Design in CED
Project Planning in CED
Project Management in CED
Project Evaluation in CED
Organizational Management in CED
Electives include: Housing Development and Policy, Financing CED,
Urban Development, Rural Development, Legal Framework for CED, Co-
operative Development and Management, Community Building and
Organizing, and Financial Management in CED, among others.
Q. Will I have the opportunity for practical field experience through this
A. Yes. Each student will plan and execute a field-based CED project. The
required CED project will most likely be in support of the student’s own
CAA, but may be part of another CAA or other organization’s programs.
Each student will be assigned an advisor from SNHU along with a mentor
from the community action network. This CAA mentor will be an
experienced CED practitioner and will help guide your study at SNHU.
Q. What does the program cost?
A. The cost of tuition for the program is $15,957 – well below the cost of the
typical master’s degree in management. Scholarships and additional aid
may be available. Costs do not include books or the cost of the
residencies (which SNHU works hard to keep at an affordable price).
SNHU CED Masters Program
Q. How can this program be paid for?
A. Any of the traditional forms of college financing will be available to
students in this program, i.e. college loans and need-based financial aid.
Once a CAA employee has begun the application process, there will be
links to FASFA and other relevant Student Financial Aid information. In
addition, Community Action Agencies may choose to support their student
as a part of CAA professional development activities. A separate Funding
Guidance Memorandum will be posted on the NCAF/SNHU website which
is intended to provide guidance to Community Action CEO’s and CFO’s
with respect to funding for this program.
Q. When does the program begin?
A. The first NCAF cohort will begin its studies in January, 2011 with a three
day on-site kick-off and orientation meeting, and the second start will
occur in September, 2011. Class sizes are small (up to 25 students), so
plan ahead if you want a spot in this exciting NCAF-sponsored Master’s
Q. Why Southern New Hampshire University?
A. Since 1982, SNHU’s Community Economic Development Program has
been educating CED practitioners, policymakers and researchers. With
more than 1,400 graduates from across the United States and abroad, the
program continues to advocate the cultivation of “just economies and
sustainable communities” as a method to improve historically
marginalized urban and rural communities.
Q. When can I apply?
A. You may apply at any time. We ask that you first contact Robert F.
Halsch, Jr. or Dr. Allan De Giulio at 201-342-5189. They will explore your
participation with you and guide you through the application process.
SNHU CED Masters Program