Jan 27, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Global Community Development

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Program Delivery Format

This program is designed to offer both career and executive students a flexible and hybrid learning environment that includes online, knowledge-building, rotation-based coursework integrated with intensive, experiential and face-to-face skills taught within a global community context. To be successful in this program, a student will need a personal computer and/or full-time access to a computer with ongoing and reliable Internet access. Students and/or their families may need to be able to travel internationally and stay in a field-based project community site for a minimum of one semester.  Due to the intense nature of graduate school, students are expected to work out a functional plan with their job, family, and other responsibilities as to leave adequate time for school-related duties.

Admission Requirements

Both qualitative and quantitative factors are considered for an applicant’s acceptance into this graduate program. A candidate for this degree will comply with the following requirements: 

  1. Submit an official transcript from the accredited institution granting your four-year baccalaureate degree, or equivalent.
  2. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  3. Two professional references.
  4. Personal statement.
  5. Program Readiness Assessment.
  6. An applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency minimum TOEFL score of 100 (Internet-based).

Provisional Admission

A student accepted on provisional basis may be admitted to regular status upon the completion of 12 credit hours taken through Southern with a minimum grade point of 3.0 and no grade below a B- in each course. Students are not permitted to repeat courses in order to satisfy this requirement. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Admission to the Program

Students will be admitted into the program during the fall, winter and summer semesters.

Time Limit

This program is structured to meet the needs of the part-time as well as the full-time student. Normal progress through the programs for the full-time student is outlined in the curricular plan. Normal progress for part-time students will be one or more courses per semester. The time allowed from enrollment to the graduate program to the conferring of the Master of Global Community Development degree may not exceed five years. Application for an extension will be considered on an individual basis.

Transfer Credit

All course credits for this program must be completed within this program. Since this curriculum is very unique and applied in a global context, no transfer credits will be allowed unless the content taken is reflective of the course requirements.

Student Handbook

Students should remain informed about program requirements and emerging changes by reading the online FAQ’s that can be found on the GCD program web site, http://www.gcdpro.org.

Graduation Requirements

A GCD candidate must:

  1. Complete an application to graduate, which must be filed with the Records and Advisement Office two months prior to the anticipated graduation date.
  2. Complete all coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.00, including no more than two classes with a grade below B-. Classes with a grade below C will not be counted for credit toward the master’s degree.
  3. Successfully orally defend the degree competency in their ePortfolio.


Global Community Development Curriculum

There are nine (9) core competencies in this 33-credit graduate degree in Global Community Development. The program is designed to include both online-learning and face-to-face, project-centered applied learning. The four to five (4-5) semester full-time program consists of four (4) integral coursework rotations-Knowledge Building Rotation 1, Experiential Learning Rotation 2, Extended Internship Rotation 3, Learning Defense Rotation 4-each of which is described below.

Core Competencies

Upon completion of this graduate program students will demonstrate the following competencies:

1.  Christian Witness and Professionalism

  • Ethical behavior
  • Development values
  • Integration of faith and practice
  • Professional decorum

2.  Advanced Communication

  • Public speaking/presenting
  • Technical writing (proposals & reports)
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Productivity promoting (meeting minutes, emails, etc.)

3.  Use of Technology

  • Social media communication
  • Geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Data processing
  • ePortfolio building

4.  Safety (Personal & Team)

  • Security
  • Self-care
  • Health and wellness

 5.  Community Empowerment

  • Engagement
  • Organizer
  • Civil society building
  • Advocacy
  • Governance building
  • Policy analysis
  • Social marketing
  • Training planning and implementation
  • Activity innovation, design, execution and budgeting
  • Sustainable transition

 6.  Leadership

  • Strategic visioning/planning
  • HR management
  • Volunteer management
  • Teambuilding
  • Time management/work organization
  • Conflict mediation
  • Empowering vulnerable and special populations
  • Critical and independent thinking

 7.  Evident-based Practice

  • Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Assessment and capacity mapping
  • Monitoring
  • Evaluation
  • Standards and best practices

8.  Networking

  • Government relations
  • Partnerships (public/private)
  • Donor relations

9.  Innovative Entrepreneurship

  • Business enterprise
  • Social enterprise (crowd-funding, fundraising)
  • Resource acquisition
  • Value chain mobilization
  • Supply chain and logistics

Knowledge Building Rotation 1

Knowledge Building Rotation 1 courses are required and are taken during the first coursework rotation. They are taught fully online using a variety of e-learning tools. All of this coursework should be done in one (full-time) or two semesters (part-time). These courses must be successfully completed prior to students being cleared for travel to the second Experiential Learning Rotation 2 project site.

Subtotal 11 Hours

Note: students entering the M.S. Global Community Development program who have taken the undergraduate bridge course sequence will be exempt from Rotation 1.  They may enter the program at Rotation 2 but will be required to take additional GCD course electives to total 30 semester hours for graduation.

Experiential Learning Rotation 2

This Experiential Learning Rotation 2 offers a one-semester project-based global learning experience. Required for all students in the program, it is taught in discrete skills modules by faculty and field experts, supplemented with online e-learning support and resources. All of this coursework should be done in one semester. To apply these core skills, students will select a personal development sector area of passion and calling. This rotation must be successfully completed prior to students beginning their third Extended Internship Rotation 3.

Extended Internship Rotation 3

This Extended Internship Rotation 3 offers a two-semester internship in a global community learning project context. The focus for this will be on practicing all the skills learned during the Knowledge Building Rotation 1 and Experiential Learning Rotation 2. Working with a program team leader, each student will develop a Program Skill Assessment (PSA) linked to their unique sector of interest. Internships will have routine technical mentor supervision. A minimum of 32 weeks (700 documented hours of community practice-100 hours per credit hour) will be completed in this two-semester extended internship. This rotation must be successfully completed prior to the ePortfolio defense Learning Defense Rotation 4.

Required Courses

Subtotal 9 Hours

Learning Defense Rotation 4

This final Learning Defense Rotation 4 is a portfolio capstone wrap-up semester. Students will evidence their graduate learning in an online ePortfolio. Students will evidence their graduate learning in an online ePortfolio. This can be done in conjunction with or done after Extended Internship Rotation 3 or done after successful completion of Extended Internship Rotation 3.  Using the processes outlines when cleared by the Internship Coordinator, students will present an oral defense (one hour) of the ePortfolio.  During this final semester, students will also complete all of their graduation paperwork. If a student chooses to extend this defense process beyond one semester, they must register for this class (GCDP 599) again each additional semester until their defense is successfully completed. This rotation must be successfully completed prior to students being cleared for graduation.

Subtotal 1 Hour

Total 33 Hours

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