Do you want to make positive change in the world?

The Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) offers hands-on learning and experiences both in and out of the classroom that empowers our graduates to make impactful contributions to their communities.

Through our classes and experiential learning opportunities we strive to:

  • Identify and design solutions to complex issues facing local and global communities including climate change, social inequity, organizing, and sustainable development
  • Develop core values rooted in community engagement, effective communication, teamwork, sustainability, reflexivity, empathy, and responsibility
  • Reflect on how our actions impact communities and how we can best support sustainable development through research, education, and outreach that serves the public interest
  • Apply what we learn in the classroom in a real-world setting through service-learning, travel study, internships and research

These theories, skills, and contexts are explored in depth and reinforced in students’ advanced coursework within their particular major. Our undergraduate majors include Community Centered DesignCommunity Entrepreneurship, Community & International Development, and Public Communication.

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Meet our Faculty in CDAE

We are transdisciplinary. Our department is unique in that we draw from many different fields including applied economics, communication, sociology, documentary film, social entrepreneurship, journalism, community-centered design, and sustainable development.

Learn more about our department from our professors, staff and students…

CDAE Mission

Vision: Growing resilient and sustainable communities through transdisciplinary teaching, research, and outreach. 

Our mission is to prepare students to contribute to society, conduct research, and engage in service for the development of resilient, inclusive, and just communities in an era of unprecedented change. Students learn how to create and implement transdisciplinary solutions through applied learning and community engagement for the public good.

We carry out this mission with the following scholarly activities:

  • Providing undergraduate and graduate instruction in community-driven social innovation through public communication and administration, applied economics, community design, development, sustainable policy and governance, and entrepreneurship;
  • Conducting rigorous research on social change for the public good;
  • Providing students with hands-on learning opportunities through internships, study abroad, research projects, and service-learning courses;
  • Advising, empowering, collaborating and partnering with local and global communities.
  • We fulfill the social science mission of our land-grant university in collaboration with colleagues within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University of Vermont, across the state of Vermont, and throughout the world.

CDAE Faculty 2017

CDAE faculty members are experts in their field, experienced in their practice, and prolific in their contributions to academic literature.  They engage students with applied learning, relevant worldly problem-solving, and theory to back it all up.

Social Enterprise Day is an opportunity for students from across campus—and especially CDAE—to connect with professionals who use business as a force for good. This event was an extension of the foundation learning and work done in CDAE 166.

students - campus activities - WRUV

Our department integrates action with learning.  We house courses in media literacy, news writing, and we underwrite UVM's student-run free-form radio station, WRUV FM Burlington.  Tate Kamish, above, Public Communication minor DJs at the station adding skills to her experience in media and communication.