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 Design, Community Entrepreneurship, Community & International Development, and Public Communication.
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.
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.