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Huston Gibson, PhD
Program Director

Community Development News

Once a year, the K-State community development Program shares information with its alumni, students and colleagues through a newsletter. Review current and past newsletters on this website.

Alumni, students and professionals in the field, send us news

We’d love to hear from you! Please send your updates to Ashley Noll, program coordinator for K-State Global Campus, at ashley04@k-state.edu

October 2017

Celebrating 12 years of Community Development

In 2005, Kansas State University’s master’s program in community development was launched to give master’s students the opportunity to make an impact through community engagement. Since then, the program has continued to grow in partnership with the Great Plains IDEA consortium, attracting students from across the globe looking for the skills, information and networks needed to facilitate sustainable and prosperous community change.

Huston Gibson, associate professor and director of the online community development program at K-State, said the program’s continued growth is gratifying.

“It’s been rewarding to help shape the K-State LARCP community development program into a dynamic and award-winning actively growing Global Campus program where our faculty, students, and alumni, quite literally, span the globe with their impact,” Gibson said. “We built the program on our department’s strong legacy of community engagement and have benefited from our partnerships with colleagues from Great Plains IDEA.”

Gibson said the program’s longevity is proof of the need for community engagement and leadership.

“Some pretty good things come in dozens, and this program and its recent successes are certainly one of those,” he said. “The future is bright for community development, in both our program, and the discipline and profession itself. It’s an exciting time to be a community developer.”

Community Development timeline

New graduate certificate program

After offering the master’s program for 12 years, the community development program recently expanded its offerings this fall to include a graduate certificate.

The certificate is a 12-hour program offered completely online. The courses offer a foundation in community development that allow for students to explore subtopics such as land development, housing, community economic strategies, immigrants in communities and sustainable communities. If a student completing the certificate decides to continue on with the master’s degree, all of the credits transfer over.

“Our new graduate certificate in community development is perfect for a variety of students,” Gibson said. “Those who already have a master’s degree in another area but are seeking a credential in community development; those working concurrently on another master’s degree who wish to place an emphasis on community development; or those who simply do not desire a master’s degree at this time, yet find themselves in a position where a certificate in community development will enhance their current degree, program, workplace standing or career goals.

“It is also a great way for students curious about our Master of Science in community development to test out the program with a less intimidating commitment that still produces a tangible outcome." 

Much like the master’s degree, the program aims to provide educational tools for those pursuing a career in a variety of areas, including community and regional planning, parks and recreation, housing, environmental and social justice, and non-profit sectors, among others.


Recent award wins

Presentation of Association for Continuing Higher Educations Great Plains Region award.The master’s degree in community development was honored twice in 2016 with a pair of award wins. The first came from the Association for Continuing Higher Education’s Great Plains Region, which awarded the community development program with its Exceptional Credit Program award.

"This award recognizes our successful partnerships with K-State Global Campus, the Great Plains IDEA, the five member institutions in the community development alliance, and the focused effort of our committed faculty and staff in landscape architecture and regional & community planning," said Huston Gibson, associate professor and director of K-State’s community development program. "The program and our partners have done many new and actionable items over the past year to advance the program to a heightened stage of visibility and implementation, with a commitment to our online distance education K-State students."

The program was also honored by the consortium of universities it belongs to, Great Plains IDEA, with the 2016 Program Assessment Initiatives award.