Course Descriptions

CME 5100 – Community Engagement Theory and Practice

This course examines the contemporary community engagement movement, including civic and community engagement, service learning, community-based research in K-12 and higher education, and community-based education and learning. It explores key pragmatic issues such as planning and implementing community partnerships, developing service learning courses, and identifying outcomes for students and sites, as well as core theoretical issues such as community capacity building, reciprocity, sustainability, and ethical engagement.

CME 6110 – Research Methods

This elective course introduces students to the process of educational research. Students will learn about the characteristics of specific research designs, including qualitative and quantitative research, mixed-methods, and program evaluation. The course will have a heavy focus on conducting effective literature reviews and designing research studies, and will provide students with foundational knowledge in research methods for higher education.

CME 6130- Social Policy for Children and Families

This course will examine federal, state, and local policies and programs relevant to the wellbeing of children at risk. Students will learn about specific laws, policies, and programs impacting children. The course also examines processes through which policy decisions are made, and how individuals can impact policymaking and advocate for families.

CME 6140 – Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice in Community Engagement

In this course, students explore the concepts of diversity and social justice as they pertain to individuals, families, and communities. Students reflect upon their own identities and how power and privilege have impacted their lives, including their behaviors, attitudes, biases, and prejudices. Students will become knowledgeable of biases based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, social and economic status, political ideology, and disability, and how these contribute to discrimination and oppression. Students learn about systemic oppression from historical, political, cultural, and economic perspectives and about the effects of dominant culture on marginalized and vulnerable groups. Students begin to consider their personal and professional responsibilities as allies and agents of social change and how diversity and social justice work is foundational to the field and discipline of community engagement. Opportunities to practice dialogue for consciousness-raising and the building of compassionate communities are provided.

CME 6150 – Social Justice Education in Action

This course will focus on the practice of social justice education and action, including strategies and approaches to raising awareness of diversity and social justice issues. As part of this course, students will plan, implement, and evaluate social justice awareness projects on and off campus.

CME 6200 – Management and Leadership in Non-Profits

This course provides an overview of leadership and management issues pertinent to the nonprofit sector. Topics include human resource development, program development, financial resource management, and organizational learning. The course also focuses on leader qualities and career paths in the nonprofit sector.

CME 6210 – Fundraising, Grants and Development

This course examines the critical role of fundraising and development in nonprofit organizations and other community settings. Students will have the opportunity to develop a grant proposal. Students will become knowledgeable about a wide range of fundraising strategies and techniques, such as capital campaigns and event planning. They will consider related issues including branding, community relations, and use of social media. 

CME 6220 – Community Organizing and Development

This course examines place-based community organizing and development from a social justice perspective. Through case studies, students learn about current issues and approaches to community change. The course emphasizes organizing in low-income communities and provides an assets-based approach. The course will address key issues such as housing, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and sustainability, with a focus on the social and political aspects of development.

CME 6310 – The Politics of Community Engagement

This course examines political engagement as a vehicle for community and social change at local, regional, and national levels.  The course will explore how nonprofit and community organizations can work with legislators on policy; how community activists can lobby and advocate for change; and how community members can be active participants in our democracy.

CME 6340 – University-Community Relations

This course is an exploration of patterns of communication, interaction, and relationships between institutions of higher education and their local and regional communities. The course examines how historical, social, cultural, and political forces impact such relationships and interactions, with a particular emphasis on issues of diversity. The course explores such relations within the context of the media and the press, goals of community development and change, and the role of the university in its engagement with the public sphere.

CME 6400 – Today’s Youth: Power, Position and Promise

This course utilizes a strength-based approach to youth development to support young people’s cognitive, social, and emotional needs in order to find their voices in society. The course will focus on the theoretical fundamentals and strategies related to positive youth development but will also be highly experiential in nature, where students will be immersed in youth development and programming through a mentoring partnership with Lawrence2College.

CME 6410 – Mentoring Urban Youth: Becoming an Inclusive Leader & Impacting Social Change

This course focuses on the theory and practice of mentoring and supporting youth. It will explore the intersections of mentoring, leadership, and social change. The theory and practice of mentoring will be explored in conjunction with the social change model of leadership. Students will learn about themselves and their leadership style while considering the broader context of leadership for social change. Questions explored will include: can mentoring cross gender/age/race/class, how important is it for mentors and mentees to have a similar worldview and values, and what is the connection between mentoring and leadership. In addition, this course will be highly experiential in nature with a practical mentoring component.

CME 6420 – School, Family and Community Partnership

This course considers the roles of schools in communities and explores methods and models for schools to engage families and communities to maximize student learning and development. Included in this course are issues such as schools as community centers, parent involvement, and interagency collaboration. Special attention will be paid to bridging racial, class, and cultural differences.

CME 6500 – Theories of Organizational Change

This course explores organizational theory and organizational change within the context of non-profit organizations. Topics include industry structure, competition and differentiation; integration, diversification, and expansion; and strategic management of organizational culture and change. While themes and case studies are drawn from business practice, the key focus will be on the overall PreK-16 educational system, higher education, and community-based nonprofit organizations.

CME 6510 – Theories of Adult Learning and Development

This course examines the research of adult learning theories, including such topics as aptitude, motivation, cognitive development, psychosocial development, intelligence, and learning styles through the prisms of gender, ethnicity, race and social class. The course looks at implications for the teaching and learning process, curriculum design, and instructional practices. The course also provides an overview of relevant developmental issues, with specific implications for applied settings.

CME 6605 – Community Engagement Professional Experience

The fellowship provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience, to develop and strengthen their professional skills, to try out professional roles and to learn more about their professional interests, and to apply theories and concepts learned in the classroom to problems and issues in the real-world. The fellowship class is intended to facilitate students’ success in their fellowships. It provides opportunities for critical reflection of their fellowship experiences and peer problem-solving and support. The course helps students explore their career interests and assess their individual strengths and areas for continued growth. It is meant to provide students with an overview of career options and scholarly pathways relevant to community engagement.

CME 6850 – Capstone in Community Engagement

The capstone course is the culminating course of the Master’s Program in Community Engagement. Through this course, students prepare an extensive paper that builds upon theory and research and provides recommendations for community engagement research, policy, or practice. Students deepen their understanding of critical issues in the field of community engagement through an integration of scholarly literature and applied knowledge and experience. Students grapple with real-world challenges from strengths-based and partnership perspectives. The capstone paper will be published in the Merrimack College’s ScholarWorks database.

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