The Rural Economic and Community Vitality Certificate requires a minimum of 12 credit hours, nine hours of required core courses and three hours of electives chosen from the list below: 

Core Courses

  • CDEV 814 Community and Regional Economic Analysis (3 cr, Fall)
  • ALEC 833 Dynamics of Effective Leadership in Groups and Teams (3 cr, Spring)
  • CDEV 894 Practicum/Creative Component in Community Development - Capstone Project (3 cr, Fall or Spring)

Electives

  • CDEV 816 Nebraska Rural Government Law Fundamentals (1 cr, Fall, Session 1)
  • CDEV 817 Nebraska Rural Government Finance Fundamentals (1 cr, Spring, Session 1)
  • CDEV/ALEC 818 Community Engagement (1 cr, Fall, Session 2)
  • CDEV 819 Community Action Strategies (1 cr, Fall, Session 3)
  • CDEV 825 Sustainable Economic Development (1 cr, Spring, Session 2)
  • CDEV 826 Fundamentals of Business Analysis (1 cr, Spring, Session 3)
  • CDEV 827 Community Workforce Development (1 cr, Spring, Session 3)

Fall Sessions

  • CDEV 814 Community and Regional Economic Analysis (3 cr), Full semester Aug. 17, 2020
  • CDEV 816 Rural Government Law (1 cr), Aug. 24 - Sept. 27
  • CDEV 818 Community Engagement (1 cr), Sept. 28 - Nov. 1
  • CDEV 819 Community Action Strategy (1 cr), Nov. 2 - Dec. 13 (Thanksgiving week off)

CDEV 814 Community and Regional Economic Analysis

Daniela Mattos
Fall
3 credits
Syllabus

A firm grounding in the reality of the local economy is necessary for successful programs in community economic development and for designing successful state and local policy and programs in economic development. The course introduces concepts of communities and regions, theories of economic growth, drivers of economic growth, the economic base of a community sources of growth or decline in the community, roles of local government and institutions, analytical tools, and strategies for local economic development.

ALEC 833 Dynamics of Effective Leadership in Groups & Teams

L.J. McElravy
Spring
3 credits

This course will cover the foundational knowledge of team and group dynamics theory and its relationship to the practice of leadership in organizations and communities. Development of leadership, followership, and teamwork skills in small groups and teams. Focus on team and group decision making, problem solving, and creativity, peer assessment, and evaluation using real-world situations and contexts. Critically apply team and group dynamic theories and research to leadership in organizations and communities.

CDEV 894 Practicum/Creative - Capstone Project

Daniela Mattos
Fall or Spring
3 credits

The capstone project provides students with the opportunity to explore a problem or issue of particular interest related to community development and to address that problem or issue through focused study and applied research under the direction of a faculty member. The project should demonstrate the student's ability to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in his/her program to real-world issues and problems.

CDEV 816 Nebraska Rural Government Law Fundamentals

Dave Aiken
Fall (Session 1)
1 credit

This class will give you a practical introduction to county and rural community government in Nebraska. Topics include state law and local governments; local government functions; land use regulation and zoning; drinking water and wastewater regulation; and local government taxes and spending. While the class focuses on Nebraska rural government law, the issues raised are common to rural governments throughout the United States (except possibly Hawaii). For example, we will learn what local governments’ officials are in Nebraska and what their functions are. The official’s titles may vary in other states (county register of deeds vs. county recorder of deeds, for example) but the functions will be very similar. Thus the course is relevant to students outside Nebraska as well as inside Nebraska.

CDEV 817 Nebraska Rural Government Finance Fundamentals

Dave Aiken
Spring (Session 1)
1 credit

This class will give you a practical introduction to county and rural community government finance in Nebraska. Topics include: sources of Nebraska local government revenue and spending; a history of Nebraska property taxes; property tax assessment and collection; role of property taxes in Nebraska K-12 education funding; regional and national trends in K-12 education funding; Nebraska property tax relief programs and options; and Nebraska economic development incentive programs. While the class focuses on Nebraska rural government finance, the issues raised are common to rural governments throughout the United States (except possibly Hawaii). For example, we will learn what state and local revenue officials are in Nebraska and what their functions are. The official’s titles may vary in other states (Nebraska Tax Equalization & Review Commission vs. State Board of Equalization, for example) but the functions will be very similar. Thus the course is relevant to students outside Nebraska as well as inside Nebraska.

CDEV 818 Community Engagement

Charlotte Narjes/Lindsay Hastings
Fall (Session 2)
1 credit

This course will provide a foundational knowledge of community engagement. This will include understanding a community’s readiness to change; strategies to engage community’s members and strategies to determine goals and indicators to achieve change. Participants will review and critique various community engagement and readiness processes, gaining an understanding of approaches advantages and limitations. Through case studies, experiential learning and discussions, participants will develop a skillset for community engagement processes that lead to long-term change.

CDEV 819 Community Action Strategies

Marilyn Schlake/Daniela Mattos
Fall (Session 3)
1 credit

The course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of community action planning. Participants will review and critique various community action planning processes, gaining an understanding of process advantages and limitations. Through case studies and discussions, participants will develop a skillset for community planning that clarifies what will be done and resources needed to accomplish the goals for long-term impacts.

CDEV 825 Sustainable Economic Development

Daniela Mattos
Spring (Session 2)
1 credit

This course provides an overview of the connections between communities and their local systems and how they work together in affecting long-term community and economic development. Students will be introduced to the complex issues facing local communities, from human capital and environmental concerns to infrastructure and economic development. Tools and strategies for addressing these issues will be a focus of the course lectures and readings.

CDEV 826 Business Analysis

Marilyn Schlake/Larry Van Tassell
Spring (Session 3)
1 credit

The course is designed to provide a basic overview of business development skills for professionals who manage economic development organizations and provide initial business analysis for consideration of community investments. Through assigned case studies and course assignments, participants will be able to analyze key performance statements and ratios to help determine viability of business enterprises within their community. The course will engage participants through the use of group discussions based on readings, case studies and course assignments.

CDEV 827 Community Workforce Development

Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel
Spring (Session 3)
1 credit

The course is designed to expand the student’s awareness and knowledge of current workforce issues and trends and then apply the new knowledge to a real-life community situation. The course project, which will be identified by the participant, is a way to add meaning, to problem-solve and also reflect on the new learning in an integrated manner. The course will engage participants through the use of group online discussions and invited speakers.

Sample of course project