Introduction to Community Development
In the United States, and here in Spartanburg, we are experiencing rates of income inequality, unemployment, violence, low educational attainment, children going hungry or arriving at school ill-prepared to learn, community health crises, and the like. We’ve seen well-meaning people try to swoop in to improve social challenges, without input and buy-in from the community, to disastrous results. It’s far from all bad news, though. The same communities that have all of these recognized community challenges are also home to all sorts of important assets. So, what is a college student, an emerging community leader, a human being with talents and energy to give, living across the street, but behind a gate, to do? This course will ask the question and help the students answer it. Students will examine the role of institutions, agents of those institutions (like students), and ordinary citizens in community development and learn from experienced community organizers and activists. And, students will gain understanding, effective tools and real-world skills in each of six primary areas of community development: (1) understanding community context; (2) collaborative planning; (3) developing leadership & enhancing participation; (4) community action & intervention; (5) evaluation; and (6) promoting & sustaining. The community in which we will work and learn is Spartanburg and we will also travel to Washington, DC to learn from community members there.
Students will enroll in JAN 405 A for Interim. As part of the course, students will understand how and why traditional charity is often ineffective and can actually cause harm to those it aims to help, develop a better understanding of social problems as well as community assets in Spartanburg, and understand basic tax law and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through the SaveFirst Basic tax training sessions. In addition, students will plot a course for employing a community development approach with a Bonner service site and begin to explore and evaluate more evidence-based community development models that address their chosen social issue.
This course combines coursework on campus with a 5 day travel component to Washington, DC where students will participate in a community development seminar program.
While in Washington, DC, students will be housed in a local hostel.
Program fee: $1,070 (Please note: Bonner Scholars will have this fee paid by the Bonner Scholarship program)
This cost includes airfare, lodging, transportation to and from the airport, on-site transportation, most meals while in DC and seminar program fees.
Wofford Travel Grants
The Wofford College Travel Grants provide assistance to students who are participating in an Interim Travel/Study program. Financial need and academic merit are the principle considerations in awarding these grants. Please note that an application for a Wofford Travel Grant does not substitute for the Travel/Study project application for Interim.
To be eligible to apply for a Travel Grant, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (except first-year students applying in the fall) and be in good social and academic standing with the College. Awards range from $500 - $1,500. The number of awards granted will depend upon the number of applicants as well as available funds. The award is directly applied to the applicant's program fees. To apply, complete the online Wofford College Travel Grant application
For More Information
Contact Dr. Ramon Galinanes
or Ms. Jessalyn Story