Our Community Development Program
Our three-year Bachelor of Arts in Community Development provides students with both the practical and analytical skills needed to effectively work with a variety of communities to bring about societal change.
With required courses in Community, Economic, and Social Development (CESD) and Social Work, this unique program offers an interdisciplinary learning opportunity. Students will work alongside people in their region to effect change by helping to identify common concerns and solutions, and build relationships with organizations and those in positions of power. Students will learn how to create opportunities for communities to learn new skills and foster social inclusion and equality by enabling people to act together.
Choosing to earn a degree in community development has many benefits. The hands-on experience students will earn while fulfilling their degree requirements are both worthwhile and highly rewarding. In students’ third-year of study, they will complete a 150-hour work placement. Students have been placed in organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Children’s Aid Society, Batchewana First Nation, Garden River First Nation, NORDIK Institute, United Way, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and more.
These placements allow students to apply concepts, theories, and methods from their coursework in the community, advocate for change, and implement new analytical strategies, making the degree action-packed and very hands-on. The skill set students acquire are very versatile and can be applied to various career paths which are sought after by a wide range of employers.
Our program also has a specific focus on northern, rural, remote communities, and Indigenous populations. Community development practitioners often work within a defined geographical area (urban or rural), and with specific groups of people (persons with disabilities, youth, children, families, newcomers, the unemployed, and the homeless). Thus, our program adequately prepares students to be Community development practitioners in Northern Ontario, and to work with a diverse and cross-cultural group of peoples.
Get hands-on experience
In your third year, students will participate in a 150-hour field placement, which will apply concepts, theories, and methods learned in the classroom to real life. You’ll get real hands-on working knowledge and valuable experience to add to your resume. Click the button below to watch videos on field placements!Learn More
What You Can Expect
Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.
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Help your community
Our program provides students with the knowledge and tools necessary to bring about active change in their community and the world around them. Students will work alongside people in their region to effect change by identifying common concerns and solutions, and building relationships with organizations.
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Earn your bachelor of community development at Timmins
Students can earn their Bachelor of Community Development in Sault Ste. Marie, or at our extension programming site at Northern College in Timmins, Ontario. No matter where you choose to study, you’ll study in a student-centred environment – the ideal learning environment.
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Created with the help of CESD Professor Dr. Gayle Broad, NORDIK has been instrumental in investigating key issues which directly affect Northern Ontario. Students can become involved with NORDIK in a variety of ways, including as volunteers, interns, summer student programs, work study programs, and through graduate studies supervision. For more information, please visit NORDIK’s website.
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The People’s Garden
The People’s Garden is an initiative started and maintained by the CESD program, in partnership with the Algoma U Student Food Bank, Student Services, and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig. The People’s Garden was undertaken in an effort to address student food security, as well as to provide an arena for fun on-campus events and community-building activities.
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Career paths and opportunities include community development practitioner or officer, program officer, researcher, volunteer coordinator, consultant, youth coordinator, entrepreneur, community researcher/facilitator, employment counsellor, housing development officer, social services administrator, legal advocacy worker, job developer, case worker, foundation manager, public relations and communications officer, environmental stewardship coordinator, green energy consultant, policy analyst and many more.
For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule sectionGet Started Now
Meet our Faculty
Our Community Development faculty are experts in the field. Get to know them!
Dr. Sheila Gruner
Faculty Chair, Social Sciences, Associate ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Laura Wyper
Department Chair, Community Economic and Social Development, Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
Assistant Professor, Community Economic and Social Development and Director, NORDIK InstituteView Full Bio
Community Economic and Social Development Program and Learning Support CoordinatorView Full Bio
“My experience at Algoma U in the Community Development program will be something I will always remember. I liked the program because it combined several areas of interest…The people I met in the program have become lifelong friends and made my university experience unforgettable. The professors in the program went above and beyond their job description to ensure my success…The Community Development program is one of a kind and I would highly recommend it for any interested students.”
BA, Community Development
“I can’t pinpoint one thing that I liked because I loved the entire program and experience – I loved that it was in Timmins, it was a program that I was interested and passionate about, I loved the small classes and the rapport I was able to build with my professors. I wasn’t just a number, my professors knew who I was – by name – even the professors from Sault Ste. Marie…The small classes also allowed me to build stronger relationships with my fellow classmates.”
BA, Community Development