One of the real strengths of Stevenson Center programs is that students with a range of experiences share the classroom each semester. While each student pursues a unique degree pathway, exposure to all five perspectives is a significant part of the experience that we offer.
The Stevenson Center facilitates training in the promotion of community and economic development in the U.S. and abroad. Fellows choose from master's degree programs in the department/school of:
- Economics (Applied Economics Master's Degree)
- Kinesiology and Recreation (Kinesiology and Recreation Master's Degree)
- Politics and Government (Political Science Master's Degree)
- Sociology and Anthropology (Sociology Master's Degree/Anthropology Master's Degree)
The programs are designed for completion of at least two-thirds of academic credits while students are on campus during their first year. After the on-campus coursework, Fellows complete 11-month paid professional practice internships.
Depending on the academic department/school, a thesis or capstone project may be required. Preparation for the thesis or capstone project should begin as early as possible, and completion of this requirement can be simultaneous with a student’s internship.
Fellows can take advantage of Illinois State University's many resources while receiving the individual attention and support of the Stevenson Center.
Plans of Study
Students in every program share an interdisciplinary sequence of core courses in applied community and economic development. These classes equip them with the tools and with the theoretical background to be effective community and economic development professionals.
- Master's Degree in Anthropology, Applied Community and Economic Development Sequence (PDF)
- Master’s Degree in Applied Economics, Applied Community and Economic Development Sequence (PDF)
- Master's Degree in Kinesiology and Recreation, Applied Community and Economic Development Sequence (PDF)
- Master’s Degree in Political Science, Applied Community and Economic Development Sequence (PDF)
- Master's Degree in Sociology, Applied Community and Economic Development Sequence (PDF)
ACED Sequence Courses
The Stevenson Center's Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) sequence core consists of four courses in the first year, followed by an 11-month professional internship in the second year. This coursework is in addition to classes that Fellows take for their degree programs (see Plans of Study above).
In first-year ACED sequence courses, Fellows from all five degree programs share the classroom for a truly interdisciplinary experience:
- 1st Fall Semester: Seminar in Community Development and Seminar in Local Economic Development
- 1st Spring Semester: Community Project Design and Management (Browse past group projects in our digital repository, along with capstone projects and theses)
- 1st Summer Semester: Topics in Administration and Planning, to convey management skills in community and economic development. Topics vary-- typically two per term, with one section emphasizing organizational operations. The second section depends on students' interests. Common topics include:
- Grant writing
- GIS mapping
- Strategic planning
- Feasibility studies
- Nonprofit administration
- 2nd Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters: Professional Practice (Guidelines)