Master of Arts in Sustainable Development:
Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change, Brattleboro, VT

Optional Concentrations


Students may be able to further focus their studies through one of the following concentrations. Availability of a concentration is dependent on sufficient student interest and enrollment and all concentrations may not be available every academic year:

Community Development and Social Action

This concentration provides basic knowledge and skills in community outreach, education, and social mobilization for self-help and advocacy, in community based organizations in both the global South and North. Examples of professional roles are: outreach, prevention, and self-help oriented human service worker; educator/trainer/facilitator involved in community based programs for disenfranchised groups; community educator/constituency developer for community based organizations focused on community organization, social action, and advocacy; national or regional office based supervisor and trainer of paraprofessionals and field workers; trainer in community capacity-building program.

Development Management

This concentration provides basic knowledge and skills in the program planning and evaluation cycle, from needs assessment to impact assessment, and in the larger organizational and management context in which programs are created. Examples of professional roles include: program or department manager in an NGO or nonprofit organization; program officer in a foundation, other donor organization, or office of corporate social responsibility or community affairs; program development, networking, and/or fundraising specialist; capacity-building trainer or consultant.

Policy Analysis and Advocacy

Although many graduate programs in development studies focus on policy analysis, typically government centered, few offer courses in advocacy. Those that do treat the topic as derivative of the policy analysis process. This concentration offers a significant alternative—one that is more consistent with the actual practice of civil society organizations and coalitions working to challenge policies of governments, multilateral organizations, corporations, and other powerful institutions that are often the source of social injustices. Policy analysis is treated as only one, though essential, element of advocacy—along with political systems analysis, strategy design, constituency development, network and coalition building, messaging and media, lobbying, mass mobilizations, and other advocacy elements.

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