Master of Arts in Sustainable Development:
Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change, Brattleboro, VT
- On-campus coursework (two terms)
- Reflective Practice Phase, which comprises a field-based practicum (six months) with related academic work. The practicum can be completed abroad, in such sites as Rwanda and Nepal, or in the US
- Capstone paper, presentation, and seminar in Vermont (one week)
The MA in Sustainable Development: Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change program based in Vermont comprises
- two semesters of on-campus coursework;
- a six-month (minimum) professional practicum;
- and a final capstone paper and presentation.
While students must fulfill a number of degree requirements, they have opportunities to customize their learning according to individual interests. An outline of the degree components, including required coursework, is provided below.
- Core Coursework (28–34 credits).
During students’ nine months on campus, they examine competing theories and alternative approaches to development practice. The program focuses on participatory, rights-based interventions in local, national, and international contexts. Coursework provides a comprehensive education in development praxis, combining theoretical and applied knowledge.
- Foundations of Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management
- Practitioner Inquiry
- Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development
- Issues in Sustainable Development
Plus 12 additional credits of relevant coursework, which includes one or more of the following courses:
- Program Planning and Management
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Policy Advocacy
- Popular and Nonformal Education
Other course options include:
- Nonprofit, NGO, and Social Business Management
- Financial Management
- Fundraising and Grant writing
- Human Resources Management
- Policy Analysis and Advocacy Methods
- International Policy and Citizen Advocacy
- Leadership, Community, and Coalition Building
- Training Design for Experiential Learning
- Training for Social Action
- Post-War Development and Peacebuilding
- Initiatives in Peacebuilding
- Conflict and Identity
- Optional Concentrations
Interested students are able to focus their studies in sustainable development by choosing a concentration. Recent concentration offerings have included:
- Community Development and Social Action.
The focus is on knowledge and skills related to community outreach, education, and social mobilization with community-based organizations in both the global South and North.
- Development Management.
The focus is on knowledge and skills related to 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.
- Policy Analysis and Advocacy.
The focus is on knowledge and skills necessary to promote the rights of the public, especially marginalized communities, and the environment, through influencing the policies of governments in the Global North and South, international agencies, corporations, and other powerful institutions.
- Community Development and Social Action.
- Reflective Practice (12 credits).
Referred to as the Reflective Practice Phase, this portion of the program is a structured approach for students to apply coursework learning to a related professional activity. During this phase, students receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills working in a professional context, for a minimum of six months, while remaining engaged with faculty and other students on the program. Students can complete the practicum in the US or abroad.
- Capstone Paper and Seminar.
Students demonstrate, assess, and synthesize their learning through preparation of a capstone project and participation in a one-week capstone seminar on SIT’s campus in Vermont. Researching and writing the capstone paper takes students deeply into the experiential learning cycle, where they explore the meaning of their practicum experience, integrate theory and practice in a written and oral presentation, and make a contribution to the field of sustainable development.
Recent Capstone Papers Include:
- Exploring the Concept of Sustainability in A Fragile State’s Health System: The Case Study of Liberia
- Advocating for Women’s Empowerment: Highlighting the Linkages Among Gender Inequality, Malnutrition, and Food Insecurity
- Strategic Planning For the Improvement of the Development Efforts of a Guatemalan Faith-Based Nongovernment Organization
- The URBANET Trade Justice Campaign in Ghana: A Case Study of Efforts to Involve Indigenous Farmers in Advocacy
- Beyond Mass Action: A Study of Collective Organizing Among Liberian Women Using Feminist Movement Perspectives
- The Self-Advocacy Movement in New York State: The Experiences and Perspectives of People With Developmental Disabilities and Their Allies
- Refugee Empowerment: An Alternative Approach to Refugee Resettlement
- Community Food Security for Vermont: Local Solutions to the Global Food Crisis
All students must fulfill a Language and Culture Proficiency Requirement (PDF) before they are eligible to graduate.
800.336.1616 (toll free in US)
802.258.3510 (outside the US)
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA