Community Development

Course Details

Course Number
PUAD 5833
Section Number
PUAD 5833
Spring 2012
Days & Times

Class is fully online

Office hours: Mon 10 am - 1:30pm, 5:15pm- 7 pm Tues 9:15am - 2pm. Please make an appointment during these hours.

Dr. Roe Roberts (view Profile)


The Community Tool Box
located at
Patel S., Vanderbilt T., Sassen S., Dobbs R.
Sankhe S., Despommier D., Matthew R., Dahlsen S.(WINTER 2010 / 2011) The new urbanism: in the future, what will our cities look like?(UPFRONT: THE BIG QUESTION). World Policy Journal.

Course Objectives


Students will deepen their understanding of the complex issues facing today's community development specialists, community organizers, community planners and policy makers through an exploration of the causes and consequences of neighborhood decline and revitalization, and current and anticipated problems facing community planners.


The primary objective of this course is to help you become a more sophisticated community planner and analyst.  Students successfully completing this course will:

1. Be sensitivity to cultural, economic and political contexts surrounding community development issues;

2. Be aware of the various databases available to planners that will aid in assessing community needs and be able to utilize these databases;

3. Develop the skills needed to identify various community stakeholders,

4. Develop a critical approach that allows them to assess the many sides of an issue and to develop alternative ways to address a problem in response to these different stakeholders concerns.

5. Utilize the basic decision-making steps

6. Understand the major issues currently facing community planners and potential problems facing communities in the future. 

7. Discuss and utilize the steps needed to successfully plan local projects.

8. Identify and evaluate major state, federal and local policies that may impact on community development.

Course Expectations

Databases will be referenced in Class and you should becaome familiar with them. At a minimum they will include:

Three extensive federal government data compendia on CD-ROM with thousands of variables for all U.S. counties

Regional Economic Information System
Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce

County Business Patterns
U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce

USA Counties
U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce

Key internet data links include:  the website of the U.S. Bureau of the Census   the website of the Bureau of Economic Analysis  a website of the U.S. Department of Labor  the website of the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture  a portal website to statistics from over U.S. federal agencies a portal website supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce with 900 links to socio-economic data sources 


To make county demographic forecasts, students will need to obtain data on (1) the number of births by age of mother and (2) the number of deaths by age and gender.  No data source provides this information for all U.S. counties.  Some states make birth and death data available upon request or even on the Internet.  In many cases, several e-mail letters and/or an extensive Internet search may be necessary to obtain the data.

The following Internet links may help you find birth/death data:  search using words like county births age of mother and the name of the state  to find the e-mail address or website for each state's representative to the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates and Projections a website of National Center for Health Statistics explore links to states via this private site so you can see how varied state data can be.

Grading Standards

Final Paper 25% – Students will write a planning paper in one of several option areas – transportation, public health (sewage, air quality, etc); or growth management.  The paper should focus on one city and examine its problems, issues as they relate to the subject under study.

Example of a paper topic:

               Review of the Transporattion System in WF

a.       Identify budgetary items, stakeholders, demographics, future expectations re: growth patterns, changes in population location, economics etc.

b.      Assumption will be the that the increased use of mass transit is a good thing (you convince me that this is the case using demographic, social and planning data)

Develop recommendations for a Transportation Design Plan in WF

        a. new roads, increases in mass transit options, new bus routes etc.

                                                        b. who pays for it, who benefits and how much might it cost

Your final written paper will be graded on content and grammar as follows:

1. Content includes conceptualization of ideas; clarity and relevance of examples; logical organization of thoughts; insight and originality and is 80% of the grading criteria.

2. Grammar includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar and APA format and is worth up to 20% of the grading criteria.  A Grading Rubric will be posted on the homepage.  This rubric will guide you in understanding how grades for the paper are assigned so please be sure to review it.

Homework Assignment 1 -10%

1.      Demographic Analysis of A City of at least 350,000 people; if the city you are writing about in your final paper is this large you may use it for this homework assignment.

a.       Describe the population demographics of age, sex, race, ethnicity

b.      Describe the income, education levels

c.       Describe at least 5 other relevant factors (ie number of single parent families, number of children without health insurance) that you think could impact community planning and discuss why they would have an impact

Homework Assignment 2- 10%:

1. Choose a Chapter from the Community Toolbox to summarize and post it as an attachment in Word it applies to the specific community you are writing about in your final paper.

              ie  Chapter 19. Choosing and Adapting Community Interventions and WF’s attempts to rebuild downtown

Exam 30% - Online Multiple choice, true/false

Discussion Contributions 25% - Students must respond to a question posed by the instructor and also respond/comment on one other student’s response to the professor.  Responses to the professor must be submitted within one week of them being posted; responses to your classmates should be posted within two weeks of the initial questions being posted.

Students will participate in discussions; provide input and reviews on a timely basis. The minimum requirement is to post at least once each week. Participation in the form of peer reviews and discussion of assignments must be substantive and advance the discussion (defined later in course policies section). Assignments that are graded separately (required writings) do not count towards participation.

Messages that contribute to the class discussion in a substantive way are messages that satisfy all of the following:

1. Messages related to the content of the course.

2. Messages related to a specific discussion or issue at hand. This means messages are focused.

3. Messages are clear. (Vague, obscure, and otherwise hard to understand messages do not qualify.)

4. Messages follow proper etiquette and rules for a civilized discussion.

5. Messages add something new to the content/discussion in the course. Messages limited to statements such as "I agree," "I disagree," "Good job!" "I don't understand this" do not qualify. Such messages convey information about the sender, but no information about the content of a discussion. If messages are not limited to such statements, that is, if the sender explains why he/she "agrees" or "disagrees" using relevant facts or arguments, then the sender's messages are substantive.

Final Exam


Submission Format Policy

Papers must be written using APA 5th ed. or above.

Discussion Responses and Comments must be turned in on time.  Comments must be turned in within 5 days after the Response due date.

 All Due Dates are noted in the Class Assignment Schedule.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers will not be accepted unless the professor had given permission to turn them in late prior prior to the due date.  Late papers will be docked 2% per day and if over 5 days late they will not be accepted unless arrangements were made with the instructor prior to the original due date.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies

Plagiarism and Dishonesty

Your work should be your own unless specifically stated otherwise. Using someone else’s paper, copying directly from the internet, etc., are activities that are considered plagiarism. It can result in the student being dismissed and a recorded grade of “F.” Here are several websites that provide guidance to avoid plagiarism. I urge you to take the time to review them and understand what is and is not plagiarism.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at