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International & Community Development

In the International and Community Development concentration, you’ll develop assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation skills for local, national and international social work ― focusing in depth on applying the theory and research of the practice of international and community development. As a student in this concentration, you may elect to do a local or international internship. Monmouth is one of the few colleges or universities in the nation to offer an international track.

Development is people’s capacity to accomplish their goals. On a personal level, it refers to individual growth and fulfillment of one’s potential throughout the life cycle. On a societal level, it means meeting the basic needs of all and extending to everyone the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for a better life. It is a process aimed at improving the requisites for a higher quality of life: income level, equity, human rights, social and economic justice, democracy, environmental protection and peace.

Community Development

Community development involves taking planned action to deal with the common concerns of people who share a geographic locality, cultural or philosophical identity, or crucial social and economic relationships. It entails growing and strengthening the structures and functioning of social networks and economic arrangements.

When these networks and arrangements are robust, important aspects of the life people have in common can be improved, enhancing their quality of life. Community organization for development refers to efforts to mobilize people most directly affected by socio-economic-political conditions ― the victims, survivors, unaffiliated, unorganized and nonparticipating ― into groups and organizations to enable them to take action on the social problems and issues that concern them.

Typically, these efforts are concerned with building new organizations among people who have not been previously organized to take social action on a problem. Community development work with members of economically underdeveloped and politically disenfranchised communities must:

  • Help people understand the forces and processes that create and maintain their oppressed condition
  • Mobilize and organize their internal strengths
  • Dispel the mythology that makes them participants in their own powerlessness
  • Restore or develop new functions to increase community competence for the well-being of its members

Community development is based on tapping into and building the integrity and leadership of community members. An essential component is recognizing, respecting and allowing approaches to improvement to emerge from the communities served.

For more information on our MSW concentrations, please see the curriculum charts, sequence charts and graduate student handbook.