Curriculum


The curriculum of Future Generations is based on specific outcomes and objectives while building concrete skills that students can apply in their communities. Students learn to think critically about development issues, make evidence-based decisions, and design, manage, monitor, and evaluate programs.

Future Generations equips its students with a thorough education into the study of and methodologies behind community change, as well as the “hands-on” knowledge required to enact that change.

The curriculum is delivered in 3 learning “streams” that come together in a river of blended scholarship: Online Learning, Residential Experiences, and Community Field Labs.

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Online Learning

assignments prompt students to reflect and build upon their own experiences, exchange ideas with peers, investigate how problems and opportunities have been addressed elsewhere, and how to adapt these lessons to the particular culture, economy, and ecology of their own communities.

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Community Field Labs

allow students to make a difference immediately, instead of having to wait until a degree is in hand. With faculty as mentors, students identify needs in their communities and work to develop activities that address those needs, while simultaneously meeting course learning objectives.

 

 

 

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Residential Experiences

are opportunities that bring students, professors, and local practitioners together every term and are a large part of what makes a Future Generations education so special. Residential experiences may be regional or international, and during this time students participate in site visits, networking events, seminars, or group projects.

Whether in Gandhi’s Ashram in India, the ruggedly beautiful mountains of Appalachia, or rural villages in Kenya, students are given the opportunity to examine community-based initiates that have scaled up to have regional-level impact.

 
 

Applied Practicum:

The program culminates with an applied practicum project, where students synthesize their learning and integrate it into an innovative, practical solution for change. Students begin to lay the foundation for their Applied Practicum Project in the first semester, and continue to develop their project throughout the program. A faculty member with expertise in the students topic provides guidance and mentorship, and students are encouraged to identify mentors and learning resources within their own communities and regions. Past students have focused on topics ranging from organic farming, forestry management, peacebuilding among urban youth, and women’s health action groups.

 

Students have three options for their Practica:

  • Participatory Proposal Practicum: This option requires students to conduct a participatory community analysis process that encourages students and their communities to think about scaling up projects, longer-term projects, and conducting active reflection on how to build on past and current successes. This track may include a pilot project towards implementation.
  • Project Practicum: This option focuses on taking a project designed to improve the students community from proposal through the implementation phase; this choice provides an action-oriented option for students with existing momentum in their communities.
  • Research Practicum: This option provides an opportunity for students to conduct applied research in their community, putting into practice the theory and tools learned throughout the program.

Students may choose any of the three options, but are required to gain approval from their Practicum Advisor before starting. Students are supported and guided by faculty and instructors of the Graduate School, and are encouraged to maximize the participation and input that can be offered by community agents and peers. Students will work closely with their Practicum Advisor throughout the process.