Sustainable Community Development (BA)

Signature Courses
Awakening Citizens to Community Engagement for Beneficial Change
Sustainability,the Environment,and the Arts

Given the urgency of developing a more just, sustainable, and resilient communities, the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Community Development is designed to give students a home for their personal vision of how to design and implement measures that create or restore communities. The program defines community as humans and all other resident life forms of local ecosystems and the habitats that support all life. Students study the physical environment of their community, the values, practices, and needs of humans who reside there, and the influences of, and access points to, relevant government and private enterprises whose activities affect the well-being of the community.


Projects done throughout the program will distill from studies and be designed to address authentic needs in the student’s chosen community. As we work to provide an innovative educational experience that is more relevant and timely than ever, Prescott College offers graduate-level curricula through accelerated master’s degrees in Resilient and Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Food Systems 


  • Learners will demonstrate a detailed understanding of holistic (economic, social,environmental, political, and cultural) sustainable community development and inclusive community engagement and planning.
  • Learners will demonstrate decolonizing, inclusive, strengths-based, and collaborative community development practice based in an understanding of smaller urban, rural, northern, First Nation, and Indigenous history, culture,treaties, and legislative frameworks, and community organizational systems.
  • Learners will utilize community economic development tools and business practices (e.g. strategic planning, SWOT analyses, triple-bottom line budgeting,and accounting) to further community development.


  • Community Program Director
  • Community Mentor 
  • Sustainability Director
  • Resilience analysts
  • Community Development Directors
  • City Planners
  • Parks and Recreation Officials
  • Planning Commission Members
  • Educators
  • Community Organizers
  • Clergy


  • Autobiographical essay
  • Completed Application
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement

This emphasis explores food systems from agricultural processes, to marketplace dynamics, to the issues of food justice. Students will engage in interdisciplinary study and practice, drawing on history, environmental studies and sciences, the humanities, as well as business and economics. Agroecology plays a central role in this emphasis area. This area is under development; what is written here will be revised for 2020.


(requirements listed above including these specific requirements fulfill the competence and emphasis) 
The Food Justice course
16 credits in food system courses with one course* in each of the following areas:

  • Sustainability courses
  • Social theory
  • Applied ecology

In an age defined by changing climate, increasing economic inequalities, and a fraying of the social fabric, societies around the world find themselves in need of innovative solutions to such challenges. By developing an understanding of energy economics, looking at other more sustainable cultural models, and applying ecological design principles to a range of contemporary challenges, students will be at the forefront of innovation in energy systems, planning and policy, and community leadership. Sustainable Ecological Design students will learn skills in architecture, energy systems, and policy change that lead to more sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities. This area is under development and what is written here will be revised for 2020.

(requirements listed above including these specific requirements fulfill the competence and emphasis) 
16 credit ECOSA semester
One course* in each of the following areas: 

  • Climate and energy
  • Analytical Methods 
  • Social Systems
Our faculty

Meriel Brooks

Instruction|Adjunct Faculty, MSES Program


Laird Christensen

Instruction|Faculty / Director, MS Resilient and Sustainable Communities


Robin Currey

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Sustainable Food Systems


Gretchen Gano

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Core Curriculum