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K-State Today

March 14, 2016

Community development program honored with exceptional program award

Submitted by Courtney Boman

The Association for Continuing Higher Education Great Plains Region honored the Kansas State University community development program in the landscape architecture and regional & community planning department with the Exceptional for Credit Program Award.

The community development master's program is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, or Great Plains IDEA. The Great Plains IDEA partnership of 20 public university members provides access to the best educational opportunities by collaboratively developing and delivering high-quality, online academic programs. Students in the community development master's program learn from leading educators and researchers from five different universities representing a diversity of fields and scholarship.

"This award recognizes our successful partnerships with K-State Global Campus, the Great Plains IDEA, the five member institutions in the community development alliance, and the focused effort of our committed faculty and staff in landscape architecture and regional & community planning," said Huston Gibson, professor and director of the community development program. "The program and our partners have done many new and actionable items over the past year to advance the program to a heightened stage of visibility and implementation, with a commitment to our online distance education K-State students."

Community development is a progressive field, actively promoting positive social, economic, cultural and environmental change. It encourages people to see the whole picture, engaging citizens in democratic decision making and action. Through the program, diverse faculty from several institutions teach critical thinking, ethical consideration, careful planning and involvement of all stakeholders.

Nominated by K-State Global Campus for the program's collective commitment to excellence, the award was presented on March 4 at the association's Great Plains Region Conference. Gibson represented the program at the conference and accepted the award.

"Our department is thrilled that the community development master's program has been selected for recognition," said Stephanie Rolley, department head and professor of the LARCP department. "Our excellent partners in Global Campus and the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance are key to our success as is Dr. Gibson's direction of the program."

Find more information about the community development program online.