BS in Community Development in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Community Development (BSCD) is a four year degree program that teaches students how to plan, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate community projects. The program equips students with the necessary skills to be able to organize people in different communities, gain their participation and serve as facilitator in the various programs and activities implemented by the government. Special emphasis is given to topics like community disaster risk management, financial management, basic economics, community organizations and administration in rural development and community planning.

The BSCD program also provides students with an in depth understanding of the concept of policy analysis, program and project management and community/social research. It also in teaches students how to create community activities that will help empower the poor sectors of the community and develop a sustainable environment for them.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSCD curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • General Education courses:
    Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Professional courses:
    Introduction to Community Development, Urban and Rural Sociology, Philippine Society and Community Development, Development Perspectives, Policies Programs and Services for Community Development, Gender and Development, Community Organizing, Organizing and Social Movements, Communications Strategies for Community Development, Community Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Strategies, Educational Strategies for Community Development, Philippine Contemporary Issues, Community Governance and Mobilization Strategies, Innovative Strategies in Community Organizing, Planning and Administration in Community Development, Participatory Project Development and Management, Community-Based Disaster Resource Management, Community-Based Disaster Risk Management, Peoples Initiatives and Economic Enterprises, Special Problems, Statistics for Community Development
  • Research courses:
    Introduction to Community Development Research, Community Development Research Practicum, Dissemination and Utilization
  • Field Practicum:
    Community Development 1 and 2
The BSCD program is taught to students in a variety of teaching methods: classroom lectures, community immersions, seminars and field trips. Students also gain experience by visiting different non-government organizations and agencies that cater to people in different communities.

Two major requirements must be completed by students at the end of the fourth year. One is the Community Development Research where students will choose a topic of interest that concerns the community create a thorough study and implement formulated solutions. This is done under the supervision of a research adviser. Students will also defend their undergraduate thesis in front of a panel who will grade them accordingly. Students must also complete the required number of hours intended for the Field Practicum

Is Community Development considered a profession?

Career paths in the field of Community Development are not considered professions. A graduate of this program may be employed in various local urban and rural development organizations, government and non-profit agencies and humanitarian institutions. These careers are not considered professions because they do not require a specialized set of knowledge and skills, nor do they require a government certification.

What are the admission requirements for the BS in Community Development program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but here are the common college admission requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Genuine interest in community service – the willingness and genuine desire to actively help people.
  • Socially Perceptive – community immersions and the field practicum will enable you to meet different types of people, the ability to recognize body language, social cues, implications and cultural patterns of behavior is important so that you will be able to understand and respect differences among people in the community
  • Interpersonal skills – the ability to relate effectively and sensitively to different people of all ages and walks of life.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills – the course will involve a lot of presentations, reporting and discussions thus communication skills is very important.
  • Tolerance – since you will deal with different types of people, there will be times when problems and issues are the same and repetitive, this can become stressful over long periods of time therefore you need to be tolerant to survive this course.
  • Patience – the people that you will encounter may not always be cooperative and eager to participate in the activities and programs that you will implement during your field practice so being patient is a very important trait that you must possess.
  • Empathy – in your field practice, you will be assigned in impoverished communities and sometimes you will encounter irritable and unpleasant people, you have to understand their situation and place yourself in their shoes so that you will be able to discern why they behave the way they do.
  • Conceptual skills – a very important lesson that is repeatedly taught when you take this course is the development of community programs that will benefit people in general thus it is essential that you have the innate ability to think of relevant ideas, turn it into a realistic goal and execute it accordingly
  • Problem-solving skills – the ability to identify, assess, create alternative solutions and solve the actual problem while continuously evaluating for outcomes.
  • Basic computer skills – since there is also clerical work involved in this program, a student must be knowledgeable of systems such as word processing and other computer software.

How difficult is BS in Community Development?

BS in Community Development is not considered a difficult course. Generally, all subjects are easy to learn and the entire curriculum is balanced in such a way that there is equal amounts of general education and professional courses. Studying community development is interesting and exciting since you will be able to visit different communities and study the problems that people encounter in their everyday lives. Apart from being able to help, you will also be able to apply the lessons that you’ve learned inside the classroom and harness your practical skills in dealing with and implementing programs to the community people.

Perhaps the most challenging part of this program in the Community Development Research where you will study issues that concern the community. You will then analyze, do surveys, create and formulate possible solutions to the problem and create a comprehensive research paper about it. It doesn’t only end there you also have to implement your action plans and continuously evaluate whether the implemented programs were effective or not.

How long does it take to complete the BS in Community Development program in the Philippines?

The BS in Community Development program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Field Practicum (OJT)

A student of the BS in Community Development program is required to attend a Field Practicum during his/her fourth year of study. They will be assigned in different communities mostly the poor and deprived. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. They help community organizers and local government units in implementing government programs and create their own activities which will help empower the people in the community where they are assigned. They will go with local officials and barangay workers in home visits to be able to evaluate the programs.

The field practice program is done under the supervision of a designated authority in the community which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member.
(See source)

Career opportunities for BS in Community Development graduates

  • Community Development officer – help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. They work with individuals, families and whole communities to empower them.
  • Project Development officer – develop and co-ordinate individual projects in communities to help individuals and families live a better life.
  • Community Organizer – under the direct supervision of the Lead Community Organizer, the Community Organizer is responsible for organizing residents, coordinating efforts to address the needs of low-income residents, and coordinating neighborhoods through resident leadership development, building coalitions, and focusing on critical community issues.
  • Resident Initiatives Coordinator – performs a variety of tasks involving planning, coordinating and implementing initiatives and programs designed to serve the needs of families residing in a housing development.
  • Social Researcher – plan, design and manage social research projects. They use a variety of computer software packages to collect, analyze and organize information and data, which they then present to others, either in a written report or oral presentation.
  • Child Welfare Officer – work on behalf of children to ensure a safe and productive living environment. Often covered under the umbrella of social services, child welfare officers provide assessment, reporting and advising to adolescents and families and may be required to give evidence in courtroom hearings.
  • Program Planner – assist in program planning, analysis and development activities and resolve program performance issues in various communities.
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor – provides technical advice and support to Program Management Team and provincial and district governments on monitoring and evaluation of program implementations and their outcomes.
  • Native Affairs Officer – safeguards the rights of different aboriginal communities and speak on behalf of community involved, with the goal of bridging cultural gaps and establishing common understanding through conflict resolution.
  • Community Education Coordinator – work within diverse communities to promote and organize adult or family education or training opportunities; encourages and influences the development of new learning opportunities through formal and informal classes as well as individual tutoring and mentoring
  • Economic Development Director – performs a variety of administrative, technical and professional work in preparation and implementation of economic and community development plans, programs, and services.
  • Volunteer Coordinator – manages all elements of volunteering either within their own organization or on behalf of the organization for which they are recruiting volunteers. The role involves assessing an organization’s needs and then meeting those needs through the recruitment, placement and retention of volunteers.
  • Youth Coordinator – responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating programs for the youth in the community.
  • Community Facilitator – work with families referred from other organizations and connecting them to support resources in the community. This involves developing and maintaining working relationships with family centers and community organizations, as well as enhancing relationships with referral sources and community leaders.
  • Housing Development Officer – work with specific clients, such as homeless people, minority groups or people with disabilities. They work within a strict but changing regulatory framework and are usually based in a central office or local neighborhood housing office.
  • Social Services Administrator – manage social workers and case managers. They develop and oversee social services plans to address people affected by homelessness, child abuse, poverty, violence or other major life challenges.
  • Victim Advocate – assist individuals who have been abused or assaulted, either domestically or by strangers.
  • Case Worker – employed by healthcare and social assistance industries, as well as the government to provide assistance and counseling to at risk populations such as children from troubled homes, those with serious illness or senior citizens in retirement communities.
  • Social Planner – research, analyze, develop, and implement programs for people experiencing different kinds of abuse or poverty. They recommend certain government action to take place and help raise finance for these programs.
  • Social Work Administrators – plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits
  • Policy Analyst – specialize in researching social issues and finding solutions to problems, such as hunger, crime, discrimination, poverty, disease, violence, and unemployment. Some social policy analysts work for government agencies, while others work for consulting firms or think tanks.

Reviews of BS in Community Development graduates:

I. D.
◈ Studied BS in Community Development
◈ At University of the Philippines Diliman
◈ Graduated 2011

list bulletWhy did I choose Community Development: I chose this particular course because I wanted to see some changes in our community. I didn’t want it to be done through politics but I like it to be done through my own way.

list bulletAbout my college education: I learned great things here in UP especially the best approach to handle a community when I start alone as an individual. It is not that important to spend lots of money just to achieve your goal and make the changes I want. All I need is the correct approach on how to start and the succeeding steps to do. For me the most difficult part of my college life is the Exams because I am not that good at objective type of exams and I find it poor to answer most of it. But the most Enjoyable part is going through different communities and applying all the ideas and learning I got.

list bulletMy current job: I am Barangay Consultant as well as a Administrator in our Municipal Hall.
Basically as a Consultant I give Good Advice to our fellow people in our area and assist them best possible way I can.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: Absolutely, I applied all the learning and ideas I acquired in my College years. I was able to give good advices to troubled people regarding our community development issues.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: Less than a Month. After graduation I immediately got the job as the Administrator of our Municipal.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Community Development: I would recommend this course to people who does not look for a bountiful life, like getting high pays and above average salaries for them to have a good life. But to people who would like to see their municipal or barangay prosper and have a better community even if the pay is not that good.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: The best advice that I can give to all aspiring Community Development students is that you should have this great Passion. The great Passion why you are doing this kind of job and the big reason why you wanted this course.
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