Community Connections - Sustainable Development (Grays Harbor)

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Fall 2017, Winter 2018, and Spring 2018 quarters

Taught by

political economy, community development and planning

This program will equip students to better understand and assess how communities function – politically, socially and economically. Our contextual focus will be the communities in the “Harbor” region – the geographic region that is connected socially and economically to the communities of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis and Hoquiam. These communities will be our learning laboratory for our investigation into what makes communities work. We will use a multidisciplinary approach in the examination of how these communities evolved, drawing directly from the disciplines of community psychology and political economy. We will learn about the role that the private, public and non-profit sectors played in the development of the natural resource based industries that historically drove the growth and development of the region. We will actively seek solutions to the current economic and social challenges the region faces.

Students will learn how to work with primary source material and conduct research as a means of learning skills that are transferable to a broad range of social science disciplines. We will be researching and seeking specific answers to what needs to happen for the Harbor region to successfully meet the challenges of climate change and a severely depressed local economy.

Students will work in teams as they learn research skills, participate in field activities, and keep a record of their progress through a variety of assignments, such as mapping, journaling, oral histories, and data analysis. One of the primary objectives of this program will be to give back to the communities we are studying by adding to historical internet archives, creating photo journals, stories and published articles. We will directly engage with local projects and activities related to sustainable agriculture, economic development and sea level rise. Emphasis will be placed on learning practical skills that will help students succeed professionally in the fields of community and economic development, social service, non-profit management and education.

This program meets in person 4 hours a week, with 4 additional hours of online program work.

Program Details

Fields of Study

community studies government political economy sociology

Preparatory For

Community and economic development, education, social services, non-profit management


Fall Open Winter Conditional Spring Conditional

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location

Grays Harbor

Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Regular class time is Saturdays 9 AM to 2:30 PM (including lunch and breaks). Access to computer lab time, including one-on-one instruction, is available until 5 PM on Saturdays. Some Saturdays include field trips, that may go later than 2:30 PM.  First Fall meeting will be held on the Olympia Campus.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online


2017-09-27Advertised Schedule Updated