The Community Development Institute Central (CDI), established in 1987 at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), in Conway, Arkansas, trains community and economic development professionals in Arkansas and surrounding states. The complete CDI experience is a three year training program, with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts, and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development. CDI is relevant for both new and seasoned professionals because it focuses on best practices and current trends.
The institute builds the capacity of individuals and communities to positively impact economic and social development. This is achieved by expanding individual’s ability to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring together groups of people to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.
The institute’s faculty consists of development professionals from the corporate, academic, and government sectors from Arkansas and the Mid-South. Curriculum is delivered through various formats including a combination of lecture, small group discussions, simulations, and individual projects. The focus is on active, rather than passive, learning.