The mission of UCA's Master of Science in Community and Economic Development (MSCED) program is to provide advanced education in community and economic development (CED) that is academically rigorous yet applied, blending theory with practice to provide students with cutting edge knowledge and tools to advance the profession of community and economic development.
- The MSCED program is open to qualified students of all ages and experience levels, including practicing CED professionals, community officials and volunteers, and "traditional" students wishing to enter the field.
- The program emphasizes the link between community development and economic development as a critical factor in improving the quality of life and economic opportunities for all citizens in a community.
- The program is highly synergistic with UCA's Community Development Institute (CDI) and Strategic Growth Institute (SGI). A high portion of MSCED students are recruited through CDI and SGI, and both offer MSCED students additional opportunities for complementary training and actual CED consulting and project experience. While the links to CDI and SGI (administered through Academic Outreach) are strong and valuable, MSCED will maintain an identity as a strong academic program in the College of Liberal Arts.
- MSCED contributes to UCA's reputation as a national leader in the field of CED and UCA's community service mission.
- MSCED, along with CDI and SGI, will encourage cross-dispensary research and publications with faculty members in the College and Liberal Arts and other departments at UCA.