Please note that participants must move through the program sequentially. To attend Year 2, attendees must have attended Year 1, and to attend Year 3, attendees must have attended both Years 1 and 2. To attend the Advanced Year, participants must be a CDI graduate.


Year One

Year One focuses on the foundations of community development. It covers community development principles and practices, strategic visioning and planning, ethics in community development, asset based community development, community assessment, diversity and communications, and group decision making. The group simulation helps participants better understand the challenges and benefits of a community development approach.


Year Two

Year Two places more emphasis on economic development, including the “nuts and bolts” of implementing specific commercial and industrial development projects, such as financing development projects, how to establish a business retention and expansion program, and how to support community entrepreneurs. Other topics include planning livable communities, site selection, international trends, and the Miller County community development simulation.

To register for Year Two, participants must have attended Year 1.


Year Three

Year Three focuses on implementing the knowledge gained in the previous sessions. Participants gain skills in leadership development, grant development and administration, community marketing, and organizing the community development effort. Downtown development, historic preservation, and tourism are also discussed.

To register for Year Three, participants must have attended Years 1 and 2.


Advanced Year

Advanced Year is open to all graduates of the Institute. It is a five day, intensive workshop that takes place in an  Arkansas community and that allows CDI graduates the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from CDI in a real-world setting.

To register for the Advanced Year, a participant must be a CDI graduate.