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College of Public Affairs

CSCE Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • CSCE 100 Urban Solutions (3)

    Provides an introduction to the field of urban studies and to the practices of studying cities and metropolitan areas. Students are exposed to a variety of current and historic urban challenges as well as policy solutions. The course exposes students to the complexity of life in metropolitan regions, using the Baltimore area and other cities nationally and internationally as case studies. [SOSC]

  • CSCE 200 Understanding Community (3)

    Allows students to explore basic concepts of community: a group's history and change over time, the lines that divide communities, the physical movement of groups, the responsibilities of individuals within the community and the role community plays in social control. Students begin to master the skills of selection and synthesis as they use historical documents, census data, community mapping, field observations, nonfiction and fiction to make observations about groups and compare their findings to the ways groups are depicted by outsiders. [SOSC]

  • CSCE 297 Topics in Community Studies (3)

    Exploration of topics in community studies and civic engagement. The topic for study appears under that name in the class schedule. Course may be repeated for credit when the topic changes.
  • CSCE 300 Community Studies (3)

    Focuses on reading the core philosophy and history of community studies and applying the abstract concepts to a number of case studies of successful problem-solving organizations. Students examine one organization in depth, analyze the issues the organization addresses, identify the assets it draws upon and evaluate the solutions it develops.

  • CSCE 301 Introduction to Nonprofit Leadership (3)

    Introduces students to personal and professional competencies relevant to careers in nonprofit organizations. Special emphasis is placed on individual and community development as the pivotal functions of nonprofit organizations and on collaboration as the central mode of public problem-solving.

  • CSCE 302 Fundamentals of Grant Writing (3)

    Provides students with a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of fundraising and grant proposal development. The course is structured to mirror the process of fundraising management and by the course's conclusion, students will have developed a fundraising plan or a grant proposal for their own nonprofit organization or a case study of the organization. The course considers planning frameworks and a variety of conceptual tools exploring donor behaviors (the underlying psychology and sociology) and each major form of fundraising. The course concludes with an examination of the critical managerial and sectoral issues impacting fundraising functions, such as campaign integration, benchmarking of performance, and public trust and confidence.

  • CSCE 306 Leadership for Social Change (3)

    Introduces students to leadership theory and to the history and concepts of community organizing for social change. Encourages careful analysis of responsibilities and commitment in the context of leadership for the common good and for purposeful change. Students explore how to create change in society through everyday acts of leadership and by learning about their own leadership styles. Provides opportunities for practical application, documentation of leadership styles and reflection on individual responsibility for and potential in leadership roles.
  • CSCE 311 Social Awareness and Ethical Responsibility (3)

    Focuses on the relationships among ethics, public policy and business enterprise. Designed to help participants think globally about diversity and civic engagement, this course continues students' preparation for leadership positions in a global society. Focuses on improving personal leadership skills and on emphasizing the importance of leading consistently with the highest ethical principles and values.
  • CSCE 315 Community Organizations in a Digital World (3)

    Examines digital and online efforts of community organizations to build community leadership and civic engagement. Explores the ways in which information technologies have transformed and are transforming community organizations and how these technologies affect a range of social, political and economic issues from individual to organizational and societal levels. Focuses on how technological applications may provide more effective and efficient pathways for community organizations to communicate with their stakeholders and to reach their strategic goals, which include the use of social media.
  • CSCE 400 Nonprofit Management (3)

    Nonprofit organizations are key to the functioning of civil society. The United States has one of the world's most vibrant nonprofit communities. In this practical skills course, students examine how to carry out the responsibilities of organizing and managing a nonprofit, with focus on organizations framed under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Students explore effective mission, incorporation and vision statements; board and staff roles and relationships; ethics; budgets and fundraising; and maintaining nonprofit status. This course helps students meet a number of American Humanics competency requirements. prerequisite: CSCE 301 or permission of the CSCE program director

  • CSCE 401 Economic and Community Development (3)

    Using theory and practice, this course emphasizes the programs and policies that enhance the economic vitality of low- and moderate-income communities and organizations to provide an understanding of the basis for both economic and community development along with a basic set of practical tools to enable the student to work in the field of community development. This course features a service-learning component.

  • CSCE 412 Community Leadership and Decision-Making (3)

    Designed to provide students with the competencies necessary to be an effective community leader and decision-maker in the context of community planning, relationship building across networks and social organizing. Students are exposed to public decision-making from local to national government. Examines the primary skills needed for effective engagement in political and civic discussion, deliberation, advocacy and action.

  • CSCE 481 Community Engagement Experience (3)

    Provides students with the opportunity to become involved in the work of a community organization. The goal of the course is to provide students with a community engagement experience for up to 120 hours. Writing assignments and reflection activities required. May be repeated for an additional 3 credits. prerequisite: CSCE 200, CSCE 300 and CSCE 306

  • CSCE 482 Capstone Seminar (3)

    Focuses on the integration of concepts and ideas drawn from each of the core course requirements. Each student develops an original capstone project based on a real world problem/solution in collaboration with a community organization. The capstone project will be designed in consultation with the CSCE program director. Permission of program director required. prerequisite: CSCE 200, CSCE 300, CSCE 301, CSCE 302, CSCE 306, CSCE 311, CSCE 315, CSCE 400, CSCE 412 and CSCE 481

  • CSCE 492 Independent Study (3)

    Provides students with the opportunity to pursue a research topic or community service project in depth over the course of a semester. An interested student submits a proposal to a faculty member who agrees to be the adviser for the study. The faculty member and the student negotiate the terms of study and the requirements for the final product. prerequisite: permission of the program director

  • CSCE 493 Honors Seminar (3)

    An advanced interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on important books and issues and encourages independent thinking, clear presentation and an understanding of the concerns and methods of various disciplines. The course may be team taught; topic and instructor(s) may change from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of the Denit Honors Program director

  • CSCE 494 Honors Project (3-6)

    Directed individual instruction in an advanced project of the student's choice; the project must be academically related to this discipline. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The project must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the faculty director and a second faculty member. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of both the Denit Honors Program director and the faculty director

  • CSCE 497 Special Topics in Community Studies and Civic Engagement (3)

    An examination of a selected topic or issue related to the research interests of CSCE faculty or a collaboration with a local nonprofit in a one-time community project. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes.