Sustainable Community Development BA

Signature Courses
Awakening Citizens to Community Engagement for Beneficial Change
Sustainability,the Environment,and the Arts

Given the urgency of developing more just, sustainable, and resilient communities, the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Community Development is designed to give students a home for their personal vision of how to design and implement measures that create or restore communities. The program defines community as humans and all other resident life forms of local ecosystems and the habitats that support all life. Students study the physical environment of their community, the values, practices, and needs of humans who reside there, and the influences of, and access points to, relevant government and private enterprises whose activities affect the well-being of the community.

Projects done throughout the program will distill from studies and be designed to address authentic needs in the student’s chosen community. As we work to provide an innovative educational experience that is more relevant and timely than ever, Prescott College offers graduate-level curricula through accelerated master’s degrees in Resilient and Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Food Systems 

Areas of Emphasis

This emphasis explores food systems from agricultural processes, to marketplace dynamics, to the issues of food justice. Students will engage in interdisciplinary study and practice, drawing on history, environmental studies and sciences, the humanities, as well as business and economics. Agroecology plays a central role in this emphasis area.

In an age defined by changing climate, increasing economic inequalities, and a fraying of the social fabric, societies around the world find themselves in need of innovative solutions to such challenges. By developing an understanding of energy economics, looking at other more sustainable cultural models, and applying ecological design principles to a range of contemporary challenges, students will be at the forefront of innovation in energy systems, planning and policy, and community leadership. Sustainable Ecological Design students will learn skills in architecture, energy systems, and policy change that lead to more sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities.



  • Develop strong complex problem-solving capacities and an understanding of ecological systems at a level appropriate for professions or graduate school.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human ecology and the ability to analyze essential functions of communities at various levels of development and scales.
  • Evaluate the environmental, social, and economic challenges that communities face at multiple scales, and research, develop, and assess approaches for addressing these challenges. 
  • Increase the ability to help create sustainable, resilient, and socially just communities by developing skills in effective communication, community engagement, and group facilitation.



  • Community Program Director
  • Community Mentor 
  • Sustainability Director
  • Resilience analysts
  • Community Development Directors
  • City Planners
  • Parks and Recreation Officials
  • Planning Commission Members
  • Educators
  • Community Organizers
  • Clergy