Course Descriptions

IDMA CORE COURSES:   

IDP-700 Introduction to International Development [3 credits]

This course introduces students to the field of International Development by examining the history, theories, and models of development. Drawing on a range of case studies, students gain an understanding of development as a set of institutions and networks that emerged in the post WW II period and proliferated primarily throughout the Global South, facilitated by neoliberal policies. Critically analyzing the role of development organizations from the Global North in foreign assistance, as well as their influence on social policies and political decision-making, students will apply their insights to current development issues, controversies, and debates.

IDP-771 International Development with Deaf People and People with Disabilities: Language and Human Rights [3 credits]

This course expands upon IDP 770: Introduction to International Development by exploring human rights frameworks currently reshaping the field of international development, particularly with respect to sustainable development goals. IDP-771 applies human rights theories and models to case studies from Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, signed language communities, and persons with disabilities around the world to analyze human rights indicators in the context of sustainability, as well as social movements, grassroots activism, and other forms of non-governmental organizing work. This course also examines the impact of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assistance projects/programs, international laws, and social protection policies for communities at the local, regional, national and international level. Prerequisite: students must complete IDP-770 prior to taking IDP-771, or have the permission of the Program Director. 

IDP-772 Micropolitics of International Development [3 credits]

This course explores how micropolitical factors shape individual experiences and social relations within and between groups. Understanding human experiences and practices connected to gender, race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexuality (and so on) as changeable, contradictory, and often situation-specific, we will examine personal choices, identities, and community formations as legacies of and responses to the ways power is organized under late-modern capitalism and post-colonial international relations. Drawing from a wide range of social scientific materials, we will pay especial attention to intersections of race and class, as well as local, national, and global affiliation in the formation and transformation of people's lives. Course activities focus on the project level in which development takes place, allowing students to examine those social categories that most impact development outcomes, associated political processes, and individual and group action of the group or groups selected for the semester project.  

IDP-773 Macropolitical Intersections of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Development [3 credits]

This course builds upon IDP 770 and 772 by focusing on the intersections between race, gender and sexuality in international development agendas emphasizing the role of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing people and people with disabilities. Drawing on theoretical and practical cases, students will explore the ways that race, gender and sexuality shape individual and group identities including diverse practices, perspectives and creative development action. Through critical analysis of the course's core concepts, students will develop insight into the social issues faced by particular groups around the world, as well as the ways that others forms of categorization further impact social inequalities, such as: socioeconomic class, social hierarchies, disability, ethnicity, family structures and expectations, language and communication, and religion. Prerequisites: students taking IDP-773 must complete IDP-770 and IDP-771, or have the permission of the Program Director.

IDP-774 Program Development and Evaluation for Social Change [3 credits]

This course focuses on collaborative formulation, development and evaluation of programs with Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing people and people with disabilities, giving special focus to economic structures and forces. Exploring current philosophical, theoretical, and methodological stances related to collaborative program development, course activities demonstrate the salience of international human rights frameworks for sign language-centered leadership and disability rights, and connect these to bi- and multilateral organizational and funding channels now undergoing enhancement as a result of the United Nation's introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using the latter as a foundation to identifying socioeconomic problems and barriers to self-determination, participation, and equity, students will design program proposals in response to an actual Request for Proposal (RFP). Working on program development teams in the classroom setting (for all or part of the assignment), student learning activities will culminate in submitting an Evaluation Plan suitable for a program that currently exists and works with Deaf, DeafBlind, and/or Hard-of-Hearing people. In addition to cultivating program development and evaluation skills, course activities provide students with opportunities to practice program management skills and grant-writing experience.    

IDP -775 Project Design and Implementation for Social Change [3 credits] 

IDP-775 introduces students to the design, planning, and implementation of community development projects with Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing people, signed language communities, and people with disabilities. Theoretical frameworks address the nature of social change in societies around the world, the interrelationship between inequitable social conditions and efforts to improve such conditions, and the value of local constituencies' involvement in shaping change. Students will develop essential skills for designing projects, as well as training in collaborative team-building and facilitation of projects that are sensitive to local communities' viewpoints, social interests, and leadership in local and international development networks.   

IDP-779 Professional Seminar for International Development I [1 credit]  

This course introduces students to standard practices of professional communication, conduct, and preparation of documents and resentation materials and types commonly used in the international development field. Course activities include: technical writing, creating persuasive messages in formats and media appropriate to a variety of audiences (e.g., specialist, non-specialist, targeted groups).  Course activities will also address professional communication and conduct, and guide students in preparing their IDMA portfolios for submission at the end of the semester (required for continuing to the second year of IDMA graduate study, practicum and internship experiences).  

IDP-780 Supervised Practicum for International Development [3 credits]

Professional service and direct action are core features of international development work, and therefore a critical aspect of graduate-level preparation.  The IDMA's supervised practicum is designed to offer practical field experience observing and working in an international development assistance organization, federal agency, for- or non-profit organization, or other development-related venue. The supervised field practicum provides students with a critical first opportunity to integrate didactic interdisciplinary study of international development with professional interaction and engagement in an international development organization, federal agency, non-profit organization, or other international development entity (think tank, policy institute). An on-site supervisor and a university-based supervisor (practicum instructor) provide supervision and guidance to promote students' professional development, and application of theoretical knowledge to real-world international development situations, issues, and opportunities.  

IDP-781 Supervised Internship for International Development [3 credits]

This course builds on IDP-780 Supervised Practicum for International Development. As in that course, field experience working in a development assistance organization, federal agency, or nonprofit organization is an essential part of graduate training in and preparation for professional careers in the international development field. The supervised internship placement adds to the practicum experience by expanding the scope of professional activities and outputs expected of students, and by increasing students' level of responsibility and accountability to partnering organizations and collaborating communities. As with IDP-780, students engage in practical experiences guided by the supervision of an on-site supervisor and a university supervisor (internship instructor). The supervised internship requires a minimum of 360 clock hours.

IDP-782 Professional Seminar for International Development II [1 credit]

Building on IDP-779 Professional Seminar I, this course is designed to deepen students understanding of standard practices of professional communication, conduct, and preparation of documents and presentation materials, as well as their understanding and advocacy of human rights, with an emphasis on language, and visible and invisible disabilities. In addition to preparing students for entry into professional international development work (e.g., professional rapport and alliance-building, developing CVs and cover letters for various types of job postings, job search skills), IDP-782 activities guide students in critical reflection on the impact of cross- and intercultural power dynamics for professional interaction, collaborative engagement, and ethical practice. Prerequisite: students must complete IDP-779 prior to taking IDP-782, or have the permission of the Program Director.