The Community Development Council has ended its endorsement of the Community Development Institute East. This has happened because of the continued difficulties that CDI East has had in recent years related to the decline in the support of external partners and in enrollment numbers in the institute itself. These are the same factors that had led to the cancellation of the 2012 institute and the reason why there had been only limited pre-planning for holding an institute in 2013.
The Community Development Council is committed to providing training opportunities through its series of Community Development Institutes throughout the country, including in the mid-Atlantic states and eastern seaboard. It will continue to seek locations for CDIs in those places; however no timetable has been set for the establishment of a new institute in the region.
So what does this mean? It depends on your individual situation. Some common questions are answered below.
● What does this mean for CDI East graduates? For graduates of the institute, there is not much change. Their graduation – and the training they received – is still valid.
● What does this mean for those interested in PCED certification? For those interested in becoming certified as Professional Community and Economic Developers, their opportunity to do so in West Virginia will end in 2013. As part of the close-out process, there will be two test sessions offered in the state this year. There will be a general test session for both first-time test takers and those re-testing on February 25, 2013 at 1 p.m. at the Regional Intergovernmental Council office in South Charleston. Later in the year, there will be a session only for those who have taken the test previously; details on that re-test will be announced later.
Please note that the February session is the last time that the PCED exam is scheduled to be offered in West Virginia to those who have not sat for the exam previously. If you are thinking about seeking certification, even if you have not completed the program but still qualify to sit for the exam, you are strongly advised to consider attending this session. The application and testing fee is a combined $225 (Retests are $100). Payment arrangements and confirmation of eligibility to take the test must be made four weeks in advance with the Community Development Council. Please visit the Council’s Website at: www.cdcouncil.com or call 404-523-3030 for more information on the application process.
● What does it mean for someone who has started but not completed their three years of study? For those who have started but not finished their three-year course of study, the only option to finish is to attend another institute. There are currently institutes offering all three years in Illinois (which is closest to much of the state and has a four-day schedule), Arkansas, Texas, and Idaho. There is also a new CDI starting in Alabama which will be offering 2nd and 3rd year classes beginning in 2014. Your previous year or years of study will be accepted there. Several individuals ventured elsewhere to complete their training this year. For more information about the other institutes, please visit the Community Development Council’s website: www.cdcouncil.com.
● What does it mean for someone who is interested in CDI but has not started? The options for those who wish to receive the training and education offered by the institutes are pretty much the same as those who have started but not completed their studies. They can attend any of the other institutes around the country: Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Idaho. For more information about the institutes, please visit the Community Development Council’s website: www.cdcouncil.com.
● What does it mean for the work of the WVU Extension Service in providing training in economic and community development? For the WVU Extension Service, work does not change. The Extension Service will continue to offer education and training on issues related to community and economic development. While Extension will no longer be offering the Community Development Institute as one of those options, there are many programmatic offerings which provide assistance to localities, communities, groups, and organizations working on these types of issues. For a complete list of current WVU Extension Service programming in the areas of community development, please visit the home page for Community Resources and Economic Development: cred.ext.wvu.edu.
If you have individual questions about the CDI process, please feel free to email Michael.Dougherty@mail.wvu.edu.
CDC Board Member and Former Course Director, CDI East