Master’s Degree in Community Development – Nathan Bramsen


The degree of community development
through GP Idea has given me a broad perspective of what it looks like to
bring a community from the reality of where they’re at to the potential of
what could be and so the classes through this program whether it’s at Nebraska or
Kansas State or South Dakota has given a broad perspective due to the different
professors who are teaching from different regions of the country and yet
all within one program giving diversity to one singular degree. For me the
experience that I gleaned through this online program wasn’t just a piece of
paper that might get me a raise or might get me a different position within a
company, but it gave a whole new way of thinking about things I’ve seen my whole
life and yet now, paradigms of thought that hopefully will open doors to
changing lives around me. The skills learned in this program not only will
impact my future career and not only my future career but future work. It already
has impacted my future work. Throughout this program one aspect that was key is
I was able to integrate the very concepts and theories that were being
learned into everyday life and into practical ways that impacted my
community over the past few years so it’s not just about the future it’s
about the past. Certainly one of the difficult components of this degree was
continuing on with a full workload and travel schedule amidst finishing a
master’s degree. My job first of all is based overseas I started the degree in
the Middle East and then transitioned to North Africa and yet I could continue
with my degree at Kansas State during the entire time. Through nights of
working and through accessing the online courses at various times, I was
able to fit it into the schedule and I think that’s the important aspect of
this degree that helped me out. Professors told you a week in advance
the things they expected for that week and so you realize what the components
were that had to be accomplished by the week end, and therefore you worked your
own schedule to make it happen. I started this degree not in search of needing it for a certain dream I had but rather
wanting the education so I could apply these concepts and give a
whole new way of seeing a community. So the exciting thing about this degree is
the aspects that were learned whether it’s community participation, whether
it’s appreciative inquiry, whether it’s the seven community capitals, these
aspects are already being applied in my home communities abroad in areas
where I’m involved in community development, so I’m thrilled that I not
only have an education, a further education, but I also have a whole new
arsenal of opportunities to present to a community. So often we can look at
communities from a position of problems. We can look at a community through the
weaknesses that are there and think that somehow we are coming in to present the
answer, but this degree did not do that, instead it presented the approach of we
all have something to bring to the table and now together how can we bring our
community from reality to ultimately the potential that has always existed but
sometimes is not brought out until a new perspective has been gleaned and this
program offers that opportunity.




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