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Thread: Anyone from University of Maryland, College Park or Morgan State University?

  1. #1

    Anyone from University of Maryland, College Park or Morgan State University?

    I'm moving to Maryland after I graduate from UNF with my bachelor's, and I'm trying to decide between the two accredited programs in the state. Is anyone from either of these urban planning programs?

    I'm most interested in planning as a tool for poverty alleviation, and am interested in further studying community empowerment as well as regional techniques for eliminating metropolitan poverty pockets and the municipal techniques of fiscal mercantilism that lead to their creation.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
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    You'd probably be better off with an MSW. Social workers are more directly involved in poverty issues than planners. Planners are more involved in community development work where they are empowering lower income folks to own their own homes. Most often, this work is done in collaberation with the banking sector - which is mostly responsible for the mess we're in now. In theory, planning deals with ending urban poverty. In practice, planners are more often then not pressured to follow a political agenda that supports gentrification and appeasing the middle class.

    And actually, to get involved in community development work a degree in real estate development or an MBA is more of an asset, frankly. Hopkins has both degrees. There are a lot of planners in community development nonprofits, but I'm not sure how much the degree relates to the work their doing. I know in Baltimore, most of our CDCs are not doing too well. Many have laid off their community organizers (Who tend to be at the bottom rung - so don't go to grad school to be an organizer). My wife works at one of these organizations so I know. I work in a human services organization where generally speaking, the people are more attuned to your perspective.

    The University of Maryland Baltimore has a Masters of Social Work with an emphasis in community organizing and management. I know a lot of people from this program and frankly, most of them are having a tough time finding jobs. Unless you want to do clinical social work, it's more useful to get an MPA. That's what I'm doing from the University of Baltimore, which is an accredited program.

    If your interests are solely academic, then you should look at Johns Hopkins Masters of Arts in Public Policy. They have a good concentration in urban policy. It's much more academic than your usual planning program. It isn't accredited but that doesn't matter too much, really. College Park also has an MPP with a good Social Policy program.

    If you still insist on planning, I would go with Morgan. Morgan is more practical wheras CP is more academic. Morgan is urban, CP is suburban. Morgan is much cheaper than CP and probably more likely to give you aid. The choice seems obvious there. And frankly, Baltimore is a much cooler city to study urban issues. D.C. is like a giant suburb and most of the agencies are nationally or internationally focused.

    Just my thoughts....
    Last edited by lycosidae; 06 Aug 2009 at 2:40 PM.

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