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The Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning
in collaboration with
The California School of Professional Psychology

Program Prospectus
A Professional Development Program for Working Adults

About Four Worlds

Four Worlds is an international non-profit organization with over fifteen years of experience in capacity building of people and organizations for human and community development. Four Worlds emerged out of indigenous people's community healing and development efforts in North America in the early 10980s. Since then, Four worlds teams have worked extensively in rural and urban settings in every corner of North America as well as in Africa, southeast Asia, the Pacific, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America. Four Worlds is well known for its culturally based approach to development work and for its down-to-earth articulation of principles and models to guide human and community transformation.

About CSPP

The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) is one of the largest human services professional schools in the world. Nationally and internationally recognized for excellence, innovation and flexibility in meeting the real needs of people and communities, CSPP offers a wide variety of programs, special learning opportunities and services at each of its four campuses (located in or near San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley and Fresno). CSPP's dedication to flexibility and continuous improvement has made it a pioneer in graduate education for human services.


Building sustainable communities is emerging as a fundamental necessity for solving critical human problems. Indeed, all human societies depend for their very existence on the establishment and maintenance in an environment of global change of human relationships that are healthy and sustainable. Whether these relationships are personal; based in families, clans or tribal groups; economic; social or cultural, they are connected together in an interdependent web of influence and effect. It is becoming abundantly clear that sustainable community is a basic human need and that, in its absence, human life becomes distorted, painful and often self-destructive. Understanding the interconnectedness of issues is crucial for the survival of communities all over the world.

While the integrity of communities has a tremendous impact on human well-being, communities are made up of people. If the individuals that make up a community are struggling with a host of personal dysfunctions due to trauma, fear, addictions, physical or sexual abuse, or just the lack of opportunities to learn and develop human potential, then their community will be held back.

These two dimensions of personal healing and community development are like two wings of the same bird. Both are needed and each depends of the other.

The Field

The field of work and study encompassed by the CSPP Masters in Applied Human and Community Development Program is a practical blend of key related disciplines including community psychology, community development, health promotion, adult education, applied anthropology, community economics, and sustainable development studies.

Working with communities and the people in them to improve human well-being is rapidly becoming a primary arena of professional service in a wide range of fields. While in most cases professionals must inform themselves about the technical issues related to specific applications of human and community development raining, here are some examples of the areas of employment open to graduates of the program:


The purpose of the maters in Applied Human and Community Development Program is to train a new category of professional capable of engaging communities in processes of transforming both human behavior and relationships, as well as the social and economic conditions that determine human well-being.

The aim of the program is to prepare leaders in the field of human and community development practice who:

Innovative and Unique Features

The CSPP Masters in Applied Human and Community Development Program is innovative and unique in a number of ways:

  1. Origins - This program out of some fifteen years of practical field experience in a wide range of contexts including North American indigenous communities, urban community development programs and international development work in Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Africa. The curriculum for the program was designed in consultation with many community-development-related organizations and individuals through the generous support of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
  2. The CSPP-Four Worlds Partnership - This program has been developed and is being offered through a partnership between CSPP, The Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning and Four Worlds International. Four Worlds is a non-profit organization with roots in North American indigenous communities and many years of practical experience in community healing and development work in both urban and rural settings, and in many different cultural contexts the length and breadth of North America and around the world. This partnership provides the program with a solid grounding in on-going professional practice. CSPP's history of success in human service related graduate training and the depth and richness of the faculty and programs makes the CSPP/Four Worlds partnership a unique and powerful educational alliance.
  3. A Work-Study Program - Because work in human and community development is really as much a performance art as it is an academic discipline, this program is designed as a work-study program. Students in the program must either be employed in a related field or else secure a long-term volunteer placement with an appropriate organization. "Learning-by-doing" is an integral part of the study program.
  4. Field-Based Program Structure - The course of learning is organized as follows:
  1. Program Indigenization - A unique feature of the CSPP Masters in Applied Human and Community Development Program is the recognition of the unique characteristics, problems and opportunities that exist with distinct social and cultural groups and geographical regions. Program delivery patterns, institutional approaches, adjunct faculty, community resources, course content and themes, and practical assignments and projects are all adapted to accommodate the distinct realities and needs of each group of learners and the cultural and geographic context in which the Program is being offered.
  2. Institutional Partnerships for Capacity Building - Another unique and innovative feature of the Program is that partnerships will be developed between CSPP and selected organizations and institutions involved in community-related work in each region. The purpose of these partnerships is to foster organizational capacity building that can serve as a supportive context for individual learning and as a way of increasing the impact the Program has on improved services to communities.
  3. Creative Funding Solutions - CSPP will work with regional or culturally based organizations and groups to raise funds to subsidize groups of learners to participate in the Program.

Program Content

The Masters of Applied Human and Community Development Program has been designed to offer the best training available anywhere in the world related to community practice. The general focus on practical field-based challenges, realties and needs, supported by a wide range of research and theoretical analysis in literature rooted in many related disciplines, provides learners with a powerful framework for professional development. The CSPP approach reverses the usual academic approach that begins in theory and often never arrives at practice. The CSPP Program is oriented to practice, but stands on a strong foundation of relevant research and theory. The Program consists of forty-five (45) credit units as follows:

TOTAL 45 credits Learners will be required to select an area of special interest within the field related to the professional practice area they wish to develop. This special interest will be developed through the focus learners choose to take in their practical projects and thesis work. Learners may select any area of interest they choose as long as it entails the engagement of communities in healing, learning or change processes.

Program Director

The Director of the Masters in Applied Human and Community Development Program is Michael Bopp. Dr. Bopp received his Ph.D. from the University of alberta in Education for Development. He also holds a Masters degree in community Development and has more than fifteen years of experience in facilitating community health development processes, grassroots training, and in helping organizations to become more effective in working with communities. He has lived and worked in central Africa, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and across North America and tribal communities, inner city projects and rural development processes. He is the author of many books and manuals related to community practice, including Recreating the World: A Practical Guide to Building Sustainable Communities. He has extensive experience in training professionals to work with communities in contexts related to such areas as community health promotion, community addictions, prevention and intervention in physical and sexual abuse, post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction, tribal people's development, youth development and community development program evaluation.

The Fresno Campus of CSPP

The Masters of Applied Human and Community Development Program is based at the Fresno campus of the California School of Professional Psychology. Although the Program is also offered at various regional locations, the Fresno Campus provides student distance education and support services, library services and a home base for faculty and administrators.

Admissions Information

Learners are selected for the masters in Applied Human and Community Development Program based on their demonstrated ability to become leaders in the field of development practice. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in a related field and have at least two years of field experience working with communities.

Factors evaluated for admissions include:

CSPP selects the most highly qualified applicants from those who meet the school's basic requirements. CSPP does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, gender or gender identification, sexual orientation, or disability in admission in or access to programs or activities. Admissions application material may be obtained from:

CSPP-Fresno or CSPP-Systemwide Admission

5130 E. Clinton Way 2749 Hyde Street

Fresno, CA 93727 San Francisco, CA 94109

Tele: 209-456-2777 Tele: 800-457-1273

You may request a CSPP catalog for more information about policies and procedures.

Expenses and Financial Aid

Tuition for full-time students entering in 1998 is $18,000 for the two-year program or $9,000 per year. Financial aid is awarded independently of the admissions process and is available to full-time students who are United States citizens or permanent residents showing financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA. Financial aid awards are made in relation to the needs of other students on the campus. CSPP scholarships, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Family Educational Loans are available to students. Detailed financial aid information is sent with admissions information.

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