Frequently Asked Questions

Will Week 1 of the November 2020 cohort be held online?

Yes. The November 2 – 5, 2020 AEDL session will be held online via virtual Zoom sessions but follow the curriculum as it was originally scheduled. The second week is scheduled to be in-person on The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, MS, pending nationwide travel restrictions. 

Has the AEDL curriculum changed due to COVID-19?

The core content has not changed; however, selected topics within the content reflect current events. We’ve added some specific sessions as a result of the virus’s impact on economic development, and every faculty member is tweaking their subject to reflect these turbulent times. For instance and based on class input, we’ve added sessions on capital campaigns and coping with pandemic recovery planning.

Is there a credential or designation associated with the program?

Graduates earn the designation of an Economic Development Master Practitioner (EDMP). For example, John Doe, EDMP, would become a person’s new title. The four partner universities sign the certificate of completion and present it during a graduation ceremony.

Why should I consider taking this advanced course?

AEDL has assembled world-class faculty that engages the participants in topics that are extremely relevant today. (remove reference to uncertain times). Participants will gain knowledge through case studies and benchmarking best practices. They will have the opportunity to engage others in the field.

Do I qualify for this advanced professional development?

The Advanced program limits participation to mid and senior-level economic development professionals with at least five years’ full-time experience.  Almost every previous participant has had a basic certificate, and more than half have their CEcD designation. Participants include state commerce directors, rural and urban practitioners, utility economic developers, and site selection consultants, among others.

Do you limit the number of participants?

Yes, we’ve learned from participant feedback that the ideal number of participants for experiential learning is about 40-45.  This allows for teamwork, debate, and interaction among the class members.

On your website you talk about teamwork and debates. How does that work?

The foundation of the program has been experiential, hands-on learning, so we divide the class into teams for debate, discussions, and teamwork assignments.  Throughout the two-weeks, we rotate participants to provide different and varied interactions.  The program goal is minimal lectures with a heavy emphasis on interaction.

Are there specific sessions for rural America?

Yes, we have embedded peer-to-peer break-out sessions for urban and rural professionals to discuss the unique challenges of each.