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Community Leadership Frequently Asked Questions

What is Community Leadership?
What are Some of the Main Features and Benefits of the MSCL Degree?
What Experience Do Students Typically Bring to the Program?
For Whom is the Program Designed?
Why Would I Want to Enroll in This Degree Program?
How Long Will it Take to Complete This Degree?
What Is the Difference Between the MSCL and a Degree in Public Policy?
Am I Required to Take the GRE for Admission to the MSCL Program?

 

What is Community Leadership?

We believe people - by bringing forth the best that is within themselves and by working together with committed others - can make a difference, leave a legacy and change the world. Through ingenuity, perseverance, good will, and collaboration they can create neighborhoods, organizations, and environments that improve the quality of life for themselves and others. Healthy communities require a vibrant blend of good governance, an involved and informed citizenry, and the ongoing development of a multitude of local resources. Community leadership is the intangible asset that combines these and other ingredients in creative and effective ways - to design and enact a desirable, sustainable future.

What are Some of the Main Features and Benefits of the MSCL Degree?

  • Courses are offered on alternating Saturdays and online: You can obtain the degree while still maintaining your career and other responsibilities.
  • You will work and learn from colleagues in your courses and develop a network of like-minded professionals.
  • The degree provides students with skills that can be used immediately in today's organizations: effective communication, working in teams, and critical thinking are just some of the skills MSCL students develop and refine.

How Can I Apply These Skills in My Professional Career?

The MSCL is a new program that enables you to become an effective community leader. This program teaches important perspectives and skills that can be readily applied both professionally and personally. Skills emphasized include:

  • decision-making from leadership, ethical and analytical perspectives
  • leveraging the use of internal and external resources, both to deliver increased services and build organizational capacity
  • integrating knowledge, skills, theory and practice in a community leadership setting
  • creating coalitions and partnerships at the local and regional levels
  • using program and needs assessment techniques to inform decisions about creating, re-designing, improving and/or eliminating programs

What Experience Do Students Typically Bring to the Program?

The degree has wide-ranging appeal and application for people seeking to enhance their community leadership skills. Some of our current graduate leadership students' professions include nonprofit executive director, chief operating officer, interfaith program coordinator, senate research analyst, air force instructor, rabbi, economic development consultant, CEO, and refugee resettlement coordinator.

For Whom is the Program Designed?

Community leadership skills are important to a wide range of professionals, including those in social services, municipal and county government, nonprofits, local and regional chambers of commerce, economic development and religious organizations. Foundation program officers, law enforcement and military leaders, corporate community relations and environmental stewardship officers are also some of the professions that can benefit from this degree. The MSCL also provides an opportunity for those who aspire to transition into a community leadership role.

This degree also attracts a number of individuals who work or aspire to obtain a position in humane leadership or education. These students work in an animal shelter environment or as animal control officers.

Why Would I Want to Enroll in This Degree Program?

Because you:

  • are a community leader, or hope to become a community leader
  • recognize the need for renewed focus on leadership that is collaborative in the face of diverse constituencies
  • are committed to positive and ethical social change.

How Long Will it Take to Complete This Degree?

If you take two courses for the fall, spring and summer semesters, the degree can be completed in two years.

What Is the Difference Between the MSCL and a Degree in Public Policy?

A degree in public policy focuses on providing students with the necessary theoretical background, research and quantitative skills to analyze public policy and to make appropriate recommendations for change. Graduates with a public policy degree understand how to assess, develop and promote governmental policies and initiatives that enable groups of stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit communities to flourish and to better attain their goals.

A degree in community leadership focuses on enabling leaders of community-based organizations to enhance their impact within the community. Graduates of the degree create positive community change and enhance the overall societal impact of their individual organizations.

Am I Required to Take the GRE for Admission to the MSCL Program?

The GRE is not required. The requirements for admission to the MSCL degree are an application, an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, a minimum of two years of professional experience, a 500-word statement describing your academic and professional goals and an interview (via phone for online program applicants) with an academic advisor.