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Community Leadership Course Descriptions

MSCL 502 - Interagency Collaboration

In a world of limited resources, an important key to maximizing effectiveness is cooperation and collaboration with other agencies.  In this course, students will learn techniques for stakeholder analysis and influence mapping and will study how coalitions and partnerships at the local and regional levels are formed and maintained.  They will be sensitized to various uses of power at the community level, practice key communication skills, and learn techniques for building consensus.  Case studies of joint ventures between and among nonprofit, government agencies, and for-profit corporations will be explored.

MSCL 504 - Organizational Design and Development

Students learn relevant concepts of organizational design and development as well as the behavior of individuals, groups and the organization throughout the stages of the organizational life cycle and in various contexts including the for profit, nonprofit and community/government sectors.  By adopting the perspective that the essential work leaders do is design (and co-design with others) preferred futures, students will study organizational principles that have been used to make community organizations more efficient, effective and sustainable.  Current topics include visioning, strategic planning and management, organizational structure and function, systems thinking, program development and evaluation, talent deployment, and facilitating change.

MSCL 507 - Leadership, Community and Change

The core of leadership is the ability to understand one’s context in a changing world and to act purposefully.  This course explores community as a primary cultural, social, political, and economic context.  As such, leading in and for community inevitably compels one to reconcile and balance multiple tensions, e.g., the individual vs. common good, pragmatism vs. idealism, local community vs. the larger society.  Questions addressed in this course include:  What is community, and what kinds of leadership are necessary for healthy communities?  How can communities succeed in adapting to global forces of change?  What role can businesses and government play in sustaining community? And, what can one person do to make a difference?

MSCL 509 - Catalyzing Community Change

Lasting community impact doesn’t happen spontaneously; it is the direct result of focused efforts of engaged members to build brighter futures for their community.  This course challenges each student to choose an aspect of community to impact, and to create and begin implementing an actual community engagement strategy. Readings and discussions focus on effective tools and strategies for creating lasting change, including the leader’s role as a catalyst and convener.  Throughout the course, the instructor and students work as a “learning community” and jointly support each student’s learning process and work toward new community outcomes.

MSCL 513 - Governing for Community and Organizational Leadership

Nonprofit governance is more than monitoring bank accounts and approving policies. It is a significant leadership responsibility. Nonprofit boards define and protect organizational vision, mission and values and ensure organizational capacity and sustainability. Also critical is the community leadership responsibility that the role carries, spanning boundaries and reaching out to stakeholders. Students in this course will explore a vision of nonprofit governance as true community leadership. They will develop deep knowledge of aspects of that vision, and create online resources that contribute to a broader global conversation of what governance can and should be.