An integral part of the mission of Emory & Henry College to educate, serve, and equip persons for effective citizenship, the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership (MCOL) provides persons involved in nonprofit, for-profit organizations, governmental bodies, public agencies, and other areas of civic leadership the skills and tools necessary for proactive leadership focused on building strong communities.
The MCOL grows from a definition of leadership as a relational process, requiring rigorous interdisciplinary understanding and an awareness of the critical importance of the differences that exist within communities and organizations.
The MCOL is designed for professionals at work in for-profit, nonprofit, faith-based, government agencies and organizations, and as elected representatives, as well as those who wish to undertake civic work in the future, who desire to improve their skills at civic leadership. Persons considering a change of careers, or who are retired and would like to continue to increase the skills they bring to their community work, would also find the MCOL of interest. This program provides concepts and methods for effective and sustained community leadership to elected officials, civil servants, and persons engaged in a range of community agencies and organizations either as full-time staff or as volunteers.
The MCOL is founded on two guiding principles that shape the College's work with and for the people and places of Southwest Virginia. The first principle is every person has the gifts and talents, the vision and the abilities to make a difference in their community and the lives of their neighbors. The second is every place has the potential to be a safe, healthy, and good place for all of its citizens. The College is committed to enact these principles in all that it does in partnerships throughout Southwest Virginia and internationally.
Courses focus on understanding the various characteristics of organizations and community and approaches to leadership appropriate for each, strategic planning, organizational management, working with elected officials and government bodies, managing human resources, and understanding and advocating for public policy. Students select one of two focus areas for study, with appropriate courses in each, either nonprofit leadership or healthcare leadership. There will be a heavy practical component to all courses, encouraging students to apply classroom teaching and discussion to situations in their workplace or community organization which they are associated.
Faculty teaching these courses all have a wealth of practical experience in a range of communities and leadership positions. Professors bring their experience teaching advanced study, as well as their perspective on real-world issues and questions. A great deal of one-on-one teaching and collaborative work with students is ensured.
Objectives: To equip early and mid-career professionals with the skills necessary for them to be more effective leaders within communities and organizations; to offer an interdisciplinary approach to questions and issues of leadership and community development in both the public and private sectors, for proactive leadership focused on building communities.
All courses offerings for the MCOL are offered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, located in Abingdon neighboring Virginia Highlands Community College. With its extensive technological resources, central location, and easy accessibility, the Higher Education Center will enhance participant’s learning experience. As students enrolled in Emory & Henry College, MCOL participants will have access to all of the facilities and resources of Emory & Henry College.
Required Courses: Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership (M. A. COL) with focus on Nonprofit Leadership: MCOL 501, 502, 503, 512, 515, 518, 510 or 520, 530, 532, 535, 600
Required Courses: Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership (M.A. COL) with focus on Health Care Policy and Advocacy: MCOL 501, 502, 503, 512, 515, 518, 510 or 520, 540, 542, 545, 600
MCOL 501 Organizational Leadership
Introduction to issues and questions of organizational leadership, differences between management and leadership; development of students’ personal vision of leadership.
MCOL 502, Budgeting and Finance Management for Community Organizations Introduction and overview of processes of fiscal leadership for community organizations, Questions of public finance and reporting.
MCOL 503 Foundations of Organizational & Social LearningUnderstandings and skills required to create resilient futures for institutions and localities through practices of organizational learning and action. Design, management and evaluation as dynamic processes. Students assess their own visions of a shared future and articulate how their leadership practice serves civic and public aims. Three areas of mastery necessary for learning organizations and communities: learning to see larger systems, collaborating across boundaries, shifting from a reactive mode to a proactive mode
MCOL 510 Human Resources Leadership
Best practices in the recruitment, training, appraisal, and retention of human resources within sustainable and diverse organizations. Provides an understanding of employment law related to human resources; examines ways leaders can build effective interpersonal relationships within organizations.
MCOL 521 Leadership for Philanthropy
Leadership skills for developing philanthropic resources for communities and organizations. Effective identification, recruitment, and retention of donors, funding foundations, and volunteers. Planning, implementing, and supervising a range of fund development strategies.
MCOL 515 Ethical and Legal Issues in Leadership
Processes of ethical decision-making, balancing individual needs and goals with those of the community or organization. Legal ramifications of organizational questions and issues. Community leadership as a relational process, making decisions that convey respect for people and places.
MCOL 518 Strategic Planning and Evaluation
Strategic planning in communities and social sector organizations. Methods for effective evaluation, connecting strategic planning and evaluation with sustainability and capacity building of organizations, and with community health and vitality.
MCOL 520 Public Policy, Advocacy, and Collaboration
Building and transforming organizations focused on sustainable communities. Diagnosing community needs and assets, helping the community to determine priorities, prescribing mutually agreed upon solutions and responses to diagnosed needs. Working with elected officials and appointed civil servants, reporting to and communication with public officials.
MCOL 530 Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations
Developing by-laws and applying for incorporation as a nonprofit organization, tax codes and state and federal policies governing nonprofit organizations. Approaches to governance, the responsibilities of boards of directors, the development of effective boards of directors, and the relationship between program staff, executive leadership, and governing boards. Integrating an organization’s mission and values into all aspects of programming and fund development.
MCOL 532 Capacity Building for Effective Nonprofits
Links organizational capacity and community capacity. Principles and processes of expanding the capacities of individuals and organizations for community leadership. Resource allocation and development, volunteer engagement and utilization. Increasing an organization’s preparedness to plan, implementing a collaborative, integrated decision-making structure.
MCOL 535 Communications for Effective Leadership
Public and internal communication skills and strategies to enhance and strengthen communities and social sector organizations. Communication with boards of directors, executive leadership, professional staff, volunteers, and external constituencies. Communicating in situations of conflict, negotiation skills, and means of maintaining effective communication lines under difficult circumstances. Various models of effective public relations strategies, community relations, and media relationships.
MCOL 540 Introduction to the United States Healthcare System
Organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare in the United States, contrasting private and public sectors, the effects of market competition and government regulation on healthcare policy and delivery. Ways medical providers are paid and major issues currently facing physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry.
MCOL 542 Financing and Delivery of Health Services for Vulnerable Populations
Public policy issues associated with the organization, financing, and delivery of health services to vulnerable populations and safety net providers. Competitive market forces, financing, organizational subsidies, population factors, and federal, state, and local policies regarding health services.
MCOL 545 Leadership for Health Services Organizations
Leadership development, human resources management, approaches to process improvement, and negotiating change in health services organizations. Case studies of application of concepts to improving productivity and health outcomes in hospitals, primary care organizations, and integrated delivery systems.
MCOL 600 Capstone Seminar
Integrates the intellectual insights, civic tools, leadership skills, and understandings acquired through the Master’s curriculum. Provides the organizational partner with a tangible product that expands its programming, increases organizational efficiency, or extends its mission. Public presentation of learning, with a paper and portfolio documenting the work accomplished throughout the MA, integrating major themes, ideas, and insights of the course of study. Copies of the report and portfolio will be on deposit at Emory & Henry College’s Institute for Sustainable Communities and Kelly Library. 6 Semester Hours
Requirements for Admission
Admission to the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership degree program requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and 3.0 in the major; completion of the Graduate Record Examination; submission of an essay in response to the prompt provided; and review by the admissions committee. In cases of individuals with exceptional promise or leaders with a remarkable record of achievement, the admissions committee may modify the GPA requirement. Prospective graduate students are required to provide three recommendations from individuals familiar with their work, and submit a completed application for graduate admission.