2009-2010 Master of Arts in Community Leadership (MACL)
Program Director, Peggy Cain
This program prepares graduates for leadership positions in a variety of community organizations and settings. It prepares them to develop deeper relationships with community members, organize grassroots efforts and dialogue, lead and manage non-profit organizations, social service and community outreach programs, advocate in public policy arenas, and communicate with and teach relevant audiences.
Students will be prepared to work in settings such as: non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, community organizing and outreach, government public affairs departments, social service agencies, public education outreach, environmental organizations, public health, economic development, corporate foundations, philanthropy, arts organizations, religious communities, ethnic affairs programs, elected offices, and community planning.
Democracy is strongest when informed citizens participate actively in decision-making in their communities. This program aims to strengthen and improve the work of many types of community groups working to help people meet their basic needs, inform citizens on issues, and involve people in decision-making through advocacy efforts and community organizing.
The program structure models the collaborative philosophy that undergirds the program. The program is cross-disciplinary, incorporating faculty from the School of Education, the Gore School of Business, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, as well as the Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for the Environment, and the Center for Diversity. The program also integrates the expertise of members of the community through an advisory board, class placements with community organizations, guest speakers, and team teaching with local experts.
Classes in the program build on the life and work experience that students bring to the program. Classes are highly experiential and active. Class assignments are often project-based, incorporating real-life tasks similar to those students encounter in their jobs and community settings. Some class projects will serve specific community organizations. The Capstone Project will integrate students' learning from the entire program and provide an opportunity to design an in-depth project tailored to the students' interests and professional goals that serves the needs of a particular organization or group in the community.
Graduates of the program will be equipped with specific skills and knowledge to serve the community today, as well as the ability to learn, reflect, and adapt to the rapidly-changing contexts in which they will be working.
The program content is organized within the following program standards:
Program content is organized into core classes, elective classes, and a capstone project or internship. The core has three parts: community organizing and advocacy, leadership and management, and communications. Students may complete the 20–21-hour core and receive a Certificate in Community Leadership. For those wishing to pursue the Master of Arts, elective options enable students to specialize in one of three areas or to choose a mixture of courses. The capstone experience integrates knowledge and skills students have learned throughout the program and enables students to apply that knowledge and skill in an individualized way to serve a community organization.
See the Admission to the College section for admission requirements.
Students must complete the 20–21-hour core to receive the Certificate in Community Leadership. A minimum of 35 credit hours is required for graduation with the Master of Arts degree. A maximum of nine credit hours of graduate-level transcripted credit may be accepted from another accredited college or university. The accepted coursework must fall within the guidelines of Westminster's Graduate Programs.
Although a minimum of 35 credit hours is required, students may desire, or need to complete, additional hours to enhance their graduate degree. Planning this graduate degree program is the responsibility of students in collaboration with their advisors.
Retention in the Program
The student must:
See the Grading and Academic Standards section for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.
Appeals for Readmission
See the Grading and Academic Standards section for information on appeals for readmission.
Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar's Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.
To be eligible for a master's degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:
Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.
The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the student.