“Participants can learn to lead with courage,” said Shelley Koch, director of the Masters of Community and Organizational Leadership (MCOL) program at Emory & Henry College.
The program, which graduated its first cohort in May 2011, is designed to benefit not only individuals but also the organizations they work for, and ultimately the community, in raising the bar for leadership in Southwest Virginia and beyond.
The program grew out of conversations with community members about what was needed in terms of educational opportunities for people in our region.
“As most of our students are also full-time professionals, we have organized the MCOL program to provide a balance between school, work and family,” said Koch. Classes meet one night each week and one weekend each month for 21 months. During the 12 courses, students learn practical skills and concepts from experienced faculty members, including budgeting, human resource development, strategic planning, philanthropy, communications and organizational learning. The final project is a 240-hour practicum designed in part by the students.
Enrollment for fall 2012 is underway. Information on the program and an application can be found here or by calling Shelley Koch at (276) 944-6195.
“Emory & Henry strives to make this program an affordable option for students,” said Koch. “Federal student aid is available through loans.”
Cindy Rockett, executive director of Crossroads Medical Mission, shares her thoughts about the MCOL program as she nears the completion of her first year in the program.
I’m poised to turn my calendar to May and am amazed that the first year of my Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership (MCOL) classes are drawing to a close. Attending college as a non-traditional-student is not a foreign concept to me. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management twenty years after I completed high school. And I shudder to think how many more years it has taken me to take the leap toward a graduate degree. But, I never gave up!
I often hear fellow students say, “I’m not sure where I want my career path to take me.” For most of us, I believe, our careers are paths filled with zigs and zags and bumps and gullies we never could have anticipated. This unexpected nature of the journey keeps life exciting.
My career has encompassed a wide array of positions that range from working with an enormous Fortune 100 Company to being an independent contractor as a real estate agent. I worked for many years as the director of programs at my church, and now I am working in a perfect-fit job as Executive Director of Crossroads Medical Mission, a mobile medical clinic that brings medical care at no charge to individuals in need throughout Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
I’ve explored a variety of graduate-level programs and was drawn to the MCOL program the moment I read the description. I feel as if Emory & Henry has taken my job description and cranked it up a notch. This is an opportunity to hone my current skills, to learn leadership theory, and to further develop my leadership skills in a cohort setting. I know that I will grow through sharing the experiences of others, especially in a program that seems as if it was designed with me in mind.
My journey has taught me a number of things about myself. I know that I need to be involved in my community and that I enjoy being involved in organizations that help others. I know that I need to seek opportunities to learn, and that I learn best in person-to-person interaction and not nearly as well communicating electronically. Through the MCOL program, I better understand my leadership style and the leadership style of others. I better understand that involvement in my community helps to strengthen the community. I know that my involvement in the MCOL program will benefit Crossroads Medical Mission and will enable me to lead more effectively and more creatively.
I believe I am ready to turn the calendar page as I look forward to continuing this journey. I especially look forward to continuing the journey with my new-found friends in the second cohort of E&H’s Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership.
~ Cindy Rockett
Executive Director, Crossroads Medical Mission