Faculty of Education first in Ontario to launch master’s program in leadership and community engagement

The first cohort of students enrolled in the Master of Leadership & Community Engagement (MLCE) program in York’s Faculty of Education gathered on campus on May 6 for an orientation, and to participate in their first courses.

Eleven students attended their first two blended courses, Critical Issues in Leadership & Community Engagement and Engaging Research in Professional Practice.

The MLCE degree program, the first of its kind in Ontario, is a professional master’s degree offered by the Graduate Program in Education that prepares graduates to advance in leadership roles in public sector organizations and communities, with a focus on community engagement and innovation.

The program is designed for candidates who are working in a wide range of contexts, including educational settings, community organizations and other public sector areas, such as health care, child and youth services, libraries, arts and culture institutions, and recreational programs.

“I decided to take the MLCE program because, as an academic adviser at York U, I want to be able to learn about and develop strategies to increase student retention and engagement with students from the immediate York community,” said April, a student in the program. “I believe that the MLCE will provide me with the knowledge and skills to do this.”

A central component of the program is experiential learning, as students will participate in two community placements. These placements provide participants with arenas in which to reflect, consolidate, integrate, synthesize and deepen their understandings of their future roles as leaders in their various professions.

“The MLCE will give students in-depth understandings of leadership, community and engagement while enhancing their research capacity,” said Sue Winton, associate dean of Research & Community in the Faculty of Education. “The program was designed for public sector professionals who are interested in developing their professional skills and knowledge to leverage community-based research and practice for social change. We want to equip students with what they need to advance in their careers and to improve their communities.”

For more information about the Master of Leadership & Community Engagement program, visit the Faculty of Education website at edu.yorku.ca.