Beginning in the spring, Drury University will offer a new degree program at the graduate level, the Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership. Professor of Communications Dr. Charles Taylor says the new program hopes to better provide local professionals with the tools they need to perform within their field, which he says makes up a large amount of the region’s private sector.
“The nonprofit sector represents just over 50 percent of private sector employment in the Ozarks, which is dramatically higher than other cities of our size around the country,” says Taylor.
And Taylor says that among that relatively large sector there are still opportunities for improvement.
“What often is missing is perhaps that skillset in the theoretical understanding of how the non-profit sector is constituted and the various ways in which we can improve our performance in terms of actually cashing the ability to meet the mission of the non-profit,” Taylor says.
Interest in the new program is not only coming from current non-profit professionals, but incoming students.
“So we have been very gratified by the reaction we have had from the non-profit sector and also, from students who may not already be employed by the nonprofit sector but who identify that as an area in which they would like to work.”
He says that among those prospective students are many millennials, which Taylor connects to their commitment to serving the community and “leaving the world better than they found it.”
Taylor notes that the program itself could bring new organizations to the region that are looking for a more educated workforce.
“I think this positions Springfield to become, almost ground zero for nonprofit activity. Springfield could become the laboratory for effective non-profit and civic collaboration”, Dr. Taylor says.