Executive Master’s Program Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of enrolling in the Executive Master’s Program?More than 100 senior YMCA executives at the Multi-Team or Organizational Leader level have already found that the Executive Master’s Program offers a unique opportunity to transform their leadership and management skills while earning their master’s degrees. During the program all students participate in an action research project of importance to the YMCA and spend 18 months identifying a need, conducting research, and developing an intervention/program. Students are also exposed to a network of national scholars, practitioners, and executive mentoring by leading executives within the YMCA movement. And completion of the Executive Master’s Program will automatically earn a graduate 20 hours of continuing education credit required to maintain certification at the Multi-Team or Organizational Leader level.
What degree will I earn upon completion of this program?You will earn a Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Management and Leadership.
How does the Executive Master’s Program work?The program follows an innovative schedule that recognizes the work, community, and family responsibilities of its students and makes it possible to complete the degree in 18 months. The cohort comes together for four focused two-week residencies. The four residencies provide immersion in classes, discussions, and project planning, yet offer minimal disruptions to professional and personal schedules. Learning continues between the sessions through the use of Moodle, the College’s learning management platform that allows ongoing student/instructor and student/student interaction.
What is the Graduate Research Project all about?The Graduate Research Project is the cornerstone of the Executive Master’s Program. For the project, each student focuses on a topic of interest. It is also a chance to link academic work with practical applications to the YMCA. The expectation for the four- residency course is that you will complete an action research project that will in some way benefit an identified community or a YMCA association need and advance your career.
What are the dates of the next cohort residency sessions?The program will begin March 10-21, 2014, at the College’s campus in Tampa, Florida. The second residency will be September 8-19, 2014, at the College’s main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts. The locations of the third and fourth residencies are cohort-selected from any of the College’s other eight campuses across the United States.
What are the admissions criteria for this program?In addition to a signed completed application form, candidates must have their Multi-Team/Branch Leader or Organizational Leader certification. Candidates must also have at least 8 years of management-level experience along with a bachelor’s degree reflecting a 2.5 GPA or better for their undergraduate studies. All college transcripts, a written personal statement, a current job description, a letter of reference, résumé, and letter of sponsorship from the CEO or board chair are also reviewed as a part of the admissions process.
What is the deadline for admissions into Cohort IX?All required information must be received by Springfield College by October 31, 2013. Please note that incomplete applications cannot be reviewed.
How will participants be selected from the pool of applicants?Applications are reviewed by an Admissions Committee made up of both Springfield College Admissions personnel and YMCA of the USA’s Training and Leadership Development team members. Admission into the program is made according to the criteria listed on the application. Applicants will be notified of the decision of the Admissions Committee by November 30, 2013, by an official letter from Springfield College.
What is the cost of this program?The cost of the program is $21,000. This amount covers tuition, textbooks and materials, and breakfasts and lunches on the day of each class. Transportation, lodging, and evening meals are paid for by the participant. You will be eligible for up to $8,000 through the YMCA of the USA Mott Scholarship Fund. Many of the current participants have also received support from their local YMCA associations.
If I receive Mott scholarship money, when will I receive it?The John R. Mott Scholarship monies will be paid directly to Springfield College. The College applies one-quarter of the monies per residency after attendance has been verified.
Is there additional scholarship assistance available through Springfield College?Springfield College offers the YMCA Matching Scholarship, in which the College will match tuition assistance from a local YMCA up to $5,000 per academic year per branch of an association. In addition, you may apply for federal student loans through Springfield College.
How is room and board handled with this program?During each of the two-week sessions, you will be responsible for hotel and lodging expenses as well as your evening meals. Breakfasts and lunches on class days are included in the cost for the program. Springfield College will make recommendations for hotels that are convenient and affordable.
What kind of reading and writing assignments will be included in the coursework for this program?Since the residency sessions are relatively short, you will be responsible for completing pre-assignments before each residency begins. In this way, you are prepared to contribute fully to the class discussions. Between residencies, you will also be expected to complete reading, research, and written assignments, some of which may involve utilizing the College’s learning management system that provides a virtual classroom experience.
What kind of support will I receive during this program?Springfield College provides the cohort with a Resource Specialist who is available throughout the program to support the academic needs of the students. This assistance includes writing and research support. Students are encouraged to select a YMCA mentor to work with during the program. If students need help identifying a mentor, alumni of the Executive Master’s Program are available. Your cohort will be an additional source of support.
How can I find out more about the Executive Master’s Program and have my questions answered?
Check out the School of Human Services’ website at springfieldcollege.edu/shsexecutive, or contact:
Angelina Garcia, Coordinator of the Executive Master’s Program
School of Human Services
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109
Kristin Bretzer, Training and Leadership Development
YMCA of the USA
101 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(800) 872-9622 ext. 8664
David Rudder, Associate Dean, School of Human Services
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109