Wheelock Tackles Nonprofit Leadership Deficit

January 10, 2012

Online Courses and a Dual Degree Program Launch at Wheelock, Expanding the College's Organizational Leadership Graduate Program

Wheelock College hopes to train the next generation of nonprofit leaders by expanding the College's innovative Organizational Leadership graduate program. Wheelock is expanding its offerings to include a full online master's degree program, set to go live in May 2012, and a dual degree Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.  This dual degree, the first of its type in the country, is currently accepting applications for the fall 2012 semester.

As Baby Boomers enter retirement age, there is a looming gap in nonprofit leadership. According to a 2006 study by the Bridgespan Group titled The Nonprofit Sector's Leadership Deficit, there will be a need for more than 300,000 senior managers in the nonprofit field by 2016. Through new organizational leadership programs, Wheelock College has dedicated resources and faculty to designing and implementing a variety of programs to develop quality, effective leadership throughout the nonprofit sector.

According to Irwin Nesoff, Associate Professor and Chair of Organizational Leadership and Policy at Wheelock College, "As a private institution with a public mission of Improving the Lives of Children and Families we knew that it was appropriate for Wheelock to address this issue and assist in strengthening those organizations, that serve children and families, by helping to train effective, transformational leaders," said Nesoff.

Wheelock launched the Organizational Leadership and Policy program in 2009, offering a Master's of Science and a post-graduate certificate in Organizational Leadership. Since launching the program, Wheelock has entered into partnerships with the United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimac Valley and with AmeriCorps to offer scholarships to employees of United Way member agencies and to AmeriCorps graduates.

A current second-year student, Kathleen Lafferty, said of her experience in the master's program, "I am growing professionally and my nonprofit agency, the South Boston Neighborhood House, is benefiting from my enrollment in the program." 

Similar to the existing Organizational Leadership program, the new online degree program and the dual degree in Social Work/Organizational Leadership program are both designed for working adults, enabling students to earn a master's degree after two years of part-time study, and the certificate in one year of part-time study. 

Nesoff, who brings to this work more than 20 years of experience in executive positions in nonprofits and government combined with a master's and doctorate in social work said, "If we are to prepare social sector organizations for challenges of the future, we must train leaders who are transformational and have a vision for what that future should look like and how to get there."

For more information on the Organizational Leadership program contact Irwin Nesoff, Associate Professor and Chair of Organizational Leadership and Policy: inesoff@wheelock.edu, 617-879-2170. To learn about the new dual degree program visit: Wheelock.edu/orgdualdegree.

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