About the Program


  • THE degree for leading community change.
  • Prepares emerging and current leaders for executive leadership and service in the nonprofit and civic sectors.
  • Distinct from a MBA and a MPA in that the issues this degree focuses on are unique to the nonprofit and civic sectors, such as fundraising, grant writing, board leadership, issues management, social media and advocacy.
  • Curriculum consists of 30 total credit hours, in 10 courses. Two courses are electives that can be chosen to fit your individual needs.
  • Courses are offered in a mix of 8 and 16 week sessions.
  • Most courses are offered online (asynchronous), but there are a few courses that provide both in-class, seated (evening) instruction as well as live, online synchronous instruction. Campus visits are not required.
  • Housed within the Department of Communication, student have access to electives offered for the MA in Communication degree.

Student Experience

  • Courses are timely and relevant, giving students knowledge and resources that are immediately applicable to their work.
  • Participate in current research, leading to presentation at conferences and publication.
  • Explore both theory and practical management of community betterment groups. Engage in real-world projects, working directly with organizations and groups in the community.
  • Community partnerships have included Foundations at the Fairbanks, Child Advocacy Center, Springfield City Council, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, United Way of the Ozarks, Council of Churches of the Ozarks, and many more.
  • Link theoretical knowledge on best practices to lead and communicate within and about nonprofit and civic organizations.
  • Access to an international immersion experience, studying NGOs and nonprofits in different cultures.
  • Class sizes are small allowing faculty members to get to know students on a first name basis and provide personalized attention to each student.
  • Student-designed capstone projects allow students to tailor the degree to their professional interests in the nonprofit field over two semesters.

MNCL Alumni

  • MNCL graduates develop strong professional ties with their cohort peers, leading to a powerful network of expertise in the nonprofit leadership.
  • Partnerships provide students with an unusually high degree of public visibility and opportunities for professional advancement after graduation.

MNCL Learning Outcomes and Assessment

  • Leadership – Graduates will demonstrate understanding of theories of effective and ethical management and leadership of nonprofit and civic organizations.
  • Foundations of Sector; Governance – Graduates will articulate broad understanding of history, development and function of nonprofit and civic organizations.
  • Visioning and Planning – Graduates will demonstrate ability to identify need, analyze opportunities, articulate vision and develop appropriate strategies to collaboratively address key social issues in the Ozarks.
  • Advocacy – Graduates will demonstrate the ability to write and speak in ways that inspire internal organizational commitment and external action.
  • Resources – Graduates will demonstrate ability to select and utilize strategies needed to acquire and allocate all resources necessary to accomplish an organization’s mission.
  • Performance Measurement – Graduates will demonstrate the ability to establish and measure key performance metrics, and communicate results to stakeholders.

Assessment will be accomplished on project, course and programmatic levels. Each course will have learning objectives that tie to program outcomes, along with demonstration of the relevance of each individual learning experience to accomplishing those objectives. MNCL 701 and MNCL 702, to be taken in a student’s final two semesters, will function as an integrated capstone experience in which students will design, develop, implement and assess the effectiveness of a community-based project. Community partners will actively participate in annual assessments of current students’ and graduates’ achievement of program learning outcomes and corresponding impact on the greater community.