SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension has developed an innovative online program with the focus on building better leaders.
“Leadership Online For Today” is an interactive program that allows participants to improve communication skills, build relationships and networks, and develop a collaborative project to benefit a community or organization.
Leadership Online For Today includes 11 sessions. Each session will have a specific focus and be accessed online. The first cohort begins Monday, Feb. 6.
Strengths of the curriculum include convenience and flexibility to help meet the scheduling and learning needs of millennials. Although this class is online, participants build trust and develop a sense of community with other participants and the leadership coach as they interact online.
Experienced leadership coaches will guide the learning in each class by posing questions and helping members make progress toward goals. The leadership coach for the class starting Feb. 6 will be David Burton, civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
The program targets the millennial generation but anyone is able to apply for the program. Registration information is online at http://extension.missouri.edu/leadership/home.aspx.
There is a $225 registration fee and, once the program is completed, participants will receive a certificate of completion and 1.1 continuing education units.
DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAM
“MU Extension wanted to create something that was appealing to a younger audience that was innovative, research-based and incorporated the use of technology,” said Rebecca Mott, research assistant with MU Extension. “Leadership Online For Today has been designed with flexibility in mind for both participants and leadership coaches.”
The program was created by Mott; Johanna Reed-Adams, community leadership development state specialist with MU Extension; Connie Mefford, a community development specialist with MU Extension; and Georgia Stuart-Simmons, interim project manager with MU Extension.
Reed-Adams said the program has been in development for 18 months. MU faculty brainstormed leadership topics and those topics were taken to millennials for feedback and suggestions. Extension leaders talked with focus groups comprised of students, Missouri 4-H members, Missouri FFA members and young professionals – all of who were in leadership positions.
“During these groups, participants were asked to draw on their own personal experiences to help guide the design of the delivery methods and specific needs the leadership curriculum should address,” Mefford said. “The curriculum team then met with various groups on the University of Missouri campus in order to learn more about leadership theories, as well as training that is currently being conducted.”
Participants will have the ability to work at their convenience within the week’s timeframe.
“This innovative online program allows participants to develop leadership skills at their own convenience. The program provides a unique experience for participants that will help prepare them for other leadership opportunities within the community,” said Mott.
Information can be found on the Leadership Online For Today Facebook page.
For more information about the program, contact Johanna Reed Adams, at LO@missouri.edu.
— David Burton, University of Missouri Extension
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