Top 5 Reasons to earn your Master’s in Human Services at
Springfield College’s Executive Master’s Program
“As far as I’m concerned, Springfield College is the pedigree.” Jack Lund, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater New York
1. Designed for YMCA leaders
Beginning with the first Executive Master’s Program cohort in 2004, more than 100 of the YMCA’s most influential executives today earned their Master’s Degrees in Human Services, with a concentration in Organizational Management and Leadership, in Springfield College’s Executive Master’s Program (EMP).
When you become a student in the EMP program, you join an elite group of inspired leaders who are the movers and shakers in the YMCA movement.
Class groups are comprised of 15 to 20 YMCA executives, each with a minimum of eight years of senior management experience. You will quickly discover that you are all grappling with similar challenges while leading your organizations toward creating change. The camaraderie and collaborative learning you experience within your cohort will help you with the issues you are experiencing now, and far into the future.
Springfield College’s partnership with the YMCA began with the College’s founding in 1885. First as the School for Christian Workers, then as the International YMCA Training School, Springfield College has trained several hundred YMCA leaders, volunteers, and executives.
With that partnership comes a shared history built upon the development of the individual’s spirit, mind, and body. This is at the core of our mission too.
2. Extraordinary faculty in YMCA higher education
The Executive Master’s Program demonstrates its deep understanding of the YMCA with the hiring of the extraordinary faculty, selected for their expertise in leading YMCAs and other nonprofits with creative leadership. The instructors are proven leaders who bring not just the theoretical, but the practical sense of leadership. Several are heavy hitters in the YMCA Movement who claim they learn as much from the EMP students, as the students do from them.
“They get the YMCA. They get YMCA professionals. They know what we need. For YMCA professionals, this is the only place to be.” – Frank Kenneally, Executive Director, Merrimack Valley YMCA
3. Real Results for your YMCA community
The Graduate Research Project is the cornerstone of the Executive Master’s Program and runs the entire length of the 18-month program. For the research project, each student identifies a need, conducts research, and develops an intervention or program to address the need. It is a chance for you to link your academic work with practical applications to your YMCA, and provides you with the opportunity to focus on a topic of interest to you.
YMCAs realize that when they encourage and support their executives in the Executive Master's Program, they are supporting the work their executives will accomplish for their associations and often the greater YMCA movement. For example:Renata Ferreri da Silva,
the director of strengthening for YMCA of the USA, focused her research on the stark contrast between the successful fundraising by Y associations across North America, and the woefully undeveloped fundraising capacity by YMCAs in the 115 countries outside of North America. Renata master's project findings will be critical to increasing philanthropic capacity for YMCAs globally.
Kyle Barber, CEO of the YMCA Northumberland in Canada, enrolled in the program with an interest in the harmonized policy being developed by the national Canadian YMCA. His master's project research will ultimately ensure YMCA Canada a stronger national presence, while fortifying the relevance of local YMCAs.
And thanks to the master's project of Sharon Johnson
, Executive Director of Wisconsin's Heart of the Valley YMCA, YUSA is establishing a Preschool Gymnastics Curriculum and Training Task Force to begin the creation of a new preschool gymnastics programs for the YMCA movement
To learn about the master's projects of these and other Executive Master's Program students, click here.
4. A schedule that works for working YMCA executives
The Executive Master’s Program follows an innovative schedule that recognizes work, community, and family responsibilities of its students and makes it possible for them to complete a master’s degree in 18 months.
Students come together for four residencies over an 18-month period, each an intensive immersion in classes, discussion, and project planning. Learning continues between residences through individual research and online learning.
For a look at a sample schedule and EMP courses, please visit here.
“I couldn’t picture myself doing the every-weekend thing, or one weekend a month. It was easier for me to squeeze two weeks in---know that I was going to be gone, get everything done. When I got home, I could do my assignments on my time.”
5. Generous tuition subsidies
When YMCAs provide an Executive Master’s Program student with financial assistance toward tuition, Springfield College will match that tuition assistance up to $5,000 per academic year, per branch of an association.
EMP students have also received support in the form of Mott’s Scholarships from YUSA. Please contact them directly at (800) 872-96212 for more information.
The Executive Master's Program costs $21,000 for the 18-month program (for March 2014/2015 cohort).
This cost includes tuition, textbooks, class materials, breakfast and lunch on the day of each class.
This cost does not include transportation, lodging, and evening meals. Executive Master's Program students are eligible for up to $8,000 through the YMCA of the USA John R. Mott Scholarship Foundation. Participants may also receive support from their local YMCA associations. Springfield College will match up to $5,000 of this local YMCA support.