Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities

Course Descriptions


LAS 508: Leadership for Sustainable Communities (3 credits)

This team-taught course introduces students to both concepts of leadership and sustainable communities and provides opportunities for them to interface with community leaders in the promotion of awareness of community needs. Potential needs are many and varied, but can be broadly categorized as three areas of concentration: cultural, environmental, and economic. This course should be taken as early as possible in every MALS student’s schedule.


LAS 512: Poverty in America (3 credits)

Explores the causes and characteristics of poverty in America, as a failure of the community to be sustainable as to two pillars, equity and economy. With widening income gaps globally and in the US this course is central to an understanding of leadership for community sustainability.


LAS 514: Economics, Sustainability and Risk (3 credits)

Economic analysis can be used to promote sustainability as well as critique it as “too expensive”. This course explores basic macro and microeconomic theory as applied to sustainable community development, modern analytical  tools such as costs-benefits analysis and triple bottom line management, the role of risk analysis and risk shifting, as well as the ethical problems of becoming a market society not just a market economy.


LAS 516: Leadership in Literature (3 credits)

Much can be learned from historical leaders and from the leadership models found in literature. This course explores the characteristics, societal context and ethics of leaders presented in literature.


LAS 518: Management in the Non-Profit Sector (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide future leaders of nonprofit organizations a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding management and administration in the not-for-profit sector.  Both theoretical and practical discussions on nonprofit finance, leadership, board and staff governance, volunteer management, public relations, entrepreneurship, risk management  and program development are include. Presentations and field work with local nonprofit organizations will be included.  Approved as MBA elective.


LAS 521: Grantwriting (3 Credits)

Grantwriting is an essential part of community sustainability, particularly in the non-profit and governmental sectors. The essentials of writing effectively for grant applications are covered in a practical manner requiring the students to draft grant applications in response to real world grant offers.  Writing techniques are also transferable to other aspects of development and fund raising.


LAS 537: Introduction to Research Methods (3 credits)

This course provides a foundation in the investigative methods of the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. (Students can substitute MBA 600: Quantitative Methods; MED 518: Quantitative Methods; MED 520: Educators as Researchers) - This course should be taken as early as possible in every MALS student’s schedule.


LAS 542: Cultural Studies & Heritage Conservation (3 credits)

This course examines the multiplicity of cultures, perspectives, and experiences in America as they relate to stewardship for cultural conservation on a local, national, and global scale. Cultural heritage includes languages, artifacts and materials, places, spaces, traditions, rituals, and anything significant enough for individuals to consider its management, preservation, and accessibility.


LAS 555: Policy & Policy Analysis (3 credits)

This course investigates the political and ideological factors of policy development, implementation and evaluation. Topics include institutional and political influences, social benefits and costs, intended versus unintended consequences, and other issues.


LAS 590: Special Topics (3 credits)

Applicable courses of special interest may be offered on a semester-by-semester basis.


LAS 603: Culture, Ecology, & Religion (3 credits)

This course explores various religious perspectives on the meaning and value of the natural world and the relationship of human beings to nature. A consideration of the connection between the natural and the sacred in selected traditions such as Native-American religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaeo-Christian traditions, eco-feminism, and deep ecology.


LAS 612: Conflict Resolution (3 credits)

All communities experience conflict, and leaders must know how to manage, understand and resolve conflict.  This course presents the many tools and processes our communities use for conflict resolution, from litigation, to alternative dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation or facilitated discussion.  Course includes roleplaying of case studies and realistic scenarios to provide tools and confidence to emerging leaders in their ability to deal positively with conflict in the community, whether in the workplace, schools or neighborhood.


LAS 613: Social Justice & Ethics (3 credits)

This course explores legal, political, sociological, and ethical perspectives of justice and social change. Topics include class, gender, race, and other differences as they relate to equality, power, privilege, social stratification, etc. 


LAS 620: Cross-Cultural Conflicts in our Communities (3 credits)

This course examines the cultural, social, economic, and political forces that underlie conflicts in our communities. Exploring the impact of gender, racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity serves as a starting point for mediating these conflicts. Topics such as violence, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and discrimination are discussed. Strategies for improving relationships and developing partnerships with parents, citizens, and business and community leaders are explored.


LAS 638: Sustaining Our Environment (3 credits)

This course examines the interconnections between the natural and man-made worlds, and the roles played by humans in designing, constructing, and/or managing natural and built environments.


LAS 670: Seminar with Supervised Field Experience in Community Service (6 credits)

A supervised placement in a church, religious organization, nonprofit organization or business requires students to engage in theological reflection that links course experiences with ministry and social action. Written analysis of activities enriches the learning experiences during this capstone activity.


LAS 671: Seminar with Supervised Field Experience in Community Service(3 credits, repeatable)

A supervised placement in a church, religious organization, nonprofit organization or business requires students to engage in theological reflection that links course experiences with ministry and social action. Written analysis of activities enriches the learning experiences during this capstone activity.


LAS 679: Independent Research (3 credits)

Students will coordinate with their advisor to choose a topic, research and complete a culminating paper. (This course may be taken alone or as a prerequisite to LAS 680. LAS 679 may be taken twice if research topics differ sufficiently for each course section. LAS 679 should not be completed until a majority of coursework has been completed.)


LAS 680: Thesis (3 credits)

Completing an in-depth study of a topic of interest expands understanding of the process of conducting research at the graduate level. An interdisciplinary team of faculty provides opportunities to share and critique findings. A formal presentation of the thesis is the culminating activity for this project. Written approval of the research director or adviser and of the Dean is required. Prerequisite: LAS 679. (LAS 680 should not be completed until a majority of coursework has been completed.)


LAS 690: Special Topics (3 credits)

Applicable courses of special interest may be offered on a semester-by-semester basis.

MALSC Advisor
 
Img: Cathy Myers
 
Cathy Curran Myers, JD
Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies
Coordinator of MALSC Program
College of Arts and Sciences

   Francis Hall, Room 248
   Main Campus
   Reading, PA 19607
   610.230.5704
   cathleen.myers@alvernia.edu


Admissions Staff 

Hillary Saylor Schulze
Enrollment Coordinator
School of Graduate and Adult Education

   540 Upland Avenue
   Reading, PA 19611
   Phone: 610-796-5611
   Fax: 610-796-8367
   hillary.schulze@alvernia.edu

Dana Baker
Director of Philadelphia Center
School of Graduate and Adult Education

   1355 West Cheltenham Avenue 
   Melrose Park, PA 19027
   215.635.4734
   dana.baker@alvernia.edu




master of arts in leadership for sustainable communities

1.888.alvernia
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