MU Extension launching online leadership program

  • Published: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension has developed an online program with a focus on building better leaders.

Leadership Online For Today (LOFT) 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.

Information is available on the Leadership Online For Today Facebook page at facebook.com/MULeadershipOnline.

“Traditional extension programs are not effectively attracting the millennial generation (ages 18 to 34), so MU Extension wanted to create something that was appealing to this 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.”

Mott; Johanna Reed Adams, a community leadership development state specialist with MU Extension; Connie Mefford, a community development Extension field specialist; and Georgia Stuart-Simmons, interim project manager with MU Extension, helped develop the program.

MU faculty brainstormed leadership topics, which were then brought to millennials for feedback and suggestions. Extension leaders also talked with focus groups comprising college students, Missouri 4-H and FFA members, and young professionals – all of whom were in leadership positions. “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,” Mefford said.

Leadership Online For Today will include 11 sessions. The first cohort begins late January or early February 2017.

“Participants will have the ability to work at their convenience within the week’s time frame,” Reed Adams said. Leadership coaches and members of the program will use a cloud-based media platform that allows for sharing videos, audio recordings, text and images.

“Although this class is online, participants will build trust and develop a sense of community with other participants as well as their leadership coach as they interact online,” she said.

“Experienced leadership coaches will guide the learning process by posing questions and helping members make progress toward their goals,” Stuart-Simmons added.

While the program is targeted at the millennial generation, anyone is able to apply for the program. Registration information can be found by visiting the Leadership Online For Today website at extension.missouri.edu/leadership.

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.

For more information about the program, contact Johanna Reed Adams at LO@missouri.edu.

Writer: Logan Jackson

Media Contact

Johanna Adams, Ph.D.
573-882-3978

Georgia Stuart -Simmons
660-238-0426

Connie Mefford
660-885-5556

Rebecca Mott
573-882-1208

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