Designing executive learning programs for public-sector staff demands special attention to their unique needs – and within that field, the needs of municipal employees, who deliver basic services at the local level to individual taxpayers, are even more specific.
When Schulich ExecEd first set out to offer a course on local government, it began by establishing an advisory board, led by Tom Nacu, that could outline the challenges they faced in a time of cutbacks and downloading from higher levels of government. He needed to know what those changes meant in terms of the training needed to meet those challenges. What Nacu and his advisers discovered led to the creation of the Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership, now directed by veteran public service adviser John Allen.
The Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership is now the definitive municipal leadership and governance program in Canada. Divided into three individual five-day modules spanning a total of 15 day, the goal of the program is to equip municipal managers to effectively lead their municipality into the future.
And if comments from the latest participants in the program are any indication, the program is still delivering on its promise.
“The material was very relevant and useful to me,” said one participant. “I will be able to make a valued contribution to my organization as a result.”
“The facilitators were great with videos and breakout sessions! I enjoyed the material,” said another, while a classmate remarked, “I will be referring to these notes immediately.”
The program is revised annually to reflect the latest trends in municipal governance. The most notable among them is the change taking place as a large generation of experienced leaders retires creating a shortage of leaders for the future. The program is designed to introduce those future leaders to the wider role they will play in local government as they step into managerial and supervisory roles.
“The course was beneficial for me in terms of better understanding the whole [strategic planning] process. Thank you!” said one participant. Another commentator called the facilitators “inspiring and real…very refreshing!”
From the beginning of the program, the emphasis was on providing learning from knowledgeable people with experience in local government, and that holds true today, more than ever. “Facilitators were subject-matter experts who communicated content effectively and provided relevant examples,” said one appreciative participant. “Amazing course! Kept it very interesting with real world examples and kept the room engaged!” said another. “I appreciated the real-life examples of Calgary and other municipalities.”
The Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership is a 15-day program delivered in three modules of five days each. The next program is scheduled for Spring 2019, running through September. For more information, including a video by program co-director John Allen, visit the program website.