Youth Development Leadership (YDL)
Youth development leadership is a graduate degree offered by the School of Social Work in the College of Education and Human Development for people who work with youth in traditional and nontraditional settings. Leadership in this field depends upon keeping up with the challenges facing today’s youth, which requires continual learning and professional growth. This degree is an excellent career opportunity for anyone working with youth, regardless of previous academic background.
Watch "Discovering YDL"
The M.Ed. in youth development leadership emphasizes:
- a community-based model of youth development
- experiential learning
- leadership and community building
- diverse, flexible, and interdisciplinary faculty
- curriculum that provides an understanding of practices, policies, and ethics of youth work
- collaborative approach to learning
- cohort of youth work professionals, for supportive learning environment
- faculty dedicated to youth development and committed to helping students develop a course of study that meets their professional and personal needs and interests
The YDL program
“People in the YDL program come from different experiences and backgrounds, not only in their personal lives, but also in the field of youth work. Everyone has different passions, but we’re all working toward a similar goal. There’s a very real sense of support and camaraderie that I haven’t felt anywhere else.”
—Jessica Pierson Russo, teacher, multicultural community educator
Students admitted to the program take the core courses together, one course per semester over a two year period. This supportive community environment establishes a network of professional connections, personal support, and fun. Though you can apply for acceptance into the YDL program at any time, you will be required to begin the series of core courses with your cohort in the fall.
Because you take the initiative in tailoring the program to fit your professional needs, it is important to have an adviser to partner you in your graduate work. You are assigned an adviser upon admission to the college, but you may ask a different faculty person to be your adviser once you are acquainted with the program and the professional focus of each faculty member.
The School of Social Work offers the core courses, which focus on healthy youth development in families, schools, the workplace, and the community.
“...my involvement in the YDL program taught me to speak out on behalf of kids in ways that truly made a positive difference...”
The faculty advise, guide, and mentor you throughout the program, but it is your individual vision of youth leadership that provides the focus. Based on your own professional interests, you choose 10 credits of elective courses from departments across the University. In addition to choosing electives in your area of interest, you select from a variety of seminar options and complete a field experience of your own design. At the end of your time in the program, you compile a portfolio: a comprehensive, critical reflection of your work and experiences. For more detailed information about the M.Ed and tuition, follow the links below.
Revised August 2011