About Us

The Center for New Directions offers an MA program focused on public leadership, community- labor organizing, and social economy innovations, in collaboration with community and labor organizations and local government jurisdictions across Colorado. The program seeks to develop the public leadership & community organizing capacities necessary to address challenges and opportunities within neighborhoods, communities, government jurisdictions, and non-profit entities. 

Our classes are taught by faculty members from the political science department and experts in their fields. 


Our program is structured around three general tracks of study.  Students may choose to focus their studies on any one of these three tracks. Students will take specialized seminars in the area, will conduct faculty-guided independent research in their chosen area, and will provide opportunities for field internship placements and community-based action-research projects of direct relevance to a governmental or community partner.

1.  Local Government Leadership

  • Salaried Internships in Small and Rural Government Jurisdictions Across Colorado:  $42,000 in Salary and Benefits per Year
  • Network with City and County Officials and Benefit from Structured Mentorship Program of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs
  • Sample Courses: Local Government and Administration, Politics of Budgetary Process, Legislative Processes, State Politics: Focus Colorado, etc.

2.  Community and Labor Organizing

  • Funded Internships Available in Local Non-Profits and Labor Unions
  • Conduct Action-Research and Participant-Observation Civic Engagement on Social Justice and Labor Issues
  • Sample Courses: Community Organizing and Community Development, Non-Profits and Social Change, Nonprofit Finance and Fundraising, Labor unions and Global Economy, Internal/External Labor Organizing, Gentrification and Social Equity, etc.

3.  Social Economy Innovations

  • Enjoy Direct Engagement and Networking with Social Economy and Labor Leaders
  • Study and Engage Innovative Economic alternatives like Worker Cooperatives
  • Sample Courses: Social Economy and Sustainable Development, Cooperative Movements: Politics and Policies, Political Economy, Local Economic Development and Finance: Law, Policy and Practice, etc.