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.

Some of our courses include: Public Policy and Leadership, Community Organizing and Development, Budgetary Politics, Social Economies Strategies, and Organizational Change Agents. 


Our program is structured around three general tracks of study.  Students may choose to focus their studies around any one of these three tracks. Students will taking specialized seminars in the area, will conduct faculty-guided independent research in their chosen area, and will provided 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
  • Take Courses in Public Leadership, Policy Analysis, Budgetary Politics and Colorado Politics, etc.

2.  Community and Labor Organizing

  • Funded Research and Internships Available in Local Non-Profits and Labor Unions
  • Conduct Action-Research and Participant-Observation Civic Engagement on Social Justice and labor Issues
  • Take Courses in Community Organizing, Non-Profits and Social Change, Labor unions and Global Economy, Labor movements,  Achieving Growth With 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
  • Courses in Cooperative Movement, Worker Cooperatives, Alternative Economic Theory, the Social Economy and Sustainable Development, etc.