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Online Master's in Community-Based Education & Leadership

Learn to Grow, Learn to Lead, Learn to Serve.

Become a more effective leader and educator at your organization by earning your master's in Community-Based Education & Leadership.
  • Program Overview

    Program Overview

    Stevenson University Online’s master’s in Community-Based Education & Leadership program is designed to meet the growing demand for highly-qualified professionals to teach, lead, and manage in non-formal and informal education settings. Practicing professionals will gain the knowledge and skills to become effective educators and change leaders in their organizations. Upon completion of the master’s program, graduates will obtain the ability to meet the needs of diverse populations of learners, build transformative learning communities, and foster collaborative partnerships within the expanding non-formal educational sector.

    This online master’s for Community-Based Education & Leadership program provides leaders in areas including nonprofit, athletic coaching, youth development, and higher education with comprehensive skills-training that will prepare them to become leaders in their communities. Those interested in earning an online master’s in Community-Based Education & Leadership will complete a 36-credit hour program that will include coursework in areas such as the cognitive, emotional and social development of learners, action research and data-driven decision-making, and innovative teaching and learning for 21st century skills. Elective courses allow students the opportunity to hone their skills and expertise in areas such as STEM curriculum principles and practice, volunteer development, and conflict communication and leadership.

    Stevenson University Online’s master’s in Community-Based Education & Leadership program is offered online in 8-week sessions , providing flexibility for working professionals who want to enhance their existing skills within their field. Through online instruction from seasoned professionals as well as innovative educational tools, students will learn practical application of theory and complete the program with the skills they need to positively impact students.

    Due to the unique blend of coursework — including understanding 21st century teaching and learning, as well as organizational management and leadership — this program benefits a variety of positions, including and not limited to the following:

    Community Education Leaders

    Designed for professionals engaged in community education, such as community parks and recreation, youth and family education, library education, or state, regional or national agencies tasked with educating the public. Courses include how to effectively educate and engage communities, build innovative programming, and develop strategic plans for sustainability.  

    Youth Development Specialists

    Provides the knowledge and skills for professionals to be more effective youth educators while advancing their career potential.  Professionals learn strategies to support the social, emotional, and cognitive development of youth and gain an understanding the personal, family, and cultural influences that lead to positive outcomes. Courses include skill development in grant writing, managing volunteers, and fundraising in community organizations.

    Non-profit Leaders

    Professionals will develop skills in community engagement, advocacy, and fundraising in order to enhance their organization’s effectiveness. The program equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to grow and develop their volunteer base, conduct program development and evaluation, and use data to drive evidence-based decision making. 

    Higher Education Professionals

    Professionals will advance their leadership and strengthen their ability to support student learning on their campuses. Professionals in student activities, service learning, community engagement, residence life, advising, admissions, or career services will learn strategies to support the emotional and cognitive development of college students, and gain a greater understanding of the social and cultural influences that promote positive behaviors. Within the program, students will use assessment data to drive evidence-based decision making. 

    Athletic Coaches

    Professionals will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on athletes and foster the development of valuable life skills for success. The program helps coaches develop positive communication patterns, identify the social and cultural influences on youth and young adults, as well as understand the psychology of motivating athletes. Courses also cover how to develop volunteers and lead in community organizations.

    Stevenson University Online provides community leaders and educators with the knowledge and expertise they need to be successful. For more information on our online master’s for nonprofit leaders and educators, contact Stevenson University Online today.


    Stevenson University Online also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Community-Based Education & Leadership for those who may not be ready to commit to master's program. LEARN ABOUT OUR CBEL Certificate

  • Courses


    The Master of Arts in Community-Based Education & Leadership program is an online 36-credit hour program.

    Theory and Research Courses

    • ED 604 Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Development of Learners
    • ED 606 Socio-political and Cultural Influences on Families, Communities, and Organizations
    • ED 608 Action Research and Data Driven Decision-Making

    Community-Based Education & Leadership

    • CBEL 610 Foundations and Frameworks of Community-Based Education
    • CBEL 612 Innovative Teaching and Learning for 21st Century Skills
    • CBEL 614 Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation
    • CBEL 616 Community Engagement and Leadership
    • CBEL 720 Community-Based Education & Leadership Capstone

    Community-Based Education & Leadership Electives

    Students will select four courses from at least two of the following content areas.

    Teaching and Learning Electives

    • CBEL 662 Principles and Practices of Youth Development
    • CBEL 664 Teaching & Learning for Specialized Populations
    • ED 510 Psychology & Development of Adolescents
    • ED605 STEM Curriculum Principles and Practice
    • ED620 Literacy Strategies in the STEM Content Areas
    • ED625 Advanced Literacy Strategies in the STEM Content Areas
    • ED630 Principles of Special Education
    • ED690 Issues in STEM Education

    Management/Leadership Electives

    • CBEL 670 Volunteer Development
    • CBEL 672 Advocacy & Fundraising in Community-Based Organizations
    • CBEL 674 Legal Issues and Risk Management in Community Organizations
    • BTM 644 Project Management
    • BTM 635 Innovative Leadership & Management

    Communication Courses

    • CM 600 Cultures and Communication
    • CM 605 Communication Ethics in the Public Sphere
    • CM 620 Conflict Communication and Leadership
  • Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements

  • Faculty

    Anne P. Davis (2014)
    Associate Dean and Professor, Teacher Education
    B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    M.S., Cornell University
    D.M., University of Maryland, University College

    D’Andrea Jacobs, NCSP (2014)
    Adjunct Professor, GPS Teacher Education
    B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
    M.A., Michigan State University
    Ph.D., Michigan State University

    Lisa Moyer (2016)
    Adjunct Professor, GPS Teacher Education
    B.A., Mary Washington College
    M.Ed., University of Mary Washington
    Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Tuition


    Established in 1947, Stevenson University has a long history of providing students an affordable, private education. 

    Stevenson University Online has simplified the cost of your education by eliminating all fees.

    Master's Program Cost Per
    Credit Hour
    Cost Per Course
    (3-Credit Hours)
    Total Cost of Master's
    (36-Credit Hours)
    Master of Arts in Community-Based Education & Leadership $495.00 $1,485.00 $17,820.00*

    *Does not include books.

  • FAQ


    Who is the ideal candidate for this degree?
    The intended audience for this program includes, but is not limited to, community school educators, after-school and out-of-school-time educators, librarians, museum coordinators, environmental educators, coaches and summer camp coordinators, higher education professionals, K-12 teachers and administrators, and government agency outreach providers. 

    How are courses offered?
    Stevenson University Online’s Master of Arts in Community-Based Education & Leadership is offered online in 8-week sessions, providing flexibility for working professionals. Course content is facilitated through engaging online instruction by seasoned professionals. Current and innovative educational technology tools build community and encourage collaboration among students and between students and professors. Practical application of theory is embedded throughout the program. 

    How soon can the program be completed and when does it begin?
    Enrollment of the first cohort of students is Fall 2017. The degree may be completed in two years if one course is taken every 8-week session. 

    What if an applicant's GPA is under 3.0?
    Consideration will be given to an applicant's professional experience along with academic record. Applicants are encouraged to address any areas of concern in the personal statement. 

    Who do I contact if I have questions?
    Please contact Amanda Millar, Senior Enrollment Counselor, at  or call 844-698-0893.


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