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SOU to offer leadership degree in Salem

In a rare venture outside the southwest corner of the state, Southern Oregon University this fall will teach its popular Master's in Management degree at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

SOU has taught the two-year program, intended for professionals already in careers, in the Rogue Valley and at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. It has been looking for an opportunity to teach it in another school with access to professional markets, says MiM coordinator John Bowling of SOU.

"Our MiM program is unique in Oregon. We're the only school offering it," says Bowling. "The state capital has large numbers of state workers and is a base for a lot of nonprofits. It's a focus of organizational leadership and supervisors with experience and it's designed for full-time working people."

The degree program will be taught in classrooms at Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry by SOU professors, with adjunct teachers from the Portland area, says Bowling. It's designed so courses are taught Friday evenings and Saturdays, with online communication, team learning and mentoring by professionals, covering a three-credit course in five weeks.

Teaching a degree 240 miles away, in the middle of Oregon's population base, is motivated in part by the desire to enhance SOU's reputation, he notes.

"It seemed a good opportunity there to deliver what's been really successful here and build name recognition by stepping into the Portland market," Bowling says. "We hope it piques interest and people will want to come here in person and study."

The degree requires 45 credits total, 28 of them in core subjects such as Budget-Finance, Strategic Management, Marketing for Public and Private Organizations, Organizational Leadership and Legal Issues in Management. Elective graduate credits can be earned in the students' specialization, such as commercial, government, nonprofit, and in their discipline, such as arts, health, etc.

The degree is also taught at SOU's sister campus in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, good communication skills and at least three years of increasingly responsible experience working full-time at the management level, the website notes. Criteria considered include the number of people supervised, the size of the budget administered, and the degree of decision-making autonomy.

Cost of the program is $400 a credit, for a total of $18,000.

Those wishing to apply may visit the website at http://www.sou.edu/business/mim/index.html or call the School of Business at 541-552-8243.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.