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SIT Graduate Institute launches degree program in youth leadership

BRATTLEBORO—SIT Graduate Institute is now accepting applications for a new M.Ed. in Global Youth Development and Leadership, starting in spring 2018. This one-year degree is designed for youth program staff, teachers, coaches, camp and school counselors, after-school providers, volunteer program managers, and anyone who wants to work with young people around the world.

It comes at a time when half the world’s population is under age 27.

“Eighty-five percent of the world’s youth live in developing countries and many are underserved, under-educated, and under- or unemployed,” Sophie Howlett, president of the School for International Training, which offers both graduate studies and study abroad programs for undergraduates, said in a news release. “Youth services have become a major focus of development organizations worldwide, so the job market in this field is expanding rapidly.”

SIT’s program will provide rigorous, cross-cultural training that gives graduates the hard skills they need to facilitate dialogue and empower young people in settings as diverse as summer camps, after-school program, urban youth centers, and refugee camps. A key feature of the program is a two- to three-month professional practicum that provides M.Ed. candidates with in-depth, hands-on learning.

With its strong diversity and multicultural focus, the new program is highly relevant for those seeking to work with young people in the U.S., where researchers project that by 2020, the majority of the U.S. youth population 18 and under will be people of color, according to the news release.

Graduates of the SIT program will emerge with the hard skills they need to design, develop, and direct any kind of youth program, according to degree co-chairs Simon Norton, M.Ed., and Dr. John Ungerleider. Collectively, Ungerleider and Norton have some 60 years of experience directing youth programs in the U.S. and abroad, including in many conflict zones.

“Graduates will be ready to step out of the SIT classroom into competitive, dynamic, in-demand roles working with and for youth anywhere,” Norton said.

School for International Training and its sister NGO, World Learning, are leaders in youth empowerment education. Over the past 28 years, the organizations have delivered more than 300 youth programs for some 10,000 young people in more than 130 countries.

Global Youth Development and Leadership is the first of at least six new master’s-level degrees that SIT is launching in 2018. New degrees in the fields of global health, climate change, humanitarian assistance, and other high-needs areas, will begin in summer and fall 2018.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #429 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017). This story appeared on page C2.

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