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USM leads with New England’s first doctoral program in Leadership

The University of Southern Maine will launch a new doctorate in Leadership in the fall of 2020, the first such program in New England.

The new program — which will be available online —  will build on USM’s growing and highly regarded Leadership and Organizational Studies program which currently offers bachelors and masters degrees, as well as minors and certificates.

“We will be unique, not only in the University of Maine System and the state, but the region as well,” said Dan Jenkins, chair of Leadership Studies at USM. “Other New England schools teach doctorates with elements of leadership — such as Organizational Studies at Boston College. They are close in some ways, but they were not what we were looking for.”

Students throughout the USM program learn about the relationships between leaders and followers, examine theories and models and work to apply them in the real world. The doctoral program’s purpose is to prepare students for positions of executive leadership: in business, government and among non-profit organizations. It will also prepare students who wish to teach leadership at the college level.

Nationally, interest in leadership studies has “skyrocketed,” Jenkins said. “There were just under 1,000 leadership programs a decade ago. Now we have close to 2,500 nationwide.”

USM has taught leadership since the late 1990s, eventually becoming the University of Maine System’s first online program as well.

The new doctoral program has taken three years to develop. The University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved the expansion at its Jan. 27th meeting.

Read more about it in MaineBiz.