Turn Your Idea into Action — The M.A. in Social Impact is a dynamic program that seeks to bring more innovation and more diversity, equity and inclusion to the nonprofit and entrepreneurial ecosystem. This degree program is designed for aspiring founders, emerging social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and mission-driven changemakers. It is for anyone interested in turning their passion for changing the world into a concrete plan.
With an emphasis on social impact, effective leadership, financial resources, and sustainability this program is preparing a new generation of diverse nonprofit founders and entrepreneurial innovators. In addition to learning about grant writing, board development and program evaluation, students gain skills in how to build a promising business model, develop revenue streams to diversify their funding, and proven marketing strategies. What students can expect to gain are the tools to get their social change idea successfully off the ground and running.
Graduates of the Masters of Arts in Social Impact are prepared to launch innovative new programs, nonprofits and social-impact businesses in their communities and around the world. From poverty, education and homelessness to unemployment, healthcare and climate change, our students utilize an impact-focused lens to see opportunity as they compassionately address local and global social problems.
The Masters of Arts in Social Impact is developing world-class nonprofit and social business leaders. This program gives students the tools they need to take their mission-driven work to the next level.
This online master's degree in Social Impact aligns with the mission of Claremont Lincoln University to educate students on how to treat others as they would like to be treated by reaching across differences to create a more just and equitable world for all. In this program you will learn:
As a graduate of the Social Impact program, you will be prepared to approach your career from a new perspective. The skills and competencies this degree offers you can apply to roles in a variety of capacities such as:
A completed Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is required to apply to Claremont Lincoln University. Neither a GRE or GMAT score is required for enrollment.
The Admissions process has been streamlined for applicants to complete the online application in 15 minutes or less. Unofficial Transcripts and a current Resume or CV are required to be uploaded with the online application. The Enrollment Committee will then review the application and determine an acceptance status within 24 business hours. A determination letter will then be sent, and in return, an acknowledgment of its receipt will be needed. The Admissions, Financial and Student Services Team will finalize any other necessary items to complete Enrollment.
Claremont Lincoln University reserves the right to request additional items as deemed necessary by the enrollment committee to determine student readiness for the graduate level workload. Claremont Lincoln University reserves the right to accept, provisionally accept, or deny students upon the evaluation of all admission documents.
Social Impact courses are taken along with courses from The Claremont Core. These courses teach the engagement skills necessary to implement the theories and ideas of social impact.
Social change begins with the development and transformation of individuals. This class offers an in-depth understanding of the role of leadership in the nonprofit and social sector, including models, strategies and practices that the student can adopt and apply in their day-to-day practice of leading social impact work. The course addresses a shift in the paradigm of change leadership that recognizes that leaders are more effective when they stand within, not beyond, the system they are working to impact. Using this as a basis, the course explores theories and models of leadership and their application to one's own leadership style and ways of working with teams, organizations and communities.
Understanding the history and context of social impact innovation provides context for future action. In this course, you will examine the history and heritage of social change in a global context and will analyze social issues to find points of leverage to participate in change-making and determine where you might choose to engage. You will also research, analyze, and synthesize philosophies of social change, leadership styles and competencies, and articulate your own. By the end of the course, you will better understand where you fit into the landscape of social change and consider the ways in which you will engage.
Impact measurement is an approach to social engagement that asks participants to evaluate results and improve on future performance. In this course, you will define and facilitate shared vision and values for intended impact, demonstrate understanding of diverse approaches to defining and measuring success in social impact, construct models for change, and articulate assumptions underlying organizational actions. This course also provides practice with needs assessment; generation of organizational models; understanding of design thinking; and strategies for collaborative and emergent change.
Generating sustainable social impact requires the ability to identify and secure financial, social, and human resources. In this course you will explore business models for social change and contemporary financing frameworks. You will learn various marketing strategies to lead and manage marketing campaigns and communication for nonprofit and social sector organizations. By the end of the course, you will gain an advanced knowledge of resource management and allocation and will be able to design sustainable resource models and marketing strategies for successful social impact.
Narrative representation is increasingly seen as an effective means of effective leadership, organizational effectiveness and situational understanding. In this course, you will gain advanced knowledge of contemporary narrative theory and the possible roles of storytelling for interpretation and presentation of data, sense-making within an organization, and advancement of an organization with external constituencies. By the end of the course, you will understand and be able to frame data and complex perspectives in narrative form and employ a variety of methods – including contemporary technologies – for effective storytelling.
This course offers students critical understanding of mindfulness practices and ways to develop the capacities of mindful attention necessary for effective change leadership. To that end, the course focuses first and foremost on practice: you will be regularly engaging in practices of self-awareness, mindful reflection, open-presence awareness, concentration, and compassion (for self and others).
Effective dialogue in the 21st century is mindful communication that constructs shared understanding among diverse constituencies. Students will be able to articulate contemporary theories and practices of dialogue. Students will develop the ability to manage contrasting perspectives among diverse constituencies and reframe conflict for shared understanding. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate personal commitment to fostering productive dialogue in interpersonal, professional and public contexts. They also will identify potential dialogue partners for progress toward the Capstone Action Project. Prerequisite: MCC5311
Collaboration is co-creative dialogue among key stakeholders to develop strategies for positive change. Students will be able to develop strategies to engage diverse stakeholders effectively and to create conditions for stakeholders to synthesize diverse perspectives. This includes the ability to articulate contemporary understandings of cultural diversity and social privilege that exist in any collaborative effort. By the end of the course, students will be able to manage interpersonal and organizational conflict and lead in a way that leverages intelligence and self-organization. They also will identify and secure commitment from collaborators for their Capstone Action Project. Prerequisite: MCC5302
This course engages students in change making, which is effective collaboration that generates positive and sustainable impact in society. Students will be able to integrate capacities from the Claremont Core (Mindfulness, Dialogue and Collaboration) to effectively implement a project that positively affects a social situation. Students will also learn to evaluate the effectiveness of a project and integrate evaluation into program improvement.
Students will demonstrate these abilities by designing an action plan for their Capstone Action Project. Prerequisite: MCC5313
As the final and culminating course in a student's degree program, and an item in each student's portfolio, the Capstone Action Project (CAP) provides learners the opportunity to demonstrate the integration of the program and institutional learning outcomes through a hands-on project in their professional capacity. The planning for this course begins at the program's outset, continues through the evolution of learning, and culminates with the student being fully prepared to implement their project during the CAP course. The specific content in the Social Impact program provides students depth in a particular area of leadership and practice for leading more effectively toward positive change. Facilitated by what has been mastered in the Claremont Core, and in their contexts of personal and professional engagement, learners integrate their knowledge, skills and abilities to demonstrate how they learned to be more effective leaders for compassionate, effective change. Must be taken during student's final term.
In an increasingly interconnected world, leaders who want to make positive, sustainable change need to develop the critical perspectives and collaborative skills necessary to reach across traditional barriers of ideology, culture, and faith. At CLU, we put development of these capabilities at the center of our degree programs. The result is the Claremont Core®, a sequence of four innovative courses. Progress through the Core takes you through a process of self-awareness and steadily evolves towards engagement with others and society at large. Learn More.
Claremont Lincoln's master's degree programs all have the distinct advantage of being 100% online, providing the flexibility to determine how and when coursework is performed. CLU master's degree programs can be completed in 12 months at a low cost of $18,000. In addition, the Admissions process has been streamlined for convenience. Neither a GRE or GMAT score is required to apply or be admitted.
Claremont Lincoln University is a non-profit, "online-by-design", graduate university providing socially conscious education and multiplying social impact through the work of its students in the world.
As a nonprofit university, Claremont Lincoln University is focused on the student's learning experience as well as their career success. Funds received from donations, endowments and tuition go directly to curriculum and to enriching our students' education.
Since CLU is both online and nonprofit, the university is able to serve students who are not well served by traditional institutions and universities— allowing the university to deliver the innovative education its founder and benefactor David C. Lincoln envisioned.
Claremont Lincoln University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001.
The Commission has confirmed that Claremont Lincoln University has satisfactorily addressed the Core Commitments to Student Learning and Success; Quality and Improvement; and Institutional Integrity, Sustainability, and Accountability and is found to be in substantial compliance with the WSCUC Standards of Accreditation.
To obtain a copy of Claremont Lincoln University's WASC accreditation, please contact:
Accreditation Liaison Officer
Student Achievement & Accreditation
Claremont Lincoln University has entered into a complaint agreement for private non-profit institutions with the California Bureau of Post-Secondary Education (BPPE).
Department of Consumer Affairs
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA. 95833
Here is what some of our current and past students are saying about Claremont Lincoln University. We are committed to being a student-centered community and are proud of how we have continued to establish dialogue and long-lasting relationships with our graduates by showcasing their action-oriented and impactful work across the globe.
"The Master's of Social Impact program taught me to take a grassroots approach to development."
"Prospective students can expect to be challenged to grow as leaders, collaborators, and change-makers in their field and sector. The knowledge provided by the Social Impact program combines high level theoretical and critical thinking with practical grassroots implementation of learning and tools. This program equips students to become transformational leaders."
"In addition to growing academically, personally, and professionally, I hope students gain a community of thought partners and allies rooted in the mission of social change, love, and justice."
"CLU has been such a blessing to my life. CLU helps strengthen my leadership skills through mindfulness, meaningful dialogue and collaborations that allow us to suspend assumption, approach non judgmentally and create strong foundations of shared vision in order to not forget the human part of our world, as we seek our purpose and deeply feel and understand our "why" in our journey towards change."
Many hard working professionals contribute to a Claremont Lincoln University education. Here are just a few of the great faculty and staff that you will meet at CLU:
Dr. Nita Evans is an education entrepreneur and social change champion. She is the Founder of Catch Education, a college and career success program that prepares scholarship athletes to reach their full potential and use their platform to make a difference in the world. As the CEO of GLC Consulting she leads teams on socially responsible projects focused on educational and economic equity and empowerment. With over fifteen years of teaching experience Dr. Evans holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stony Brook University, Certificate in Leadership from the National African American Women's Leadership Institute and an Executive Certificate in Sports Philanthropy from George Washington University's School of Business. A faculty member in the Master of Arts program in Social Impact at Claremont Lincoln University, Dr. Evans teaches courses on Resource Models for Social Impact, Mindful Leadership and Civic Engagement. When she is not working to help make the world a kinder and fairer place, Dr. Evans is traveling the world and making memories with family and friends.
Dr. Khuram Hussain is Dean of Hobart College and an Associate Professor of Education. He is an internationally published scholar of race, equity and inclusion. For 20 years he has served as a dialogue facilitator and consultant to public and private schools, universities, law enforcement, government offices, non-profits, and community organizations on issues of diversity and inclusion. Khuram's work on diversity and inclusion has been recognized by the NAACP, the United States Armed Forces, the N.Y. Commission on Human Rights, and community and campus organizations nationwide.
Khuram is co-founder and Board Chair of Tools for Social Change (TFSC), a dialogue-based organization that advances equity and inclusion in the Finger Lakes. Tools for Social Change engages thousands of participants through intergroup dialogues, including: between youth and police, citizens and elected officials, college and city residents, as well as racially and socioeconomically diverse communities. He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife and children.
Alvin S Perry possesses a DBA in Entrepreneurship from Walden University, an MBA from Centenary College, and dual BBA Degrees in both Marketing and Management from Valdosta State University. Dr. Perry's corporate experience consists of management positions with IRI, Colgate-Palmolive, NCR Corporation, the Pepsi-Cola Company, M&M/Mars and Wal-Mart. He has Higher Education faculty experience with Claremont Lincoln University, Beulah Heights University, Saint Leo University, William Paterson University, Montclair State University, Pillar College, and Essex County College. Dr. Perry also has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur launching six startup companies. Dr. Perry is also an inventor, professional speaker, songwriter, author (7 Publications), filmmaker, and fashion designer (PV designs, Inc.).
Dr. Casey Reason earned his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in Leadership Studies where he was a Dan Douglas Scholar. The author of seven books, he has over two decades of experience as a keynote speaker, leadership trainer, and executive coach. His specialization is helping leaders learn to consistently create organizational cultures ideal for innovation. He's coached CEOs, led C-Suite leadership training and provided high-impact aspiring leadership training for companies like American Express, General Dynamics, and Origami Owl. His first book was endorsed by Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager. Casey is also a national expert in the concept of Professional Learning Communities as an approach to leading deep and sustaining organizational renewal in K12 education using collaboration as a central focus. He unique skillset blending innovative leadership training and transformative instructional design was featured in an article on Forbes.com after winning the Blackboard International Designer of the Year award in 2012. Dr. Reason lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his sons Brice and Kiah.
Kendra L. Smith, Ph.D., is the Associate Director in the Office of Community Engagement in the Center for Population Health Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine. She is responsible for expanding the ethical use and knowledge of community-engaged research throughout the Stanford School of Medicine community. Previously, Kendra served as a research analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University investigating policy trends in homelessness, demographic shifts, and citizen engagement. Also, she worked as a post-doctoral scholar under the direction of Kevin Desouza and a research fellow at the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, where she researched various topics on local government, crowdsourcing, citizen science, and smart cities.
Kendra specializes in working with diverse communities. She is an affiliate of the Stanford University Muslim Mental Health Lab and works with various internal and external groups on enhancing diversity within Stanford University as well as in community partnerships.
Kendra earned a doctorate in Community Resources & Development at Arizona State University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. She has a strong background in university-community partnerships, community engaged research, workforce development, and the utilization of crowdsourcing platforms. Her passion is building healthy communities.
Earn your master's degree online in 12 months for only $18,000 while developing the skills, behaviors & mindset required to improve the world for the benefit of all.