Last week, the Booth School of Business announced eight annual full-tuition scholarships for professionals in the nonprofit and government sectors. The scholarships, which will be called the Civic Scholars Program, will be part of Booth’s Weekend M.B.A. program.
The scholarships are partially funded by a $4 million gift from the Neubauer Family Foundation, the non-profit organization of Booth alumni and former Aramark CEO Joseph Neubauer.
The Booth website specifies that Civic Scholars should be between the ages of 27 and 35 and have worked in the nonprofit or public sector for six to ten years. The Scholars will continue to work at their regular day jobs while taking classes on weekends at the Gleacher Center downtown.
Glenn Sykes, the associate dean of evening M.B.A. and weekend M.B.A. programs at Booth, said the new program was targeted towards those who want to contribute to social change. “We’re really keenly interested in people in those fields that are already committed to and have a future interest in staying involved in civic engagement,” Sykes said.
While recipients of the scholarship are held to the same curricular requirements as other M.B.A. students, the Civic Scholars will also take three courses specially designed to provide experiential learning opportunities in the public and nonprofit sector.
The first course will involve group projects in a nonprofit or public sector organization under the guidance of a faculty member. The second course will allow students to do an individual project on a strategic issue within the organization they work for. The third course will focus on the Neubauer Civic Scholars’ role as leaders within the Booth community as they work alongside other Booth students to complete a project in the nonprofit or public sector.
The Civic Scholars will have access to many of the same extracurricular resources as other Booth students, such as alumni meetings and speaker series, but with a focus on the nonprofit and government sectors.
“Seeing huge sectors like the non-profit sector, like the public sector, underrepresented in the M.B.A. program, when there’s an opportunity to increase the diversity by bringing them in, we think that’s a really valuable aspect of the program for everyone,” Sykes said.
Sykes also highlighted how a Booth education would provide Civic Scholars with access to Booth’s network, resources, and the skills to more efficiently run an organization.
“I think they’ll be able to think strategically about the longer term view for the organizations… they’ll have a set of management skills in the functional areas of the organization—people management, decision-making, marketing, finance, that are involved in the day-to-day running of the organization,” Sykes said.
In recent years, Booth has increased courses and student programming focused on the social good. These programs include the Social New Venture Challenge, a startup launch program focused on social entrepreneurship, and the Social Enterprise Initiative, a locus for research and student programming around social enterprises.