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Nonprofit Leadership Institute Established

Antioch College’s Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) and the Yellow Springs Community Foundation (YSCF) are happy to announce the establishment of a new Nonprofit Leadership Institute for Community Action. This Institute provides a curricular path for Antioch students to deepen their understanding of nonprofit leadership, policy advocacy, and community action while engaging in collaborative partnerships off-campus.

The Institute enables students to build effective forms of engagement with a variety of nonprofits beyond their immediate co-op employers. It is intended to help showcase some of the areas in which Yellow Springs organizations have demonstrated particularly innovative leadership. Examples include our village’s dynamic elderly inclusion programs, our community land trust efforts, our innovative affordable housing groups, our engaged arts community, our public radio station’s focus on amplifying community voices, our dynamic farm-to-table networks, as well as our formidable diversity and inclusion networks that have advanced creative approaches toward social and racial justice.

For the last six years, Co-op and the Yellow Springs Community Foundation have maintained a dynamic partnership through their joint stewardship of the Miller Fellowship Program. The Miller Fellowship Program was established in 2010 with a $3 million bequest to the YSCF by the Nolan J. and Richard D. Miller Endowment Fund. Nolan Miller (d. 2006) was associate editor of The Antioch Review and a beloved Antioch College professor. His brother, Richard Miller (d. 2009), was a highly regarded artist working in many different media. The Miller brothers intended that their donation be used to engage Antioch College students in the fabric of life of the Yellow Springs Community in order to promote understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect among students and community members.

The Miller Fellowship program offers a unique opportunity for Antioch College students to secure a paid, one-year employment opportunity working for a non-profit organization in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The YSCF awards grants directly to local nonprofits who then hire Antioch College students for meaningful work within their organizations. Antioch College’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program facilitates the involvement of Antioch students in this exceptional opportunity, which is intended to engage students in the world of work as soon as they arrive on campus. Miller Fellows generally engage in full-time work with the organization throughout one of their three-month cooperative work terms and also work part-time (around ten hours per week) during non-Co-op quarters. The Miller Fellow Program thus has served as a foundational element of the Co-op experience by enabling scores of students to develop the skills and confidence necessary to launch their professional careers.

After careful planning, Co-op and the YSCF agree that the time has come to take full advantage of these resources and raise the Miller Fellowship Program’s overall profile through the establishment of a credit-bearing initiative that will enable students to broaden their engagement locally and deepen their learning. The agreement to launch the Nonprofit Leadership Institute for Community Action is also a direct response to the College’s emerging vision of becoming a “collaborative college where student engagement and institutional partnerships have a positive impact in communities and organizations.”

In general, our programming is intended to promote meaningful engagement with the world by facilitating intentional linkages between campus centered and field based experiential learning. By linking the life of the mind with the practical experience of work, the Co­op Program seeks to animate a unique liberal arts curriculum that positions students to take action in the world while distinguishing themselves through creativity, commitment, and hard work with partner.  This new Nonprofit Leadership Institute for Community Action is intended to serve students as a vehicle toward these objectives.

Additionally, the YSCF has agreed to provide two $5,000 scholarship awards this year for new students (first-year or transfers) who would make the commitment to study at Antioch College in 2018 and to participate in the Nonprofit Leadership Institute. This is a merit-based scholarship program that rewards students for the service they performed for their local community before arriving at Antioch. The effort is intended to help the college attract high-achieving students, promote the unique Miller Fellow Program model, and showcase the new Institute.

For further information, feel free to contact:​
Richard Kraince, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Cooperative Education
Dean of Cooperative, Experiential & International Education
Email: rkraince@antiochcollege.edu

Follow our progress by visiting Antioch Engaged, our online journal of social practice and professional development.