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Wy Spano

Wy Spano, one of Minnesota's most respected political experts, will direct UMD's new Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership.

Shaping our society

UMD offers new graduate degree in political leadership

Published on July 29, 2004

University of Minnesota, Duluth, recently announced the opening of the new Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership. The center's first program (set to begin classes on September 10) is a masters degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL). MAPL is an applied degree designed for people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin who are, or wish to be, local community leaders, labor leaders, government relations specialists, nonprofit executives--anyone who wishes to see that public policy conforms to their idea of what ought to happen in today's society.

Wy Spano, well-known figure in Minnesota politics and public affairs, was named the center's director. Spano, is the co-founder, long-time publisher, and current co-editor of Minnesota's prominent political publication--Politics in Minnesota.

"MAPL is to teach people how to make policy and political systems deliver the kind of world our students hope for," says center director Wy Spano.

"In my experience," says Spano, "most people involved in community, nonprofit and political work have a strong sense of how they think the world ought to be. They don't, however, know exactly how to go about getting the policies they want enacted. That's what MAPL is for--to teach people how to make policy and political systems deliver the kind of world our students hope for."

The MAPL degree will be the first at UMD to be offered on weekends at the campus. Classes will be held on 22 weekends a year, with sessions running Friday night and all day Saturday. Lodging will be provided for students living outside the Duluth area. Transportation from the Twin Cities will be provided.

The program will be organized on the cohort model, that is, groups of 20-30 students will generally proceed together through the two years required to complete the degree. The first cohort will start their classes September 10.

MAPL students will be able to take a general MAPL course of study, or concentrate in one of the following three fields:

The center and the new degree program are housed in the UMD College of Liberal Arts. For more information on the MAPL program, call 218-726-6711 or go to MAPL.

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