Hayley Collins '14G

Photo of Hayley Collins, '18G, an alumni of the Carsey School's Master in Community Development Program

Hayley Collins, '14G

Current position: Women’s Leadership Coach & Principal of Hayley Collins Coaching
Previous position: Executive Director of Juliette’s House
Carsey Degree: Master in Community Development

"The master’s program provides an incredible opportunity to focus academic efforts on a topic that engages the student and supports direct benefits to the community – I gained critical knowledge of strategic planning, project planning, communications, marketing, collaboration, and leadership."

Please describe your background prior to enrolling in the Master in Community Development program:

I graduated from Whitman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 2006. Thereafter, I pursued a brief career in the for-profit sector before pivoting into a career in nonprofit management.

What were the key features of the Master in Community Development degree program that attracted you to it?

Just after paying off my undergraduate student loans, I was working full-time and had little interest in transplanting my life again to attend graduate school. I began searching for an online graduate program that truly captured my professional and academic interests, and the Master in Community Development degree was the best-suited master’s degree in nonprofit management that fit my needs: low-residency, affordable, small class sizes, only 14 months, professors who work in the field, and fellow students who are already in the field.

What was your capstone project focus and how did it serve your community?

My capstone project was titled Strategic Planning to Alleviate Food Insecurity in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee, California. In identifying a capstone project, I wanted to choose a focus that would fulfill a current need for my non-profit employer. My supervisor and Executive Director at the time indicated that a comprehensive 3-year strategic plan would offer enormous value.

I began by conducting a community-needs assessment, which included gathering the thoughts on the key stakeholders of the organization. Upon completing my Master in Community Development at the Carsey School, I had developed a 3-year strategic plan with outcomes, activities, and outputs. In addition to leaving a legacy in my community, I gained critical knowledge of strategic planning, project planning, communications, marketing, collaboration, and leadership. Throughout my project, I was well supported by the faculty, staff, fellow students, and alumni.

How has what you learned in your master’s program helped you in your nonprofit management career?

As the Executive Director of Juliette’s House, a small non-profit organization in Oregon, I oversaw administration and operations to ensure the community was served effectively. Juliette’s House’s mission is to provide compassionate intervention through prevention, assessment, and support for children and families who may have been impacted by abuse.

It was while at Juliette's House that I saw and experienced a huge need for greater support for women leaders in the nonprofit and for-profit spaces. As a result, I founded my current executive coaching business.

How did this master’s degree help you succeed as a nonprofit manager?

The advertisement for my position with Juliette's House required a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership or a related field. In addition to the master’s level credential, this master’s program curriculum focused on nonprofit management and strategic planning, both of which were enormously helpful to me at Juliette's House and in my current career as a leadership coach.

What aspects of the master’s program did you enjoy most?

The Master in Community Development program provides an incredible opportunity to focus academic efforts on a topic that engages the student and supports direct benefits to the community where the applied project is completed. The lasting positive return to my community and professional value of a strategic planning exercise made the applied project the most enriching aspect of the program.

Schedule a Meeting or Phone Call

Have questions or want to discuss if the Master in Community Development program is right for you? Schedule a time for us to talk:

Have questions about admissions, tuition costs, or financial aid? 

Contact Sanjeev Sharma, Carsey Admissions & Academic Advisor


Meet Other MCD Alumni

  • With alumni Jessica Amato '19G & Parker LaRock '20G
    "If you told me 5 years ago that I would be making a positive impact on UNH and implementing change that would last, I wouldn’t have believed it…this program really does help empower you to make real positive change."       ~(MCD) alumni Parker LaRock, '20G
    With alumni Jessica Amato '19G & Parker LaRock '20G
    "If you told me 5 years ago that I would be making a positive impact on UNH and implementing change that would last, I wouldn’t have believed it…this program really does help empower you to make real positive change."       ~(MCD) alumni Parker LaRock, '20G
  • With Alumni Hayley Collins '14G
    "The master’s program provides an incredible opportunity to focus academic efforts on a topic that engages the student and supports direct benefits to the community."       ~(MCD) alumni Hayley Collins '14G
    With Alumni Hayley Collins '14G
    "The master’s program provides an incredible opportunity to focus academic efforts on a topic that engages the student and supports direct benefits to the community."       ~(MCD) alumni Hayley Collins '14G
  • Master in Community Development degree student's capstone project supports new Americans
    While crops are grown, community and collaboration roots are developed for new Americans at the New American Farmers Cooperative in Manchester, N.H. Charlene Higgins '14 '18G helped this...
    Master in Community Development degree student's capstone project supports new Americans
    While crops are grown, community and collaboration roots are developed for new Americans at the New American Farmers Cooperative in Manchester, N.H. Charlene Higgins '14 '18G helped this...
  • With Student Maureen Beauregard '20G
    Join Michael Swack, Director of the Community Development program at the Carsey School, and current Master in Community Development (MCD) student Maureen Beauregard ('20G) to learn about the MCD degree.
    With Student Maureen Beauregard '20G
    Join Michael Swack, Director of the Community Development program at the Carsey School, and current Master in Community Development (MCD) student Maureen Beauregard ('20G) to learn about the MCD degree.
  • With Alumni Tyler Mac Innis '12G
    "What this program does best is it prepares students to be able to recognize where problems actually exist." ~(MCD) alumni Tyler Mac Innis '12G
    With Alumni Tyler Mac Innis '12G
    "What this program does best is it prepares students to be able to recognize where problems actually exist." ~(MCD) alumni Tyler Mac Innis '12G