Monday, June 04, 2018

Registration for EXCEL Leadership Training with Greene County MU Extension Underway; Seating is Limited to 15

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
County Program Director - Greene County
Office Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Individuals wanting to be part of University of Missouri Extension’s EXCEL Leadership Class 2 in western Greene County are encouraged to register soon since there are only 15 seats available in the program.

Participants in the class must be residents of Ash Grove, Bois D’Arc, Republic, Willard, Walnut Grove or the county area around those communities.

“Residents of those school districts are eligible,” said David Burton, county program director for Greene County MU Extension. The program is free again this year thanks to program funding from the Greene County Commission.

One of the features that made this EXCEL project unique was the partnership with the Greene County Commonwealth. EXCEL members published regular community editorials in the Commonwealth as a way to encourage and foster local dialogue about community needs.

“The Commonwealth has provided a terrific example of what it means to be a community newspaper,” said Burton. “Every paper should be engaged with their community in this way.”

Participants in the program must also create project plans for a community effort of some type. Understanding the planning process is important but learning how to implement it also important.

“Plans from Class 1 made a difference in our communities. People in Class 2 can build on some of those project plans, or create something new,” said Burton

EXCEL is a proven research-based community program for developing emerging leaders. This particular program targets residents of western Greene County living outside of Springfield.

MU Extension is using this program to develop leaders in response to feedback received at 40 statewide community forums in 2017. Participants at those forums identified a lack of community leaders and volunteers as one of the most important issues facing Missouri.

EXCEL students learn to engage in building community networks, making well-informed community decisions and finding real solutions to real problems. In the process of EXCEL classes, they also learn more about county resources and issues facing their communities.

“The purpose of EXCEL is community development through graduates who network and commit themselves as leaders to improve the lives of residents in their community,” said Burton. “Even after they graduate from the program, the goal is to keep EXCEL members engaged with each other through special opportunities and future EXCEL classes.”


Registration information can be found online at or individuals can register their interest by calling David Burton at (417) 881-8909 or emailing him directly at

Community development specialists with MU Extension help people create communities of the future by tapping into local strengths and university resources. The Community Development Program works collaboratively with communities to foster economic development, leadership development, community decision making, community emergency preparedness and inclusive communities.


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