Master of Science in Executive Leadership and Change

NOTE: Beginning Fall 2013 all ELC classes will be one night a week for eight weeks.  The 36 credit MS program will be completed in 24 months. September 2013 new students' classes will be on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:45 PM.

The M. S. degree in Executive Leadership and Change curriculum is a highly integrated, carefully coordinated series of courses. This contemporary course of study is a sixteen or twenty four month (depending on delivery model chosen) program and requires 36 credits for graduation.

  • Winter/January start - Tuesday evening classes, 5:30 to 9:45PM.  Eight weeks per class.  Twenty-four month program.
  • Fall start - Weekend classes (Friday evening & half day Saturday). Five weeks per class.  Sixteen month program

There are multiple components in the program: the foundational component is comprised of seven, 3-credit courses; analysis/networking component includes a 3-credit immersion course, research/application component is 6 credits for completion of thesis/research projects and 3 credits for completion of a specialization or elective course, and finally a 3 credit capstone course.

The program is cohort based and classes are offered sequentially.  The cohort format allows for an individualized case study approach to applying the material studied.

The thesis/research project allows students in the program to specialize in Executive Leadership and Change in one of four areas - business, health professions, higher education or not-for-profit organizations. The specialization choice allows students to meet their personal and career learning objectives. Students work closely with faculty and are encouraged to work collaboratively. To maximize learning, the program stresses an interactive format and may include distinguished guest facilitators, the use of traditional and digital information with multi-media technology and facilitator-assisted analysis of the group's dynamics.

Sample Schedule/Program Sequence

  • LEAF 500: Organizational Leadership and Self-Development
  • LEAF 501: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Methods of Organizational Research
  • LEAF 502: Leadership and Organizational Ethics, Values, and Social Environment Semester
  • LEAF 513: Developing Leadership Skills: One-on-One Leadership, Conflict Management, and Team Building
  • LEAF 514: Leadership and Community: Empowerment, Collaboration, and Dialogue
  • LEAF 540: Research Project/Thesis
  • LEAF 515: The Business of Leadership
  • LEAF 525, 526, 527, 528, 547,or 558: Specialization Course/Elective/Independent Study
  • LEAF 529: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change
  • LEAF 541: Research Project/Thesis II
  • LEAF 530: Customers, Stakeholders, and Markets
  • LEAF 560: Capstone Course in Leadership and Change

Program Modules and Course Listings

Module 1: Core Foundation (21 Credits)

This set of courses aims to provide the student with the foundational knowledge necessary to fully develop their unique leadership style and effect creative change in organizational and community settings. Course material will unite psychological, sociological, business/economic, and historical components of effective leadership. Although the main theories and issues discussed in this module arise primarily from the social science and business arenas, other disciplines in the liberal arts will be used to broaden and extend students' perspectives on core ideas and issues raised by the leadership and change theories. In addition, case studies and applications will be an integral part of the module, and will be used to assist students in finding ways to make important leadership decisions personally, in their organizations, communities, and on a larger scale, in our changing, global world. Finally, in keeping with the program's mission to promote transformational and change-oriented leadership, courses in the core foundation strive to translate more abstract theories of human behavior, organizational systems, decision making and the inquiry process into socially conscious and ethically responsible leadership styles.

  • LEAF 500: Organizational Leadership and Self-Development
  • LEAF 501: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Methods of Organizational Research
  • LEAF 502: Leadership and Organizational Ethics, Values, and Social Environment
  • LEAF 513: Developing Leadership Skills: One-on-One Leadership, Conflict Management, and Team Building
  • LEAF 515: The Business of Leadership
  • LEAF 529: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change
  • LEAF 530: Customers, Stakeholders, and Markets

Module 2: Organizational Analysis & Community Action Project (3 credits)

This module focuses on the application of the material covered in the first section of the core module while continuing with the theme of transformational change-oriented leadership. Module 2 combines academic concepts with organizational analysis and community action. Communication (in the form of talking across disciplinary and institutional boundaries, personal reflection, team building, and effective activation of resources) is also highlighted in this module. Faculty will work closely with individual students and with groups of students in facilitating the application of foundational material into the practice setting and in reinforcing the theme of analyzing transformational change-oriented leadership. While only three credits are required, the program places special emphasis on this module and students may integrate efforts begun here into their projects in module 3.

  • LEAF 514: Leadership and Community: Empowerment, Collaboration, and Dialogue

Module 3: Thesis-Research Project/Special Topics/Elective (9 credits)

This module is specifically designed by the student and involves either a research-based thesis or projects, supported by the  additional specialization or special topics course. The student is encouraged to develop a thesis or projects as a result of work completed in earlier courses and consistent with their learning objectives. The project option provides the student with two opportunities to solve a real organizational problem and/or introduce a specific change within the context of his or her own organization. The student may also chose to research a question relevant to the practice of leadership and to attempt to answer this question through the research process. 

The thesis is geared towards the development and implementation of a leadership research proposal. For the thesis option, the student is expected to identify a research question, choose a theoretical framework or a conceptual model, select an appropriate methodology, collect, analyze, and discuss the findings from their data. The project option involves demonstration of expertise in the area of leadership. The project is designed to promote creative and unique approaches to the field of leadership. The project method and implementation will vary based on the subject matter chosen.

  • LEAF 540: Research Project/Thesis -I
  • LEAF 541: Research Project/Thesis - II
  • Specialization Course: LEAF 525 Leadership in Higher Education,  LEAF 526: Leadership in Business, LEAF 527: Leadership in Non-Profits or LEAF 528: Leadership in Health Care Organizations

Module 4: Capstone (3 credits)

This is the concluding integrative course of the leadership program. There are three important components of this capstone experience.  First is the finalization and testing of each student’s personalized model for their  their on-going leadership. Secondly, peer evaluation and discussion of the thesis or research projects under the direction of the seminar leader.  Finally, students present their leadership portfolio reflecting on their development and growth as a leader of change. 

  • LEAF 560: Capstone Course in Leadership

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