Leadership, MA Program of Study
Curriculum and Course Schedule
The MA in Leadership provides a supportive, challenging, and transformative learning experience to develop effective leadership needed in today's global world. Our curriculum consists of sequential, integrated courses across six consecutive academic quarter calendar terms. These courses span theory, skills, and practical application in the area of coaching and facilitation. The area of emphasis takes leadership philosophy and practice that is right for you and your work, all within the liberal arts traditions of creative analytical thinking, shared inquiry, collaboration, service, social justice, and social responsibility.
The 18-month program requirements include the completion of eight courses (48 units) and submission of a learning portfolio.
PROGRAM TERM I: AUTUMN QUARTER (SPLIT TERM)
LDSH 601: Practice of Building a Learning Community (4 Units)
This course is an introduction and orientation to the MA in Leadership Program and establishes the foundation for success in the program in four distinct and interrelated ways. One, the course acquaints the student to key values, principles, concepts, practices and methods of the program. Two, it helps to facilitate the transition into graduate level study, as well as into learning in an adult serving blended in-person and online program. Three, the course enables students to develop important skills that enable effective engagement in the coursework, with learners in the cohort, and in learning and practicing leadership within and outside of the program. And four, the course begins the journey in which a collection of individual learners who enter the program with unique backgrounds, needs, and aspirations, and eventually develops into a community of learners.
Your participation in this learning community journey provides you with the experiential ground for learning leadership as a relational and social process, which is seen by many as necessary for practicing leadership in an interdependent world. This leadership learning journey also provides you with practical knowledge in building learning communities in contexts in your work and life.
LDSH 600: Values in Action (4 Units)
What has constituted leadership in our parents' generation, and the associated values and skills necessary to be successful as a leader, has changed dramatically in our lifetime. Globalization, multiculturalism, technology, and the ever-turbulent nature of organizational life require new kinds of knowledge and skills on the part of managers and leaders. What is your vision for making a contribution to this world, and what unique gifts do you bring? What combination of values represents your vision of leadership? This course seeks to provide language and experience to help us begin to explore both the inner and outer dimensions of leadership, through reading, writing, coaching, and experiential exercises. What role do our values, or soul, play in mediating between our inner and outer lives? We invite you to bring your whole self, shadow and light, into this exploration, where we explicitly hope to develop practical action in leadership suitable to the 21st century. Many of the concepts and practices introduced will be further developed in subsequent courses in the program.
PROGRAM TERM II: WINTER QUARTER
LDSH 605: Leadership, Innovation, and Systems Change (8 Units)
This course lays the groundwork for understanding and practicing a new paradigm of leadership; one that promotes meaningful systems change to transform people and their institutions toward a state of flourishing. Incorporating several key ideas, experiences and practices from the previous two courses, and utilizing a case-in-point pedagogy, this course provides a deep and expansive exploration of contemporary leadership frameworks and theories, their underlying values and worldviews. By delving more deeply into established leadership theories and perspectives, learners enhance their practice of leadership, taking to heart the oft-quoted view of the pioneering social psychologist Kurt Lewin, who said, “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” In other words, the course examines the interdependent links among experience, theory, practice, and development.
This course is intended to enhance one’s capacity to critically and creatively think about leadership, to be more inclusive of different perspectives and practices of leadership, and as a result be more responsive to different organizational and cultural contexts. We do this through learning about several key distinctions in the field of leadership theory from over the past decade, such as transactional and transformational, technical and adaptive, heroic and post-heroic, leader-centric and relational, and hierarchical and networked leadership. Another key distinction explored is the one between management and leadership and their interplay in organizational life.
Given the view that leadership is primarily focused on fostering meaningful systems change. The course also acquaints learners with the fundamental ideas of complex systems theory and systems change, drawing up the work of various systems theorists to explore such concepts as feedback, system levels, orders of change, and complexity, essential to addressing the complex and adaptive challenges in today's organizations. Finally, this course explores the role that action learning, innovation and creativity and transformative learning plays in leadership practice and its development.
PROGRAM TERM III: SPRING QUARTER
LDSH 625: Equity, Creativity, Belonging and Liberation (8 Units)
We live in an ever complex and interconnected global environment. In our multicultural society, one of the cornerstones of effective leadership is the capacity to engage differences creatively and support the flourishing of followers. More recently there has been a shift in how differences are understood and worked with - a shift that takes us into territory of belonging, to work towards equity creatively, in ways that are liberating. To truly understand differences requires a willingness to move across a line, or boundary, which defines that difference. The starting point is increasing understanding of one’s own dimensions of difference, often a difficult and disorientating task as we rarely notice “the water in which we swim.” Learners will examine their own histories and social identities and how these inform the lenses through which they approach cultural differences. They will be exposed to a variety of conceptual models and practical communication skills, which will allow them to make meaning of and engage effectively across differences to engage in bridging. Through review and discussion of articles of authorities in the field, they will gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of the diversity issues in the United States. They will then connect this learning to their practice of leadership.
PROGRAM TERM IV: SUMMER QUARTER (SPLIT TERM)
LDSH 670: Art and Science of Coaching (4 Units)
As a specialized focus of leadership practice coaching and facilitation enhances your effectiveness in facilitating learning and change, improve performance, foster conditions that promote learning and collaboration, in service of personal and organizational wellbeing and aspirations.
Building upon the theory, methods and skills of coaching for learning and change in individuals in the course The Art and Science of Coaching, this course introduces learners to theories, methods and skills of coaching and facilitating in group settings. The course examines the various types and ingredients of effective facilitation, which enables individuals and groups to improve their performance in how they work together and in achieve desired outcomes. It focuses on three distinct yet interrelated areas, which weave throughout the course--group and meeting facilitation, team learning, and group and team coaching. Specific techniques and skills are also explored including how to design agendas, make appropriate interventions, promotes optimal conditions for learning, address conflict, and foster collaboration. The practical knowledge gained has direct application to facilitating in group and team settings in the workplace as well as learner’s synthesis project research groups. In addition, the course introduces a framework for ongoing practitioner development in group facilitation and coaching.
LDSH 671: Team Coaching / Group Facilitation (4 Units)
As a specialized focus of leadership practice coaching and facilitation enhances your effectiveness in facilitating learning and change, improve performance, foster conditions that promote learning and collaboration, in service of personal and organizational wellbeing and aspirations. Building upon the theory, methods and skills of coaching for learning and change in individuals in the course The Art and Science of Coaching, this course introduces learners to theories, methods and skills of coaching and facilitating in group settings. The course examines the various types and ingredients of effective facilitation, which enables individuals and groups to improve their performance in how they work together and in achieve desired outcomes. It focuses on three distinct yet interrelated areas, which weave throughout the course--group and meeting facilitation, team learning, and group and team coaching. Specific techniques and skills are also explored including how to design agendas, make appropriate interventions, promotes optimal conditions for learning, address conflict, and foster collaboration. The practical knowledge gained has direct application to facilitating in group and team settings in the workplace as well as learner’s synthesis project research groups. In addition, the course introduces a framework for ongoing practitioner development in group facilitation and coaching.
PROGRAM TERM V: AUTUMN QUARTER
LDSH 620: Action Learning for Leadership and Change (8 Units)
This course is designed to provide participants with assessment, learning, research tools, and practice necessary to effect sustainable and collaborative change in their organizations and communities. The course provides an overview of participatory inquiry strategies that are useful in initiating and sustaining significant change in human systems, ranging from small work units, divisions or whole organizations, and communities. In addition to this overview, participants will learn in greater depth about two specific action research strategies–-action inquiry method (AIM) and collaborative inquiry (CI, also known as cooperative inquiry).
Learners are invited to integrate, demonstrate, and synthesize 21st century leadership practices as they carry out an action learning project in which they have a compelling interest. They will design and implement an action learning case-study project using one of the action research methodologies on a topic that addresses a need, problem, issue, opportunity or question within a specific group, institution or community. While drawing on the processes, values, skills, and theories learned so far in the M.A. in Leadership Program, the project offers the opportunity to practice 21st century leadership at the personal and organizational level. The action learning (case study) project serves to enhance learners’ existing practices of leadership in their lives and work, as well as prepare them for new opportunities to expand their practice of leadership in new roles and fields.
PROGRAM TERM VI: WINTER QUARTER
LDSH 630: Leadership, Systems, and Interdependence (8 Units)
As an integrative course at the end of the MA in Leadership program, Leadership, Systems and Interdependence draws upon elements from many of the courses that precede it, including: Values in Action; Leadership, Innovation, and Systems Change; Equity, Creativity, Belonging and Liberation; Action Learning for Leadership and Change; The Art and Science of Coaching, and Group Facilitation and Team Coaching. As Brian Hall explained, fluency with systems requires “a peculiar blend of imagination, sensitivity, and competence that gives rise to the capacity to see all parts of a system as they are related to the whole… System skills require the integration of all the other skills.” As the last course in the program, systems will be explored as interconnected fractals, ranging from the individual, to teams and organizations, and to communities, cultures and society. Looking across these fractals frames and practices of complexity, emergence, knowing, and liberation will be explored and applied. For example, analysis of leadership practices that liberate and limit systems are understood as ends of a spectrum, all of which can be useful in the appropriate contexts. The intention is to create wise systems and structures that liberate within and among each fractal. Liberating practices integrate personal practices, facilitation, coaching and collaboration, and adds an emphasis on relational leadership for groups, teams and networks as “agents” of systems change. Liberating practices provide a pathway to create conditions for leadership to emerge and flourish throughout the system. This course integrates and informs how systems change work informs personal and collective leadership practice. The course will focus on Strategic Movement in Complexity, Elements of Transformation Toward Love, Dignity & Justice, and include topics like Cultivating a Leaderful Ecosystem, Innerwork, Complexity, Deep Equity, and Multiple Ways of Knowing.
Learners will continue working on their Leadership Development Plans (LDP), with emphasis on their design for systems leadership practice, and ongoing learning and development through Action Research. In this course we emphasize the practice of equity and social justice movements as places of learning about moving toward purpose and creating transformative change in a wide variety of locations and formations. With the last revision of the LDP, learners will also consider their future leadership practice, and what steps they will take to continue to learn and develop as they leave the program. Learners will begin to focus on both how they exercise leadership in the workplace and in community, and how they lead themselves. Specifically, in this module learners will, individually and in peer working groups, explore approaches to continuous engagement, organizational change, learning and feedback that draw connections between self-awareness and systems awareness; illuminate blind spots; and lead to an understanding of how to be a learning organism continuously growing in leadership capacity. By the end of the course, learners will possess a specific set of practices that will, over time, enable them to exercise leadership in a collaborative manner.