Curriculum & Course Schedule

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 10 courses, or modules. 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 19-month program requirements include the completion of 10 courses (30 units) and submission of a learning portfolio.

Module I

Practice of Building a Learning Community

In this course, learners will focus on deepening their skills in the areas of critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and reflection. Learners will also develop their capacity to attend to how they influence others—and are influenced by others, and other elements of becoming a viable learning community.

Module II

Values in Action

Globalization, multiculturalism, technological advances, and the ever-turbulent nature of organizational life require new kinds of knowledge and skills on the part of leaders.  This course seeks to provide foundational knowledge toward developing practical knowledge in leadership suitable to the 21st century through the exploration of personal values, beliefs and worldviews and the role they play in our individual and collective lives.

Module III

Leadership and Systems Change

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, this course provides a deep and expansive exploration of contemporary leadership frameworks and theories, their underlying values and world-views. 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.” 

Module IV

The Art and Science of Coaching: Principles, Processes and Competencies

This course draws upon the variety of disciplines that inform the practice of coaching, such as psychology, adult learning, communication, and human performance to acquaint the learner with the theories, models, and skills needed to effectively coach individuals and/or groups. The course offers ample opportunities for learners to explore the craft of coaching, to develop their skills, and their unique style. The course also focuses on the practice of coaching in organizational life and leadership, as a particular expression of leadership and a pathway for developing others. Attention to how coaching links with organizational goals and culture, as well as designing and learning from results­ oriented actions, is explored as well.

Module V

Building Cross Cultural Capacity

The purpose of this course is to 1) deepen our awareness of the complexity of cross-cultural issues and develop skills to engage other people successfully across these differences; and 2) develop capacity to value and approach differences requires a willingness to move across a line, or boundary, which defines that difference.

Module VI

Team Coaching and Group Facilitation

In this highly practical course, learners become acquainted with the theories, methods, and techniques of effective facilitation in meetings and in groups. The course examines the various types and ingredients of facilitation, and the role of group dynamics and development involved. By engaging the learner's experience and opportunities for practice, the course helps identify and enhance one's unique approach to group and meeting facilitation, while increasing one's competence and confidence. Attention to how to design agendas, make appropriate interventions, address conflict, and foster collaboration are also explored. In addition, the course introduces a framework for ongoing practitioner development in effective group and meeting facilitation.

Module VII

Sustainable Organizational Change

This module is designed to provide learners with the assessment, learning, and research tools necessary to effect sustainable change in their own organizations.  Participants will learn in greater depth about two specific inquiry strategies - action research and cooperative inquiry—and will have the opportunity to practice one of them.

Module VIII

Applied Leadership

The Applied Leadership course invites learners to integrate, demonstrate, and synthesize 21st century leadership practices as they carry out a research project in which they have a compelling interest. Continuing the work in the course Sustainable Organizational Change, learners will design and implement a case-study project using an action learning for leadership (ALL) methodology 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 in the M.A. in Leadership Program, the project offers the opportunity to practice 21st century leadership at the personal and organizational level. The case-study project  serves to enhance the learner's exisiting practice of leadership in their life and work, as well as prepare them for new opportunities to expand their practice of leadership in new roles and fields.

Module IX

Leadership, Systems and Interdependence

As an integrative course near the end of the MA in Leadership program, Leadership, Systems and Interdependence draws upon elements from many of the courses that precede it, including:  Leadership and Systems Change, Building Cross-Cultural Capacity, Sustainable Organizational Change, The Art and Science of Coaching and Team Coaching and Group Facilitation.

Module X

The Future of Leadership

In this module learners examine ways of implementing change in their organizations, with an emphasis on employing the 21st Century Leadership practices. As an alternative to leader-driven change, learners will explore ways of using various strategies of engagement based on genuine human participation and interaction on both a micro and a macro level.