The online Master of Science in Organization Development and Leadership (MS ODL) curriculum utilizes a hands-on, holistic approach that emphasizes experiential learning, with interactive assignments designed to be applied quickly to your current position. Throughout the course of your study, you'll apply and develop models, theories, principles, and research in the fields of organizational development, dynamics, and psychology, as well as explore how to support sustainable change in individuals, groups, and communities. You'll learn how to create more effective and inclusive systems to leverage human relationships.
The curriculum develops your expertise in organizational development through case studies, feedback, facilitated coaching, and simulations. Coursework also focuses on expanding your self-awareness as a leader by providing opportunities to document your growth using models of leadership, critical reflection, and learning activities.
In the elective course, Seminar in Global Issues Study Tour, students have the unique opportunity to tour a variety of education, business, and social justice settings in another country over nine days. The seminar includes preparation work for the trip as well as post-tour projects that deliver deeply meaningful, direct experience in a global environment. Past study tours have been in such places as Milan, Rome and Florence.
Finally, you'll apply academic research in a capstone project where you will become an expert in a specific topic and apply your learnings to an organizational-development research project in your workplace, or another environment that you choose. As you use what you've learned in real-world situations, you can gain positive visibility and help to advance your career immediately.
The online MS ODL consists of 11 classes (36 credit hours) and is designed to be completed in two years or less.
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ODL 650 Organizational Leadership
3 credits. This course provides a foundation for leadership competencies and characteristics necessary for guiding organizations. Students will use self-awareness tools grounded emotional intelligence developed especially for organizational leaders. Students will deepen their understanding of traditional and contemporary leadership research, theories and practices; and, explore the organizational contexts where work, management and leadership happen. Students will examine the responsibility that comes with leadership through readings, lectures, small group interactions and an online self- development process. This foundational course provides the framework for other online course work by establishing a community of learners.
ODL 655 Organizational Change and Culture
3 credits. Studying an organization’s culture is essential to any successful change effort. This course will enable students to study organizational theories, systems thinking, and the relationship between cultural issues and successful change implementation. They will experiment with taking on the role of a change agent through simulations, case studies, and studying the culture and changes in their own work place.
ODL 665 Leading Teams
3 credits. A big part of organizational life takes place in groups. This course focuses on theories of group dynamics and development and the application to team membership and leadership. Facilitating teams, assessing the development of a team, influencing groups, group roles and group decision-making processes and the dynamics of creating effective virtual teams will all be explored. Students will work in teams in this class and will integrate class learning with their work experience on teams.
ODL 700 Organizational Development: Theory & Application
3 credits. Course presents an overview of the fundamental components of organization development. Case studies are discussed and analyzed to demonstrate the fundamental components of OD. Practical skills and approaches are studied, such as change techniques and strategies, influence methods in dealing with leaders and consulting/learning models. Focus of course helps students implement successful learning or change programs in their organization. Topics of discussion include developing sponsorship, action research methods, survey feedback approaches, and dealing with conflict. Prerequisites: ODL 650 and 655 or Permission from Director.
ODL 750 Change Leader: Facilitating Change (Residency)
6 credits. This course is specifically required for students signing up for the online program. The course is designed to be a transformative experience that builds on all of the preceding courses. It will provide real-time community interaction, face-to-face feedback, and opportunities to lead change experiments. During this residency, students learn how to close the gap between knowing and doing through specific teaching and learning strategies. The program is organized into a series of clinics focusing on areas like facilitative leadership, team leadership, implementing change, and power and authority dynamics. Prerequisite: ODL 650 or permission from director.
ODL 785 Advanced Seminar
3 credits. This is a capstone course in the program. The completion of an approved work or community service project that requires the application of organizational leadership skills will be a focus for a professional paper utilizing research methods and statistics. Prerequisite: ODL 780 (may be taken concurrently)
ODL 780 Research Design and Evaluation
3 credits. The course helps students design and evaluate research in their respective organization or field of study. Methods are presented for application to work situations. Topics include the similarities and differences between theoretical and applied research, use of data-gathering techniques, writing of research reports and evaluation methods for change, learning, and research projects.
Electives (Choose 4)
ODL 600 Adult Learning: Theory and Application
3 credits. Course introduces students to adult education theory that focuses on how adults learn, application of adult education theory, skills required in the delivery of adult learning programs and an introduction to group process. Students have an opportunity to develop a professional learning theory and model. Students also discover their learning style and how style impacts their ability to use their theory and model. Use of feedback as a tool for learning allows students to realize how to improve their facilitation approach.
ODL 615 Learning Design and Implementation
3 credits. Major steps in creating and designing adult education learning programs are discussed. Students develop a program that demonstrates their understanding of the key components of instructional design. Specific topics include collaborative relationships with customers/management, needs assessment, analyzing data, writing learning objectives, cost effectiveness of programs, selecting and sequencing content, developing learning materials and constructing evaluative instruments.
ODL 646 Career Development
3 credits. Course provides students with an experiential understanding of the process of career development. Through a primarily experiential approach, students have an opportunity to engage key concepts in the field of career development by crafting their own career vision. In addition, topics such as assessment, gender, choice, interventions, and career management are experienced and discussed.
ODL 670 Strategic Leadership, Ethics, and Values
3 credits. This course emphasizes the integration of leadership thinking and behavior with strategic planning. Students have the opportunity to review work projects and how communications, perceptions, behaviors, culture, and current events impact the outcome of projects and initiatives. Relationships between organizational dynamics, culture, history, and leadership are explored through the lens of strategic change initiatives. Specific strategies are considered and students begin to explore new ways of looking at leadership and their own behaviors in order to successfully implement strategies.
ODL 680 The Coaching Leader
3 credits. Interactive course that focuses on increasing the student's ability to communicate and influence leaders, peers, participants, and clients. Specific topic areas include giving and receiving feedback, identifying, and understanding communication style preferences, learning how to listen for the "real issues," coaching and influencing skills, and corporate coaching and mentoring programs. A 360-degree feedback mechanism will be built into this course.
ODL 685 Seminar in Global Issues
3 credits. The course considers topical organizational issues through critical reviews and discussions by participants. Issues will include ethics, diversity, globalization, sustainability, and impacts of web 2.0.
ODL 686 Seminar in Global Issues Study Tour
3 credits. There is no better way to learn about cultural diversity and working in a multinational society than to actually travel to another country. The Study Tour Course includes nine days in another country and pre-work to prepare for the trip and post-tour projects. This is a deeply experiential program with a focus on cultural diversity in a variety of education, business, and social justice settings. The students will get a chance to network and learn from professionals in other countries.
ODL 690 Creative Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
3 credits. In a global world, where increasing competition, rapidly evolving technologies, and changing outlooks and attitudes transform the way we live work, generating new ideas that fit the changing times, is essential. Critical thinking — reflecting on the assumptions underlying our actions and considering new ways of looking at the world and living in it — is an essential skill for leaders at this time. Critical thinkers do not passively accept what they read; rather, they reflect to derive new alternatives. This course is a comprehensive guide to help adults learn how to make worthwhile contributions at work and influence those around them. Students have an opportunity to identify and overcome personal and organizational barriers.
ODL 695 Organization Consulting: A Gestalt Approach
3 credits. This course will focus on the Gestalt Model in organizational change consulting. Students will learn a powerful new perspective that recognizes behavior and interactions of systems, rather than individuals, creating new and dynamic possibilities for intervention. A theoretical and practical framework will be taught for high-impact consulting in organizations, exploring critical dilemmas and offering opportunities to practice new skills. This course will benefit students who wish to understand and develop process consultation skills while learning a new framework for managing change. Approved by International Coaching Federation (ICF) for coach accreditation hours.
To learn more about the curriculum for the Online Master of Science in Organization Development and Leadership, call (215) 473-2695 to speak with a Program Manager, or you can request more information below.