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Higher Education Leadership Certificate Overview

Target Your Higher Education Leadership

The certificate program in Higher Education Leadership is designed to enhance the work of current professionals in students services or administrative positions at colleges and universities by providing the theoretical and academic knowledge associated with the field. The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is an online, 18-credit program that delves into the skills needed to effectively manage student services, advising and assisting traditional/non-traditional student needs through courses related to higher education organizational leadership.

Students who earn this certificate may apply all certificate courses to the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and do not have to reapply for the entrance into the master's program. Students are also eligible for Financial Aid.

Higher Education Leadership Certificate Goals and Objectives

Successful certificate graduates will:

  • Understand foundational leadership theories and leadership itself as a psycho-social phenomenon.
  • Recognize current and future challenges facing higher education institutions, and formulate leadership strategies and plans for meeting those challenges and facilitating change.
  • Make decisions and take actions that are mindful of the latest trends in higher education and student services, as well as the unique needs of an institution and its students.
  • Use critical thinking and decision-making skills to enhance higher education leadership and organizational effectiveness.

Student Learning Outcomes

Successful certificate graduates will be able to:

  • Identify and lead critical change initiatives found in the literature and research that are relevant to higher education institutions and apply them successfully in case study situations.
  • Create a strategic plan for a new organizational initiative.
  • Identify the latest trends and theories in adult/continuing education and student services.

This 18-credit hour program consists of six graduate online courses and is designed for professionals currently working in colleges and universities.

Graduate Certificate Core Courses (6 credits)

ORGL-50900 Leadership: Theories, Practices and Context (3 credits)
This course provides an analysis of foundational theories and practices of leadership, emphasizing the application of theoretical concepts to real-life leadership situations. Also examined are the impact of organizational history and structure on today's leadership challenges. Psychometric instruments used in this course: Big Five Personality Test, Type A, Locus of Control, Machiavelli Scale, Emotional Intelligence, modified MBTI, Self-Monitoring, Narcissism.

ORGL-52400 Leading Change (3 credits)
This course engages students in their discovery of skills, practices and theories related to organizational change. Students will identify key factors influencing organizational change, learn skills to minimize resistance to change and analyze key competencies of effective change leaders. Case studies will be examined as the course compares/contrasts different change models and distinguishes key success factors in making change efforts last within our organizations. Using their newly learned resources, students will develop a change leadership "roadmap" that integrates key learning objectives and demonstrates their success as a change leader. Psychometric instruments used in this course include: Tolerance for Ambiguity Scale, Big Five Personality Test.

Graduate Certificate Concentration Courses (12 credits)

ORGL-51600 Principles of Higher Education: Mission and Directions (3 credits)
This course focuses on the governance and management issues of higher education and the interface between the social and political forces. It will develop the context for understanding public and private institutions, academic and administrative organization, and governance generally and as these affect student-institution relationships. Emphasis will be placed on connecting the historical perspectives of higher education with the current leadership/governance issues of today. Theoretical frameworks and organizational models will be used for analysis.

ORGL-55600 Systems and Services in Higher Education (3 credits)
Reviewing the characteristics of the organization, administration and functions of student affairs programs, this course looks at the concrete services offered. Perspectives in planning, annual rotation of events and services, staffing issues, foundational budgeting and other areas of management will be reviewed. These services will be considered in regard to mission, diversity, traditional and non-traditional students. Students will engage in actual design and share in the implementation of student service initiatives in the learning context.

ORGL-55800 Planning Strategically (3 credits)
This course will review traditional management planning processes and then examine the planning process from a strategic perspective. Students will learn how to apply a variety of management tools and techniques for decision making and will develop strategic approaches to management decisions. This course is designed to encourage students to think strategically and operationally about organizations in an increasingly diverse management environment. Students develop a strategic plan in this course following the Bryson model.

ORGL-57200 Adult Development (3 credits)
This course uses the concepts of positive psychology to focus on the development of adults as individuals and persons living in the context of organizations with a focus on the role of leadership in promoting personal maturation and learning. Working with theories of human development, this course develops a foundation for understanding and facilitating adult growth. Psychometric instrument used in this course: VIA Survey of Character Strengths.

Learn More

Take the next step toward discovering your true leadership abilities with Lewis University's Higher Education Leadership Certificate, available online and on-campus. Call (866) 967-7046 to speak with a Graduate Admissions Counselor or click here to request more information.