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Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership

Working Professionals

Program Description

This online program is designed for students interested in or currently pursuing a leadership position.  The program would allow students seeking an advanced degree to assess their own personal leadership style, to critically examine organizational challenges and analyze the various aspects of organizational interactions at all levels (individual, group and organizational) to gain the professional competencies to effectively lead others and bring about change.  This will be accomplished by drawing upon the student's current knowledge and "real world" experiences while exploring in-depth the theoretical knowledge, methods and concepts that focus on organizational effectiveness and individual leadership competencies.

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Our Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership degree program is 11 total courses (33 credits): 8 Core Courses (24 credits) + 3 Concentration Courses (9 credits).

Learning Community * · You'll take this course in your first semester.

This course focuses on establishing collaborative learning environments within an organization, including those in a global community. This course presents an analysis of the various leadership styles, focuses on theoretical constructs for a learning organization, and explores issues such as diversity and moral and ethical dilemmas in leadership at the various organizational levels (individual, group, and organizational). This course provides students in a leadership role (or considering pursuing a leadership role) an opportunity to analyze, reflect on, and apply organizational principles, and other behaviors necessary to develop a learning organization.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Apply various learning community theories and models to organizational dilemmas
  2. Assess the influences of diversity on a learning community from interpersonal, group, and organizational behavior perspectives in making organizational decisions
  3. Evaluate various leadership types and analyze the influences of the leadership styles on the organization at the various levels (individual, group and organizational)
  4. Formulate a learning community based on the various theoretical characteristics
  5. Assess the various pros and cons related to formulating a learning community
3 credits
Personal Leadership

This course starts with the premise that everyone is capable of being a leader. Students will examine their own leadership style through the use of leadership assessment tools and literature reviews which will include a number of alternative perspectives of leadership, including contemporary styles. Based on their analysis of these styles and information from the assessments, as well as from applying them and using action learning methods, students will develop their own personal model of leadership.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate various types of leadership competencies necessary to effectively lead an organization
  2. Apply the concepts of leadership, including leading with vision, inspiring and motivating others, and ethics working in a diverse workforce using case studies/real-world problems
  3. Compare and contrast leadership styles and how they may apply to different organizational scenarios
  4. Identify one’s own strengths and the potential challenges that one may face as a leader
  5. Compare and contrast various motivational theories as they relate to leading an organization
  6. Apply data from organizational assessments and individual personality type assessments to develop an organizational leadership plan
3 credits
Organizational Development Landscapes

This course is designed to allow students to gain insights into the history and development of the principles of organizational structure and design. Students will explore the complexities associated with achieving a high performing organization. Consider the influence of such factors as organizational goals, life cycle, culture and environment on organizational design and decision making. This course will place emphasis on the roles of key business disciplines in achieving the organization’s mission.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the differences between organizational structure and design
  2. Assess the influences of globalization and culture on the 21st Century organization
  3. Examine the complexities associated with achieving a high performance organization
  4. Explain different leadership styles, including their own, impacts the performance of an organization
  5. Demonstrate how the roles of key business disciplines assist in the achievement of an organization’s mission and goals and identify the points of intersection
  6. Explain the nature of the open systems approach
  7. Analyze the stages of an organization’s growth
3 credits
Group Process and Team Dynamics

This course will expose students to the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization’s ability to stay competitive in a global environment. Students will have an opportunity to explore various concepts associated with the formation of groups (inter-and intra-group relations) and methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness. Emphasis will be placed on theory and practice related to the various types of leadership teams, team cohesiveness, group communication, conflict resolution and other concepts related to group processes and team dynamics.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization performance
  2. Examine the various aspects of group formation (inter-and intra-group relations) and methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness
  3. Apply theory and practice as an approach for developing an effective team
  4. Apply various group models to specific group conditions/situations
  5. Examine the communication challenges leading virtual teams compared to a traditional on-site team
  6. Analyze various leadership types and its influences on the effectiveness of the team
  7. Develop a personal philosophy of working with individuals in a group that respects human diversity.
3 credits
Intercultural/Global Perspectives

The primary focus of this course is on the importance of culture in organizations and its effects on the organization’s performance. Students will explore topics of diversity as a challenge and an opportunity at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Students will also examine the demographic trends as a result of globalization, including virtual work teams, and the effects of emerging digital technology and its influences on global relations.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Critically examine the demographic and generational changes in the workforce over the last 20 years
  2. Examine the concepts and theories related to dimensions of diversity, inclusive approaches and cross cultural models
  3. Examine the challenges associated with issues of diversity and inclusion for a global workforce
  4. Analyze and apply various cultural theories as it relates to leading a diverse workforce
  5. Assess the influences of personal leadership styles (behaviors and beliefs) to accomplish the organization’s strategic initiatives
  6. Develop workplace policies based on an understanding of ethics as it relates to an international/intercultural environment
  7. Develop a diversity strategy that will identify, attract and retain the best human resource talent
3 credits
Developing and Leading Others

This course focuses on various leadership styles and its influence on an organization. The course will further examine theory and practice of leadership models and concepts; and build on coaching, mentoring, motivational, and empowerment models required to develop effective leadership skills.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Analyze individual personality and behavioral styles to determine how leaders respond and motivate others
  2. Explain theory and practice associated with various types of coaching models to support organizational change
  3. Apply theories, concepts and models presented in this course as an approach to develop effective leadership teams
  4. Create a project that presents a leadership team structure that establishes roles and responsibilities, information sharing, supportive (transparency, defining and enforcing healthy norms, establishes rules for engagement, build trust, accountability, etc.), encourages coaching, etc.
3 credits
Applied Research Project *

This course provides research techniques and language for both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This course will include how to develop research questions and hypotheses, how to conduct library/literature searches, research limitations and other research design considerations. The Applied Research Project is a part of the Capstone Seminar course. The research project should be a work-based project focused on a research problem. (prerequisite statistics)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the various frameworks related to designing a research proposal (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches)
  2. Discuss ethical issues associated with a research problem, questions, data collection, analysis and interpretation of the data
  3. Develop a research strategy for writing the research proposal
  4. Formulate research hypotheses and research questions (for a qualitative or quantitative study)
  5. Create a work-based project
3 credits
Capstone Seminar * · Earn a "B" or higher to pass this course.

The Capstone Seminar provides an opportunity for students to complete their research projects and present and receive feedback on their research projects. The projects will be evaluated by peers and faculty. It also provides students an opportunity to reflect upon and integrate their course learning with their life and work experiences and to relate their learning to effectiveness within their organizational work environments.

3 credits

* Not replaceable with transfer credit.

Three of the degree program's courses (9 credits) are in a concentration of your choice — Business or Nonprofit.

Business Concentration Courses

Business and Economics of an Organization

This course will introduce students to financial strategies required for non-financial managers working in a global economic environment. The course will present a high level overview of various accounting/financial processes and other resources necessary for decision making and organizational strategic planning purposes.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of accounting and financial management processes
  2. Demonstrate the ability to develop and analyze organizational budgets for forecasting purposes
  3. Explain global economic threats and the challenges it presents for organizations
  4. Apply the financial strategies required for organizational decision making to a business dilemma
  5. Demonstrate ability to conduct research, analyze financial statements, and other organizational information to develop organizational strategic planning processes
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of organizational marketing concepts and how they relate to an effective organization
3 credits
Effective Communication

This course will provide students with the skills, and the research and theory behind those skills, to communicate effectively with people located in the same geographic region and located anywhere across the world. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate and apply numerous communications options to develop an authentic, powerful, leadership voice using interpersonal, technology-mediated, and intercultural communications competencies and techniques. Students will develop both a personal and an organizational model of effective communication.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate various theories and communication modules/methods that focus on interpersonal interactions and the challenges of interpersonal conflicts -- within groups, cultures, and workplace
  2. Analyze and apply various communication models/theories used in dyadic, small group, formal and informal communications, including the theories of symbolic organization (humanistic and social scientific approaches), discourse and interaction, and relational communicating in small groups and from an organizational perspective
  3. Assess organizational communication strategies/processes considering various communication modes/methods, including strategies in international organizations
  4. Research and analyze key contemporary digital communication avenues that are currently being used by corporations—strengths, weaknesses, and applications
  5. Create scenarios applying the most appropriate message structure, delivery structure, and argument support for the avenue
  6. Develop a personal and an organizational communication model based on the information gained in the course
3 credits
Leading Organizational Change

This course will provide a conceptual frame of organizational change theories, concepts and models. Students will have an opportunity to practice implementing organizational change processes; and to examine critical leadership competencies necessary to lead a strategic change initiative. This course will also allow students to gain a broad understanding of issues associated with implementing a change process at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Students will critically examine different types of change – incremental, transitional, transformative, and strategic – and the various implementations in performing systems change.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe various theories, concepts and models associated with organizational change processes to apply to and organizational dilemma
  2. Assess the pros and cons of the various organizational change theories, concepts and models
  3. Evaluate the importance of organizational change and illustrate the role that learning plays in an organization change process
  4. Explain the roles and relationships of information technology in organizational design, decision-making, and culture as a part of the change
  5. Design an organizational change strategy and assess the effectiveness of the process from a leadership perspective
  6. Evaluate the critical role of leadership in guiding organizational change
3 credits

Nonprofit Concentration Courses

Nonprofit Management

This course is designed to allow students to gain competencies necessary to manage a nonprofit organization. This course focuses on current issues, theoretical perspectives, federal and state regulations and reporting requirements, policies, and methods in the development and management of a nonprofit organization. The course places additional emphasis on strategic planning, marketing, identifying financial resources (grants, fundraising, etc.), management of finances (making operational and capital budgeting decisions) and human resources--that include volunteers, information technology, and the skills necessary for effective organizational leadership.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain how nonprofit management differs from both public and business sectors
  2. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and critique budgets, financial statements, federal and state reporting requirements, audit reports, marketing plans, and strategic plans
  3. Articulate the ethical dimension of public service, especially as related to the duties and responsibilities of the director and the board
  4. Examine political, economic and ethical issues related to managing a nonprofit organization
  5. Formulate communication strategies to build a community and online presence for marketing and fundraising purposes
  6. Evaluation reports on the strategic and marketing plans of nonprofit organizations
  7. Demonstrate use of metrics in performance and program evaluation
3 credits
Nonprofit Resource Development and Fund Raising

This course focuses on the history, theories, skills, and practices of fundraising, including how fundraising emanates from the organizations’ strategic plan; how marketing has an impact on fundraising; the components of a successful fundraising campaign; fundraising ethics and legal issues; and the basic techniques of fundraising such as annual giving, grant writing, special events, and capital campaigns.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the history of philanthropy and the philosophy of giving
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of accounting and financial management processes
  3. Analyze the nature and dynamics of financial resource development for nonprofit organizations
  4. Identify key ethical policies, procedures and best practices and their impact on financial resource development situations and decision-making in the nonprofit sector
  5. Identify and articulate diversified financial resource development planning strategies, tactics and politics into operational decision-making for nonprofit organizations
  6. Evaluate various theories and communication modules/methods that focus on interpersonal interactions and the challenges of interpersonal conflicts -- within groups, cultures, and workplace
  7. Apply various communication models/theories used in dyadic, small group, formal and informal communications in small groups and from an organizational perspective
  8. Explain the differences between leadership and management and the significant role leadership plays in financial resource development
  9. Describe what current issues exist that push the financial resource development boundaries in nonprofit organizations' missions
  10. Analyze and evaluate organizational values and vision/mission statements of nonprofit organizations and assess their impact on public policies as these relate to the common good
  11. Explain the impact of the changing demographics on giving and philanthropy
  12. Use fundraising, development, marketing and public relations, executive leadership, governance and public policy best practices and strategies to formulate, organize and design a strategic resource development plan for a nonprofit organization, including utilization of social media and professional networking sites.
3 credits
Roles of Nonprofit in Fostering Social Change

This course focuses on the impact of nonprofit organization in fostering social change and the roles of the director and board in bringing about social change. The course will challenge students to consider the shift from a program centric model to a mission centric approach that is focused on social impact, outcomes, and measures of success. Students will also gain an understanding of the roles and influences (positive and negative) of philanthropy on political advocacy and social change movements in the U.S.; the scope and diversity of the philanthropic sector; political advocacy approaches and social movements; and example of current philanthropic involvement in advocacy and social change efforts across the political spectrum, It will examine nonprofits organizations that have succeeded and those that have failed in implementing social change.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe various theories, concepts and models associated with organizational change processes to apply to and organizational dilemma
  2. Evaluate the importance of organizational change and illustrate the role that learning plays in an organization change process
  3. Explain the effects of philanthropy on social movements and political change
  4. Compare the program centric model to the mission centric model, including advantages and disadvantages as it relates to fostering social change
  5. Formulate a solid assessment of a nonprofit’s capacity to engage in advocacy and social change
  6. Explain how to engage key constituencies, including staff, board and volunteers in bringing about change
  7. Explain the intersection of philanthropy with policy, business, law, and society
  8. Develop a strategic plan for a nonprofit that will foster social change, including outcomes assessment.
3 credits

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, or international institution equivalent to a U.S. regionally accredited institution, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Three years of relevant work experience required, five preferred.
  • Two letters of professional recommendation
  • One essay, 500-750 words, describing the applicant's specific career goals, objectives, motivation to pursue an advanced degree, and professional experience and/or projects.
  • A professional resume
  • No GREs or entrance exams required

Students with GPA's between 2.7 and 3.0 may apply.  If accepted, grades of B or better must be achieved in the first two courses to continue the program.

Academic Requirements

  • The OEL501 Learning Community must be taken in the student's first term.
  • The OEL501 Learning Community, OEL690 Applied Research, and OEL695 Capstone seminar courses will not be accepted in transfer and can only be taken at Charter Oak.
  • Program Prerequisite: A prior undergraduate course in Statistics.  Students without this will be required to take a non-credit, online, low-cost review seminar (approximately 12 hours to complete).

To be eligible for graduation, students must meet the following College requirements:

  1. Earn at least 33 hours for a master's degree.
  2. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
  3. Fulfill all course requirements of the major and:
    • Complete all the Core and Major courses with a grade of B or higher with no more than one course with a grade of C+ or C.
    • Complete the Capstone Seminar with a grade of B or higher.
  4. Submit a graduation application by the appropriate deadline, including the graduation fee.
  5. Graduate students have five years to complete a Charter Oak State College graduate degree.
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Applicants may transfer in up to 6 graduate-level credits from other regionally accredited institutions if the credits are equivalent to the content offered in one of the required courses of the program. Transfer credits must be no more than 10 years old and the student must have earned a “B” or better.

Students may also be able to earn credit through an assessment of their prior learning and evaluation of credentials earned.

See information about your Financial Aid options.

Graduates of the Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership will learn to:

  • Lead, formulate and implement organizational change strategies to achieve the organization's mission.
  • Create and lead local, national, and international self-directed, cross functional, and virtual work teams.
  • Identify and implement continuous improvement strategies to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Lead, motivate, coach, mentor, and develop associates and groups to achieve measurable results.
  • Utilize applied research to analyze and solve complex organizational problems.

What’s the difference between a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a Master of Science (MS) degree and what degree is best for you?

The field of business has a wealth of disciplines that students can choose to pursue including such areas as organizational effectiveness and leadership, accounting, finance, marketing, international business, business analytics, etc. Identifying and selecting an appropriate degree program is a very personal decision that will come down to your professional career interests and aspirations.

When comparing an MBA degree to a Master of Science degree one needs to explore the issue of breadth versus depth of the subject matter covered in the degree program. A person with a Master of Science degree tends to become a subject matter expert within a singular discipline and desires to be recognized as the resident expert in a functional area within an organization. A person with an MBA tends to look at the big picture covering a wide area of functions within an organization.

The approach to the studies may vary significantly. A Master of Science degree guides a student through a substantial, deep exploration of the intricacies of the subject matter whereas an MBA will address a broad range of knowledge content areas across all business functions that are focused on application, limited in depth of singular, subject content coverage.

The MBA is the most globally recognized, academic business credential and still highest volume business degree awarded. That being said, there has been a substantial increase in the number of Master of Science degrees over the last 10 years. The percentage of Master of Science degrees has increased to approximately 20% of all graduate business degrees awarded and continues to increase [1].

Benefits to Consider [2]

CriteriaMaster of ScienceMBA
Subject Matter ContentDepth over breadthBreadth over depth
Generalist vs. SpecialistSpecialistGeneralist
Career PerspectiveSubject matter expertManager across organization
Subject Matter RigorDeeply explore subjectSkills across many subjects
EducationLectures, labs, case studiesEmphasis on case studies
CommitmentTypically 30-33 creditsTypically 36+ credits

So why a Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership instead of an MBA?

It has become increasingly challenging for organizations to operate effectively and improve their value chain, given the increasing rate of change occurring in the business environment driven by constantly improving technology, rapid new product and service development, supply chain globalization, and global economic uncertainties.  This is exemplified in the following trends that are driving critical business decisions: [3]

  • There is clear focus on developing the next generation of leaders globally.
  • In today's fast-paced environment, organizations need to adopt a new way of looking at change and become more results-orientated.
  • As businesses struggle to fill critical positions at many levels, companies are putting renewed focus on building capabilities, not just finding them.

Today’s leaders need to be able to adapt and succeed in an ambiguous environment. Leaders need to analyze and develop an organization’s culture based on a highly diverse and global workforce. The ability to understand the dynamics of working with cross-cultural, self-directed, and cross-function teams will be paramount to both a leader’s and organization’s success.

Leaders and team members will be required to look at the organization and make decisions from a systems perspective. Learning at the individual, team, and organizational levels will be a constant activity. Leaders will be required to effectively communicate and inspire their team to commit to a shared organizational vision. Leaders, regardless of the level in the organizational, will need to be able to coach, mentor and drive effective organizational change as change will be the sole constant in every organization.

Organizations are flattening their organizational structures creating a critical need to develop leaders at every level within an organization. The Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership at Charter Oak State College was chartered and is uniquely positioned to develop, provide, and enhance the requisite practical skill and tool sets that leaders in organizations so desperately need.

Your time to influence and lead has come. Our Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership at Charter Oak State College will help you achieve that goal.

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