Through the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, you will learn how to effectively develop and motivate employees, solve problems, and lead and inspire others by example. 

School of Education & Health Sciences

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Questions?

Graduate Admission

630-637-5555

grad@noctrl.edu

Why Pursue a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership?

Do you want to rise as a leader that creates meaningful change in your organization? Are you looking for new ways to frame, approach, and tackle ambiguous problems and make strategic, evidence-based decisions? Do you need to hone your leadership skills so that you can develop, coach, and lead others?

The online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership teaches students how to effectively develop and motivate employees, solve problems, and lead and inspire others by example. In our program, students learn and apply evidence-based decision making, assessment tools, creative problem solving, and strategic planning.

Our students are aspiring leaders and changemakers who want to lead with confidence. They believe that with effective training, proper guidance, and reflection, they can become a force for good by helping others soar.

In-Demand Leadership Skills

More and more employers are looking for leaders who have the ability to connect with people, form creative solutions, and adapt to difficult and ambiguous situations. They recognize that soft skills and traits, such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management, are vital to a leader’s success.

These skills are interwoven throughout our degree’s curriculum. Students study the principles of creativity, inclusion, talent development, and data analytics, and apply those concepts to real-world situations.

Close Faculty Mentorship

We know that our students want to grow and develop personally and professionally. We offer graduate students the online flexibility they demand with the personal touch they desire. Each student is assigned a faculty-coach who will work with them throughout the program. This coach will meet one-on-one with our students each term, helping them make new connections and grow as leaders.

Our students will see and hear from their professors online, in both video lectures and occasional synchronous sessions with classmates. They will also have the opportunity to connect and engage with faculty, classmates, and other professional leaders in person during our Weekend Leadership Conference.

Degree Features

  • 100% Online Curriculum: Flexible courses designed to fit students’ busy schedules. Learn more about graduate online learning at North Central.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: A strong curriculum that looks to the future, covering topics such as diversity and inclusion, evidence-based decision making, innovative training and development, and leadership coaching 
  • Weekend Leadership Conference: A professional leadership conference that connects students to campus and exposes them to leadership experts, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and hands-on training experiences

Program Outcomes

  • Articulate and apply theories of motivation, leadership and talent development.
  • Apply principles of conflict resolution and collaboration in their organizations and teams.
  • Apply ethical and legal principles and evidence-based decision making to solve dilemmas.
  • Demonstrate understanding of diversity, equity and cultural difference, and be able to utilize techniques to interrupt bias and create a culture of inclusion.
  • Articulate, critique and use talent development and training processes for the professional growth and development of themselves and their followers.
  • Understand how to create a culture of learning and development, and be able to craft development and strategic plans based on organizational and employee need.
  • Use key coaching principles to lead and challenge others.

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Curriculum

  • Creative and Future-Focused Curriculum: Students will learn theories and concepts in organizational leadership and discover how these concepts can be introduced, discussed, and used in industries today. 
  • Ethically Responsible: Our core as an institution is to develop ethical and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts. Ethics is a foundational principle that is integrated into each and every class.
  • Practical Application: Practical experiences are part of the entire program. Through case studies and assignments designed for real-world application, students will apply course concepts throughout the curriculum.

Degree Format

  • The program consists of 12 courses, 36 credit hours.
    • 5 core leadership courses
    • 5 organization leadership courses
    • 2 elective courses  
  • All courses are offered in fully online formats and are delivered in 8-week sessions.
  • 2019-20 Academic Calendar (PDF)

Organizational Leadership, M.A.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 36 credit hours: 15 credit hours of core courses, 15 credit hours in Organizational Leadership courses and six credit hours of electives.

Core Courses

  • MORG 500 - Leadership and Organizational Theory

    MORG 500 - Leadership and Organizational Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Students examine a variety of traditional and contemporary leadership theories and apply them to the behavior of business leaders, entrepreneurs and publicly known leaders. They examine power and explore the importance of ethical leadership while learning how to craft a compelling vision, create transformational change and develop followers. Organizational and systems theories are explored to help ensure students know how to build and create cultures that advance learning, growth and success.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 525 - Diversity and Inclusion

    MORG 525 - Diversity and Inclusion

    3.00 credit hours

    In this course, students enhance their cultural competency and learn to develop a global mindset. They begin to unravel how to identify and tackle conscious and unconscious bias and learn how to create an inclusive culture that engages and promotes people of different identities, backgrounds and worldviews. The ethical components of diversity programs are considered, with particular emphasis on recent trends in diversity and inclusion programs. Topics for study include gender, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as generational, religious, educational and socioeconomic diversity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 550 - Communication, Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution

    MORG 550 - Communication, Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution

    3.00 credit hours

    Students learn key elements of group dynamics and strategic communication. They discover their own conflict style and develop tools to lead strong teams and solve conflict. Case studies and real-world examples are analyzed to help the student unravel how to approach conflict, engage in meaningful dialogue and successfully negotiate resolution.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 575 - Evidence Based Decision Making

    MORG 575 - Evidence Based Decision Making

    3.00 credit hours

    Students learn how to find, use and evaluate data and information to make informed decisions. They analyze information from a variety of places, including organizational information, scientific data, publications, research and professional judgment, and apply reliable evidence to a variety decision making models.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 696 - Innovation Project

    MORG 696 - Innovation Project

    3.00 credit hours

    This semester long course serves as a culminating experience in which students are expected to apply knowledge and insights gained from their graduate courses to an innovation project in an organization. Students must ground this project in evidence and research that demonstrates the need, purpose and goals of the initiative.

    Prerequisite(s)

    27 credit hours in graduate coursework and MORG 575.

    Schedule Of Classes

Organizational Leadership Courses

  • MHRM 515 - Strategic Human Resource Management

    MHRM 515 - Strategic Human Resource Management

    3.00 credit hours

    The course examines the role of human resource professionals as a strategic partner to organizational success. Key activities are examined including recruitment, selection, training, development, job analysis, job design, compensation, benefits, performance management and employee relations. Best practices of employers of choice are analyzed.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 600 - High Potential Leadership Coaching

    MORG 600 - High Potential Leadership Coaching

    3.00 credit hours

    Students learn how leaders may use coaching, mentoring, sponsoring and advising to advance organizational objectives. They discover and apply various coaching models, techniques and assessment instruments to real-world coaching scenarios while exploring coaching models such as Appreciative Inquiry, Strength Based Coaching, Career Coaching and more. The ethical considerations of coaching will be examined.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 625 - Assessment, Evaluation and Planning

    MORG 625 - Assessment, Evaluation and Planning

    3.00 credit hours

    This course equips students with a variety of tools and frameworks that can be applied to create meaningful growth and change in an organization. Students examine the process, purpose and methods of needs analysis and explore a variety of assessment and evaluation tools that can be used for professional development plans and organizational change initiatives. Through case studies and real-world application, students learn how to conduct a needs analysis and craft appropriate development goals. They then learn how to evaluate, assess and modify those plans to create optimal success for the organization and its employees. Ethical considerations in needs assessment and evaluation are explored.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 650 - Innovative Training and Development

    MORG 650 - Innovative Training and Development

    3.00 credit hours

    Students learn how to create a culture that is committed to learning, development and improvement. They examine experiential learning methods, and study traditional and cuttingedge practices that are used to train and develop employees, including outdoor education, arts-based learning, job rotation and volunteer and global leadership training experiences. By the end of the course, students have learned practical, innovative ways to train and develop a variety of employees with varying needs, interests and strengths.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MORG 675 - Strategic Leadership and Organizational Design

    MORG 675 - Strategic Leadership and Organizational Design

    3.00 credit hours

    This course equips students with the ability to analyze organizational needs, craft strategic plans and design organizations using a systems theory approach. Through case study and realworld analysis, students are able to uncover critical challenges, strengths and opportunities within a variety of organizations. They create targeted strategic plans and organizational designs and understand how those designs serve the entire organization and its stakeholders.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MORG 625.

    Schedule Of Classes

Elective Courses

Two of the following:

  • MBUS 500 - Data Analytics for Managers

    MBUS 500 - Data Analytics for Managers

    3.00 credit hours

    This course develops analytical skills for business professionals as it pertains to data analysis, interpretation and presentation. The course relies on real-world data to develop competencies in the approach and tools necessary to analyze data. Students gain an understanding of how data scientists use data to inform business decisions. Students develop familiarity with various data analysis and presentation programs commonly used by business professionals.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MBUS 520 - Applied Managerial Marketing

    MBUS 520 - Applied Managerial Marketing

    3.00 credit hours

    Examines marketing management as a cross-functional process that joins the marketing vision for an organization with its financial goals and production capabilities. An emphasis is placed on the development of a strategic marketing plan which includes targeting, positioning of good/services and the marketing mix to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. In addition, case studies are used to analyze marketing management problems and solutions.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MBUS 606 - Entrepreneurship and New Venture Strategy

    MBUS 606 - Entrepreneurship and New Venture Strategy

    3.00 credit hours

    Entrepreneurship and New Venture Strategy focuses on skills and business strategies necessary for launching a business. Topics include opportunity recognition, new market development, resource allocation, growth strategies, innovation, legal issues, taxation and acquiring seed capital, among others. Each student develops a new venture concept plan to envision, and potentially create and launch, a new business.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MFIN 510 - Financial Management

    MFIN 510 - Financial Management

    3.00 credit hours

    An in-depth analysis to corporate financial management. Students study advanced concepts in financial accounting, financial analysis and corporate finance. This course ensures students have familiarity with necessary financial management topics such as, financial statement analysis, cash flow analysis, theory of capital structure, fundamentals of financial markets and risk and return concepts.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MHRM 625 - Recruitment and Selection

    MHRM 625 - Recruitment and Selection

    3.00 credit hours

    How organizations go about recruiting and selecting their personnel is a key aspect of human resource management. Choosing whom to employ is an important way in which employers pursue organizational goals. This course provide an understanding of methods and processes surrounding recruitment and selection as well as encourage the development of a critical approach to these important human resource functions.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MHRM 515.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MHRM 655 - Compensation and Benefits

    MHRM 655 - Compensation and Benefits

    3.00 credit hours

    The course examines total compensation strategy and design. Compensation and benefits are central to recruit, retain, incentivize and equitably compensate organizational stakeholders. Critical issues such as employee pay, total reward strategy, team-based pay, competency-based pay, executive compensation, compensation to support talent management and benefits are explored.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MHRM 515.

    Schedule Of Classes

Leadership Conference

Students are required to attend one Leadership Conference or approved alternative experience. The annual Leadership Conference provides students the space to take the principals of leadership theory that they learned in the virtual classroom and come together with faculty, classmates and professional leaders to learn how they can place those principals into real practice. The conference is not linked to specific courses, but instead, focuses on students' career and personal development and addresses the emerging trends in leadership.

Panel discussions will focus on a range of trending and relevant topics in leadership today. Some examples include:

  • Implicit Bias
  • People Analytics
  • Sensemaking
  • Women Leaders on Corporate Boards

Organizational Leadership Conference

Developing and honing leadership skills require constant training and intentional practice. The annual Leadership Conference provides the space to take the principals of leadership theory learned in the virtual classroom and come together with faculty, classmates, and professional leaders to place those principals into real practice. The conference is not linked to specific courses, but instead, focuses on career and personal development and addresses the emerging trends in leadership.

Hands-on, Experiential Learning

The conference connects students with other leaders and gives an opportunity to develop, implement, and analyze innovative leadership programs. There will be opportunities to work as a team to share takeaways and discuss how these innovative programs can be applied. 

During the conference, students will participate in unique training opportunities like arts-based learning to enhance creative problem solving skills or outdoor adventure leadership activities. Topics will include engaging panel discussions with expert faculty and industry leaders on the issues and challenges that leaders face in today's environment. 

Leadership Conference Topics

Panel discussions will focus on a range of trending and relevant topics in leadership today. Some examples include:

  • Implicit Bias
  • People Analytics
  • Sensemaking
  • Women Leaders on Corporate Boards

Conference Details

  • The Leadership Conference will over a weekend to coordinate with working professionals. 
  • Meals will be provided and students will not be charged tuition/fees for your attendance.
  • There is no limit to the number of conferences students can attend.

Organizational Leadership Outlook

An organizational leadership degree will set you on the path to success and help you advance your career in a fast growing industry. Regardless of your position or rank, you will discover how you can lead where you are.

Organizational leaders can make an impact in a variety of work settings:

  • Consulting firms
  • Corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Higher education
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Think tanks

Potential Career Opportunities 

Corporate Recruiting Human Resources Internal and External Management Consulting and Analysis Knowledge Management Leadership Coaching and Development
Learning or Training Departments Organizational Development Performance Improvement Strategic Change and Strategic Planning Talent Management

What Our Alumni Are Saying

"My leadership skills grew exponentially as a result of the Master of Arts in Leadership program. I have been able to take concepts we learned throughout the program and apply them in a real-life setting for my organization. As a result, we have made things more efficient, improved quality control and communication, and boosted morale among our workers."

"Since I received my Master's Degree from North Central College I was able to advance my career by receiving a position as Director of Operations where I currently oversee close to 40 employees and subcontractors. Along with my previous work experience, my degree was a key factor in receiving the position."

Bradley Johns M '16
Director of Operations at Great Western Flooring Co.

"Even though I’d been a leader for over 30 years, I found the Master of Arts in Leadership program to be extremely impactful. I experienced one epiphany after another as I began to connect my real-life experiences with the art and science of leadership models and theory. The curriculum reinforced and empowered me to see my unique leadership style through a clearer lens."

Scott Witte M '16
Director of Horticulture Cantigny Park


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