CANs List

Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


January 30, 2008

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curricular actions. Please forward any comments or concerns in the next 10 days to the AAC chair, Premalatha Junius, G04C Belknap Hall, ext. 4588.

Curricular Action Notice: New Program Proposal

1.       Department: Psychology

2.       Rationale for program:  The proposed program is consistent with Mansfield University’s focus on “developing tomorrow’s leaders”.  Leadership skills are valued in virtually all career pathways, and this program will offer students a flexible, online format to attain a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership.  The program provides a theoretical foundation and knowledge base focused on successful leadership across a variety of organizations. In addition, the curriculum is designed to allow students to develop practical  leadership skills that they will apply in a real-world setting, thereby enabling them to attain leadership positions in their chosen career pathway.

Mansfield University strives to develop leadership skills that students can use in across a variety of personal and professional roles. The newly proposed master’s degree in organizational leadership complements the various programs currently offered (e.g., Mountaineer Leadership Program, minor in leadership). As we learned from a community focus group and conversations with key informants, the local community strongly supports this program relative to the perceived needs of our predominantly rural region. With its online format, students across rural, suburban, and urban settings will be able to access courses to assist them in developing leadership skills that support careers they are pursuing.

3.       Degree and Program Title (attach an ER, course titles, and rationale): Master of Arts: Organizational Leadership.  (See Attachment A for curriculum overview, course titles and summary of content; See Attachment B for program rationale.)

4.       Program Description for Catalog:

This interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is designed to provide an online program that will allow students in the region and elsewhere to enhance their knowledge about leadership and apply leadership skills in real-world settings. The program will: (1) Focus on the theoretical foundations of leadership and facilitate development of  skills at the post-baccalaureate level for emerging leaders either working or aspiring to work in local, regional, national and international organizations. (2) Promote a view of leadership development that is grounded in the values of the Mansfield University CreedCharacter, Scholarship, Culture, and Service.  Graduates will demonstrate attributes such as integrity, a focus on scholarship, a commitment to enhancing the community, and a willingness to serve others for the greater good. (3) Create an online leadership learning environment that promotes inclusion, respect, collaboration, meaningful group interaction, and opportunities for application of leadership skills.

5.    Program Objectives:

The proposed program’s learning outcomes with related assessment activities are designed so graduates of the program will demonstrate:

  1. An integrated knowledge of leadership theory, organizational behavior theory, change theory, and communication theory to demonstrate best practices in organizational leadership.
  2. Knowledge of organizational planning, management of change, oversight of human resources, and leadership consistent with ethical, legal, and regulatory expectations.
  3. Self-awareness of personal leadership style, strengths and skills, and how these impact others in an organization and a personal plan for leadership development.
  4. Scholarly inquiry to evaluate the unique needs, challenges and opportunities of organizations.
  5. Understanding and application of the values of diversity, social justice, integrity, ethical analysis and accountability, and change to promote the common good.
  6. Analysis of the impact of social, ethical, cultural, economic, and political influences on organizational behavior in local, national and global communities.
  7. Practical leadership skills:
    1. communicating effectively with others within and outside an organization;
    2. interpersonal problem solving and conflict resolution;
    3. group participation and facilitation;
    4. planning and decision making;
    5. budgeting;
    6. evaluating internal and external environmental forces on an organization and developing a plan to manage change;
    7. using current technology, statistical tools and information resources to assist in effective decision making;
    8. implementing needs assessments and evaluations of program and organizational performance;
    9. leading and managing human resources in diverse organizational environments;
    10. analyzing legal and ethical issues as applied to organizational leadership.
    11. communicating and working effectively in global communities
  8. Specialty organizational leadership knowledge as a result of focused electives that serve students’ needs to be effective in their organizational practice arena.
  9. Completion of supervised community experience where they have participated in the application of the knowledge base, values and skills outlined above.

6.   Impact on other programs: Because this program is housed in the Psychology Department, it may have an impact on the instructional assignments of some psychology faculty. However, a tenure-track, full-time faculty member will be hired to offset some of this impact. In addition, there are 6 credits of electives required in this program. These could include graduate courses from programs in education, nursing, or communication. There will be no direct impact on undergraduate programs of study.

7.  Demand for Program (attach a market analysis): Please see ATTACHMENT C “Need for Program”

8.  Faculty qualifications: Faculty with appropriate background in organizational leadership or related field, qualified to teach at the graduate level. A new faculty line will be advertised to act as director and assistant/associate professor for the program.

9.  New library resources needed? __X__ Yes   ____ No   If yes:

Signature of appropriate librarian indicating needs can be met:


10.  New technology resources needed? ____Yes   __X__ No   If yes:

Signature of Director of Information Technology indicating needs can be met:  ________________________________________

11.  New equipment resources needed?  ____Yes   __X__ No   If yes:

        Describe Equipment:  _______________________________________________

        Source of funding:  _________________________________________________

12.    Physical facility support requirements: Office for a new faculty member

13.    Requested Date of Offering:  January, 2009

Recommendation Dates & Signatures:                              Signature                                                  Date

Department:                                                                 _________________________                              __________

TEC (if any education program):                             _________________________                              __________

Graduate Council (If necessary):                             _________________________                              __________

Academic Planning Committee:                              _________________________                              __________

Academic Affairs Committee:                                 _________________________                              __________

University Senate:                                                       _________________________                              __________

President:                                                                      _________________________                              __________

MU Form A43N – Effective 4/1/01

ATTACHMENT A:  Curriculum Overview and Course Titles

Curriculum Overview and Degree Requirements

The program offers courses within a common course framework:  enhancing knowledge, promoting skill development (with role-plays and simulations, case study analyses and observation/participation in real-world settings), and promoting opportunities for practice (in the community, where possible).  Development of multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity to diversity issues is integrated throughout the 33 credits required for graduation.

Core courses 21 credits

Ø  ORL 5501 Organizational Leadership: Theory and Practice (first course)

Ø  ORL 5510  Organizational Behavior and Change

Ø  ORL 5520  Organizational Planning and Administration

Ø  ORL 5530  Governance and Community Relations

Ø  ORL 5540  Leadership Ethics and the Legal/Regulatory Environment

Ø  COM 5545  Effective Communication in Leadership Roles

Ø  ORL 5550  Research, Program Assessment and Evaluation

Electives – 6 credits.  Sample Electives:

Ø       ORL 5571  Leadership in a Global Society

Ø       ORL 5572  Entrepreneurial Leadership

Internship - 3 credits - in the chosen area

Ø ORL  5590  Organizational Leadership Internship

This is an applied experience in the community with focus on the type of organization the student wants to better understand. There will be an assigned site supervisor/mentor. Two-hundred forty (240) on-site hours with one hour of supervision per week is required for this course.

Capstone Course - 3 credits

Ø  ORL 5595  Capstone Seminar

·         Reflects both the overall goals of the program and each student’s practicum area;

·         Taken by each student at the end of the program of study

·         Includes an applied project/portfolio

Course Offerings, Learning Experiences, and Instructional Methods


Suggested Content/Experiences

Ø   ORL 5501  Organizational Leadership: Theory and Practice (first course)

Blackboard Format


Readings and summaries

Case scenarios and online discussions

Self-assessment instruments related to Leadership Styles and online Reflections

Written assignments from a theoretical perspective

Leadership theory

Leadership styles

Organizational learning

Self-reflection and awareness


Ø  ORL 5510  Organizational Behavior and Change

Blackboard Format


Case Studies  - students actively engaged in critical thinking about the case, with written responses to specified questions ( e.g. cases exploring forced ranking on performance evaluations,  getting 360 degree feedback etc.)

Project related to 360 evaluations by team members and self-reflection on the feedback

Develop a case scenario related to a conflict and the method by which the manager resolved the conflict.

Written paper on a theory of change that explains one of the case studies.

Organizational behavior

Change theory and strategic planning

Managing change

Group process skills

Ø  ORL 5520 Organizational Planning and Administration

Blackboard Format


Observation and participation evaluations (going into community observing/participating and being evaluated by mentor).

Writing a grant or developing business plan

Complete a personnel professional development plan.

Organizational administration

Assess practices of an organization

Observing and learning from community mentors

Decision making

Grant writing

Budgeting & finance

Developing business plan

Strategic planning

Human resource skills:

§  Personnel assessment and evaluation

§  Supervision

§  Staff development

Ø   ORL 5530  Governance and Community Relations

Blackboard Format


Analysis of community context for an existing organization or business.

Interviews with organizational leaders and observations of governance board meetings and written analyses of board processes and effectiveness.

Development of a marketing plan for an organization or business.

Research paper of organizational responsibility within a particular community/organizational context (e.g., a non-profit organization in a rural community or a financial service business in demographically changing region.

Organizations in community context and systems

Organizational governance

Board effectiveness


Non-profit compared to profit organizations; rural and urban settings;

 Relationship to stakeholders

Understanding global communities

Ø   ORL 5540 Leadership Ethics and the Legal/Regulatory Environment

Blackboard Format


Case scenarios and online discussions

 ( Students investigate, analyze and develop possible outcomes, then get the correct interpretations)

Research paper on a major legal or regulatory Issue in a workplace

Ethical principles for leadership

Legal and regulatory issues

Professional codes and standards

Conflicts of interest

New laws for accountability

Resource allocation


§  Equity/social justice

§  Inclusiveness

§  Building shared vision for the common good

§  Embracing change

Ø   COM 5545  Effective Communication in Leadership Roles

Blackboard Format


Case scenarios and written analyses

Role-plays online

Research paper on specific diversity issue with presentation on line to all students

Written reflection of trip to location different than background

Interpersonal skills such as empathetic listening, assertiveness, conflict resolution, problem solving,

Written communications (e.g. email, formal letters, presentations etc).

Oral communications (e.g. phone, presentations etc.)

Developing cultural awareness and sensitivity to diversity including racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic issues.

Ø  ORL 5550  Research, Program Assessment and Evaluation

Blackboard Format


Review of literature related to topic and annotated bibliography

Proposal for a research project based on literature review

Program Evaluation and assessment plan for an organization or business

Understanding information and research

Applied program evaluation experience

Research use & applications of research to practice

Using data for decision –making and problem solving

Ø  ORL 5590  Organizational Leadership Internship

Blackboard Format


TBA with Site supervisor:

Reflective Journal

Portfolio with evidence of mastery of specified learning outcomes agreed upon by student, site supervisor and faculty ( to be continued in the capstone course)

Mid-semester and end of semester collaborative assessments

240 hours on site

1 hour of supervision/ week, minimum

Outcomes dependent upon student and site supervisors

Ø  ORL 5595  Leadership Capstone Seminar

Blackboard Format


Final project

Leadership portfolio of experience in the program presented online to all students.

Integrative capstone project

Completion of a Leadership Portfolio

**Should be integrated across all courses:  Information Literacy, technology use, oral and written communication skills and diversity awareness

Attachment B:  Alignment with Mission

A curriculum in graduate education focusing on organizational leadership is consistent with PASSHE’s mission in that it would prepare students for personal and professional success by facilitating their growth in leadership skills. This expertise in leadership will allow them to contribute to the economic, social, and cultural development of Pennsylvania and the nation. This new program has substantial relevance to University mission and goals and demonstrates compatibility with existing programs. The Master of Arts program in Organizational Leadership supports a primary Mansfield University goal- to develop tomorrow’s leaders. The program will meet the need of organizations to have dynamic leaders who possess knowledge and self-awareness, inspire others, communicate effectively, build consensus, solve problems, collaborate, and guide change. The program promotes and expands professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that enable graduates to meet the changing leadership needs of organizations in an increasingly technological and diverse society.

Attachment C:   Need for Program

Intellectual Value of the Program: As the need for well-prepared business, community, and government leaders has received increasing recognition, the literature on leadership development has expanded dramatically in recent years (see, for example, the Center for Creative Leadership and the Harvard Business Review). There now exists an extensive scholarly foundation for the implementation of a high quality leadership curriculum at the graduate level. In her recent analysis of Mansfield University’s graduate curricula, program review consultant, Dr. Carole Seyfrit, offered an extremely positive analysis of both the intellectual value of the proposed program as well as Mansfield’s capacity to develop a high quality graduate program in this area of study.

Long-term Student Demand Supported by Data: Strong qualitative evidence that this program will rapidly address a regional need and continue to be viable over the long term includes focus group data from the regional community obtained on April 27th, 2007, at a breakfast for business, government and nonprofit organization leaders. The group indicated that the region would benefit immensely from such a program because of the perception that there are many active or aspiring managers who are seeking to develop their skills in leading others but have limited access to appropriate graduate education. The sense of the group was that the need cuts across virtually all types of organizations. An informal survey was also distributed to participants in the IU 17. The responses were strongly supportive of the need for a graduate program, with some appropriate respondents expressing a desire to teach in such a program.

Regional, National and International Market Demand for Program Completers Supported by Data and/or Professional Literature: Traditional employment projections for persons in leadership positions are difficult to obtain because the proposed program addresses needs across public and private sectors as well as professional disciplines.  While there is no career category described specifically as “leader,” analysis of a recent (2004) database ( that summarized data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)  described positions incorporating the term “manager” in the title, including fields entitled “general and operations managers”  and tallied 1,807,000 present jobs and 64,869 openings nationally.  Pennsylvania’s 2007 statewide high priority occupations list indicates annual openings for chief executives as 606 and general and operations managers as 1,795. But such data ignores the fact that leaders and emerging leaders are needed at multiple levels in virtually all occupations and organizations. Thus, we would conclude that the range of positions available across various organizations is nearly unlimited. 

Other State System Universities Who Offer the Program: A search for related graduate programs in Pennsylvania was conducted. Results indicated that our proposed program would be unique within the north central region. Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, and Immaculata Universities—all more than 170 miles from Mansfield—have similar master’s degree programs in organizational leadership, but none are online. Nationally, there are other programs in related areas, but there seems to be limited direct competition in reference to the curriculum and format we will propose. It is noteworthy that our program may also serve students in other states and, possibly, around the world, as we currently do successfully in our online Nursing and School Library and Information Technology programs.

Added Value: As stated in the previous section related to mission, Mansfield University is focused on developing leadership skills that students can apply across roles and responsibilities. The proposed M.A. in organizational leadership complements the various programs already on campus (e.g., Mountaineer Leadership Program, minor in leadership studies) and supports the strategic goals of the Leadership Institute. Moreover, the proposed program will support the needs of local government as well as profit and non-profit organizations across our predominantly rural regional area. The online format for the program will also make it accessible to students from outside the region. The value added may be found particularly in the synergy created in relation to our other programs as well as the service to communities and businesses across north central Pennsylvania.




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