Academic Course Catalogs

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Department of Leadership Studies

A 36-unit program designed for students preparing for leadership positions in a broad variety of organizational settings: consulting firms, human resource departments, nonprofit agencies, colleges and universities, and public and private K-12 schools, for example.

 

The focus of the leadership master’s degree is to develop knowledgeable, ethical, caring, and inclusive leaders for a diverse and changing society. The program offers candidates the opportunity to study leadership theory and practice and apply leadership concepts and principles to their personal and professional roles and responsibilities.

 

There are three degree opportunities:

 

  • Higher Education Leadership

  • Leadership Studies

  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management

Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership

The 36-unit Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Leadership is designed for professionals working in, or those who have a career preference for post-secondary education. We prepare students for a wide range of post-secondary professional positions, including those in community colleges, four-year public and private colleges and universities, and student affairs positions in any post-secondary setting. To be leaders in higher education we believe that students must be exposed to relevant research, be familiar with the complexities of the post-secondary system at all levels, and be aware of contemporary issues facing leaders working in higher education.

 

All students in the Higher Education Leadership Program take five courses (15 units) in the leadership core. These courses are designed to enhance students’ understanding of leadership theory, its practical applications, and the ethical dimensions of leadership – concepts we believe are universally applicable in today’s society. The core also includes a 3-unit research design and methodology course. Students also are required to take three courses (9 units) in the Higher Education core. These courses are designed to give students a strong foundation in higher education policy, history, organizational structures, and diversity, as well as an exposure to the implications each has for leaders in higher education.
The remaining 12 units include a 3- or 6-unit practical experience or internship, and 6-9 units of electives. Students work closely with their advisor to design an 18-unit experience in one of three higher education specializations: 1) Community College Leadership, 2) Higher Education Administration, or 3) Student Affairs. Students will begin to design their final action research project in the research course, and also have the opportunity to gain practical experience at a post-secondary site of their choosing. The 6-9 units of elective courses chosen will also enhance this experience by providing additional opportunities to engage in theory and practice related specifically to the student’s specific area of interest.

 

Program Requirements

Leadership Core (15 units)
LEAD 549 Research Design and Methodology for Leaders (3)
LEAD 550 Leadership Theory and Practice (3)
LEAD 551 Human Relations for Leaders (3)
LEAD 555 Leadership and Ethics (3)
LEAD 559 Leadership and Organizational Change (3)

 

Higher Education Core (9 units)

Select from the following:
LEAD 565 Dynamics of Race, Gender and Culture in Higher Education (3)
LEAD 571 History and Philosophy of Higher Education (3)
LEAD 577 Higher Education Policy (3)
LEAD 579 Making Meaning and the Collegiate Experience (3)
Internship (Practical Experience)
LEAD 598 Leadership Internship MA (3)
OR
LEAD 594 Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Seminar
(6 total units over 4 semesters)
Electives (6-9 units)

 

The following are sample elective courses (this is not a complete list, please consult advisor for additional offerings by semester):
LEAD 557 Leadership and Spirituality (3)
LEAD 573 Economics of Education (3)
LEAD 576 Community College Leadership (3)
LEAD 578 Higher Education Administration (3)
LEAD 585 Leadership for Change (3)
Exit Requirement

 

Action Research Project or Action Research Thesis (please consult advisor and student handbook for specialization requirements)

 

Master of Arts in Leadership Studies

Students seeking an MA in Leadership Studies select 18 units of coursework that meets their specific needs and interests. Courses may be selected from USD’s graduate programs with approval of advisor and program administrator. Students have the option to combine coursework from the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential or the Professional Administrative Services Credential to complete the MA in Leadership Studies. Please refer to future sections regarding the credentials and required coursework.

 

Program Requirements

Leadership Core (15 units)
LEAD 549 Research Design and Methodology for Leaders (3)
LEAD 550 Leadership Theory and Practice (3)
LEAD 551 Human Relations for Leaders (3)
LEAD 555 Leadership and Ethics (3)
LEAD 559 Leadership and Organizational Change (3)
Internship (Practical Experience)
LEAD 598 Leadership Internship MA (3)
Electives (18 units)

 

The program has an exit requirement of either a portfolio, thesis, or action research project.
Portfolio: Candidates who select this option as an exit requirement should confer with their advisor during their first year in the program regarding the specific requirements for a portfolio. Candidates should also refer to the guidelines noted in their Handbook.

 

Thesis: This option is recommended for candidates who plan post-master’s or doctoral work. Candidates who select this exit option must register for LEAD 595 – Thesis Supervision (3) as part of their specialization coursework. Guidelines for thesis work can be found in the Handbook. Candidates must continue to register for at least 1 unit of LEAD 595 each semester until the thesis has been approved.
Action Research Project: students will be introduced to action research in their research course (LEAD 549) and should work with their advisor throughout the development of the project.

 

Master of Arts in Leadership Studies — K-12 School Leadership focus with Administrative Services Credential

MA Core Courses (9 units)

LEAD 549 Research Design and Methodology for Leaders (or a research course decided in consultation with the student’s advisor) (3)
LEAD 550 Leadership Theory and Practice (3)
LEAD 555 Leadership and Ethics (3)
Electives (3 units) to be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Option 1
— in conjunction with a California Preliminary Administrative Services credential

 

Aspiring Leaders Required Courses (24 units)
LEAD 551 Human Relations for Leaders (3)
LEAD 552 School Law for Aspiring Leaders (3)
LEAD 553 Instructional Leadership and Supervision I (2)
LEAD 554 Instructional Leadership and Supervision II (2)
LEAD 558 School Leadership and the Politics of Education (3)
EDUC 560 Technology for School Leaders (1)
LEAD 583 Special Topics I (1)
LEAD 584 Special Topics II (1)
LEAD 588 Diversity and the Preparation of School Leaders (2)
LEAD 597P Practicum in School Administration I (3) (field-based experience)
LEAD 598P Practicum in School Administration II (3) (field-based experience)

 

Exit Requirements

Oral defense of the Educational Platform and Culminating Portfolio – Candidates must present an educational platform/culminating portfolio that reflects their learning and development over the course of the program. It must be presented to and approved by a panel of university faculty and district practitioners.

 

Option 2 — in conjunction with a California Professional Administrative Services Credential

 

New Leaders Required Courses (12 units)
LEAD 560 School Law for Practicing Administrators (3)
EDUC 561 Structured Mentoring I (1)
EDUC 562 Structured Mentoring II (1)
EDUC 563 Structured Mentoring III (1)
LEAD 564 Supporting Teachers for Instructional Improvement (2)
EDUC 565 Mentor and Support/Adult Learning I (2)
EDUC 566 Mentor and Support/Adult Learning II (2)
MA Core Courses (15 units)
9 units as above, plus
LEAD 551 Human Relations for Leaders (3)
Electives (3 units) to be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.
Electives (15 units)
Only for those also pursuing the master’s degree

 

Culminating Video

Candidates must produce and present to a panel of university faculty and district practitioners baseline and culminating videos that illustrate their leadership skills and demonstrate growth.


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