Curriculum: Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership

July 01, 2022
August 22, 2022
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

UC Online’s BA in Organizational Leadership curriculum provides a robust outlook on many aspects of org leadership. Our degree encourages our students to strive for new ideas in what leadership should like in modern organizations. Take a look below at our program’s courses.

Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I

This course utilizes an integrated approach to theresearch methods and statistics which underpin thescientific study of psychology. This course will introduce the student to basic research methods and designs (e.g. correlational vs. experimental designs), blended with elementary statistical concepts, such as descriptive statistics, non-parametric statistics, correlation, and mean comparison tests (e.g. t-test, ANOVA), with a problem-based approach to learning. In addition tolectures, students will participate in lab experiences during which they get exposed to statistical software and data management. By the end of this course, students should be able to design a simple research study, indicate which statistical tests should be used to analyze the data, and read the corresponding analysis output from a statistical software program.

Foundations of Leadership

The Foundations of Leadership course is designed to help students explore the concept of leadership as a discipline that studies the individual, group, organizational, and societal factors that impact how effect leaders develop and how various traits and behaviors shape multi-level outcomes. The course provides a general introduction to historical and current theories of leadership, exploring how each theoretical approach can be applied in real-world organizations. Students engage in a variety of learning activities in order to assess and develop their own leadership knowledge and abilities. The fundamental premise of the course is that leadership requires mastery of multiple practices and skills and is enhanced by applying knowledge gained from the research and study of leadership.

The Practice of Leadership

This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of leadership. Students will engage in a variety of individual- and team-based experiential activities in order to apply the theories and concepts learned about leadership in the Organizational Leadership foundation courses. These activities will also provide students with opportunities to assess and develop their own leadership knowledge and abilities. The fundamental premise of the course is that leadership requires mastery of multiple practices and skills. This can only be accomplished through a better understanding of self and others.

Writing for Business

This course readies students for the kinds and purposes of writing they will do as they advance in their business careers. Good writing is a meansto effective management and profitable customer relations. In studying the theory and practice of writing in the business environment, students willdevelop strategies for adjusting content, style, design, and delivery method to different rhetorical contexts. This course often operates asa writing intensive workshop where student participation is necessary and vital. This course is not a review of basic composition or grammar skills, although students will learn techniques for successful revising and editing.

Leading the Diverse Workplace

Presently, more than fifty percent of the US workforce consists of minorities, women, and immigrants. Organizational leaders are confronted with the challenge of managing a workforce that isincreasingly diverse relative to race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual preference and age. Organizations have also realized that highly competent associates come from a variety of cultural and group identities. It is a fundamentalbusiness fact that organizations that value the talents of a diverse workforce will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The intent of this course is to increase one's awareness of issues of diversity and differences in order to work more effectively and ethically with a variety of populations defined by gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, age, and sexual orientation. The course will introduce students to a historical, economic, political, personal and social framework for understanding culture and diversity in a social and workplace environment via readings, cases, and exercises designed to clarify the complexity of managing andworking in a changing and increasingly diverse workplace.

Organizational Behavior for Effective Leaders

This course explores the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups in organization in order to learn how to effectively lead and manage complex organizations. Leaders must possess a good understanding of human behavior, power and authority, organizational design, managing organizational culture and change, teamwork and collaboration, organizational effectiveness measurements, and decision making, motivation, and leadership styles. In addition, students will learn how organizations can be structured more effectively and how events in their environments affect these organizations. The course will address five areas essential for leadership, organizational success, and personal achievement: Writing, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Organizing, and Application.

Organizational Assessment and Evaluation

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with different types of program evaluation, including needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. Students gain practical experience through a series of exercises involving the design of a conceptual framework, development of indicators, analysis of computerized service statistics, and development of an evaluation plan to measure impact. Covers experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs, including the strengths and limitations of each.

Organizational Leadership Capstone

The Capstone course is designed to be the culmination of students' undergraduate degree program. It provides an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in either an internship experience or through the development of a community- or school-based service project. Students work closely with the Organizational Leadership faculty member overseeing the course to develop a detailed learning contract that specifies how the student will demonstrate leadership competencies while serving in an approved leadership role. At the end of the term, students synthesize and report their experiences as they relate to the theoretical foundations of leadership being studied as well as to university's baccalaureate competencies.

Introduction to Human Resources

Introduction to Human Resources is about the management of what most organizations consider to be their most important asset - people. This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the role of HR within an organization as well as the link between HR and an organization's overall strategy. Students will gain insight into the various functions of HR, including (but not limited to): HR Planning, Recruitment and Selection, Performance Management, and Compensation and Benefits.

Ethical Issues in Organizations

The intent of this course is to provide an introduction and general discussion of the meaning of ethics and how it relates to organizations in for-profit, community, and non-profit groups. We will discuss applicable laws and examine real-world ethical situations in order to learn how to build an ethical organization. Specifically, we will focus on the role of leaders and professionals in this endeavor and how to conduct an ethical audit in modern times.

Organizational Development and Planning

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to function of Organizational Development (OD), its history and the theoretical models of change upon which the OD process is based. After this introduction, we will then explore the initial stages involved in OD - pre-launch, entry and start-up; diagnosis, assessment, and feedback; and action planning. We will also discuss the specific competencies needed by OD professionals, and the values and ethics that should guide its practice. This course is specifically designed to provide students with the basic theoretical and competency base in OD they will need to be able to assist with and facilitate positive, planned change efforts within the organizations in which they work.

Individual Work in OLHR

This course provides opportunities for independentstudy or research assistance on issues relating toOrganizational Leadership or Human Resources. The specific content and activities will be determinedby the participating student and assigned OLHR faculty member and articulated in a learning contract that must be developed and signed before the start of the semester in which credit is earned. Accordingly, enrollment in this course requires permission of the instructor and pre-approval of the independent study or research project.

Leadership Practicum

The Leadership Practicum (OLHR4098) is designed for undergraduate students seeking to complement their major area of study with practical experience serving in a leadership role. The Practicum requires students to engage in an approved experience (e.g., an internship, community service engagement, school-related project) in which they put their leadership knowledge and skills into practice and then reflect on this experience through a series of structured learning modules. This iteration between "doing" and "reflecting" will enable students to develop a better understanding of their leadership skills, including strengths that they may leverage and weak areas that they may develop to enhance their leadership effectiveness.Students can earn up to 3 credit hours for the Practicum, depending upon the number of hours engaged in the leadership role. Enrollment in the course requires pre-approval from the student's faculty advisor.

Fundamentals of Organizations

Organizational leaders are often called to play strategic roles in the business world, which can be problematic if one is unfamiliar with the nuisances of organizations. The course seeks to make future organization leaders familiar with crucial functional areas of organizations (accounting, finance, and marketing, etc.) for them to become more effective organizational contributors and play a wider strategic role, which includes data interpretation, and digital and information systems skills. Key concerns of each functional area, important concepts in each function, application of concepts, and how organizational leaders can help other functions achieve their missions will be covered.

Digital Skills for A&S Majors

In this course, students will become familiar with basic digital skills needed for successful participation in the workplace of the future. Studies and business leaders attest that skills the College of Arts & Sciences majors develop—creativity, persuasion, collaboration, curiosity, and empathy—are crucial for the workplace today and in the future. This course is designed to complement these transferable soft skills with the hard skills of basic data analysis and reasoning using data. These skills provide a pathway to inquiry, innovation, and careers by offering students digital skills and a foundational digital literacy. Through this combination, students will be prepared for a future of multiple careers as well as for finding employment immediately after graduation. We assume no prior experience with digital methods. Students will use Microsoft Excel (for tabular data manipulation), Tableau (for visualizing tabular data), Sublime Text Editor (for understanding markup languages), and Jupyter Notebook (for basic computer syntax).

Organizational Leadership and the Law

This course focuses on the legal framework for employer-employee relations. It includes legislation and court decisions governing discrimination in hiring, advancement and termination, sexual harassment, affirmative action, wrongful discharge, breach of employment contracts, and other aspects of Human Resource Management (HRM).

Organizational Theory, Design, and Change

This course will examine theories about the ways that organizations function and adapt to the demands of our rapidly changing world. Leaders need to understand the patterns and structures practiced by organizations used to solve problems, maximize efficiency and productivity, achieve organizational goals, and address stakeholder expectations. With this information, leaders design and execute plans to achieve maximum organizational effectiveness.

Application of Fundamentals of Organizations

Organizational leaders are often called to play strategic roles in the business world, which can be problematic if one is unfamiliar with the nuisances of organizations. The course focuses on the application of the material learned in Fundamentals of Organizations (ORGL2060). In this class, students will practice with the key documents and concept utilized in 2060 to provide them hands on experience with the crucial functional areas of organizations (accounting, finance, and marketing, etc.) for them to become more effective organizational contributors and play a wider strategic role. The application of key organizational concerns will be utilized to provide greater context and experience to future organizational leaders that will help other functions achieve their missions will be covered (data interpretation, information systems and digital skills).


This course examines conceptual frameworks for understanding and increasing individual and team performance in organizations, including practical applications of related concepts.

Social Influence and Persuasion for Leaders

Persuasion and Influence techniques are ubiquitous. This course is designed to help students identify persuasion and influence attempts, ethically apply these techniques in real-world settings, and to recognize the differences between persuasion/influence, propaganda, and manipulation. We start by reviewing established theories and models of persuasion and progress to applying these models in everyday life, especially in career and community settings.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution

This course is designed to provide students with the interpersonal skills required to mediate disputes in any environment where conflict exists,whether that be labor union negotiations, school (peer) disciplinary councils, employment grievances, family or divorce disputes, or any type of civil or minor criminal violations so thatone is better able to avoid more formal discourses, including court-induced litigation.

Research Methods & Stats II for I/O Psychology

This course continues the integrated approach to research methods and statistics from Research Methods and Statistics I, focusing explicitly on I/O (industrial and organizational) psychology. This course will cover research ethics, research designs and statistical concepts within the area of I/O psychology, with a problem-based approach to learning. In addition to lectures, students will participate in lab experiences during which they will continue working with statistical software and data management. By the end of this course, students should be able to design a complex research study, perform the correct statistical analyses for that study, and communicate the findings in an appropriate APA-style paper.


This course is designed to provide students with exposure to the basic principles and practices of compensation management in both private and public employment. Students will examine the objectives and procedures associated with various compensation strategies, including knowledge-base pay, pay for performance, gain-sharing and profit sharing. They will also be exposed to other HR practices, such as job analysis and environmental scanning, that inform compensation strategy decision.

Training and Development

This course focuses on the role training and development plays in helping companies meet the challenges of new and better work designs, higher customer expectations, and the need to develop into a high-performance learning organization.

Staffing Organizations

This course addresses one of the key human resource functions and is designed to help students develop an understanding of the HR processes used to acquire and deploy a workforce of sufficient quantity and quality to create positive impacts on organizational effectiveness. Students will be introduced to the principles and processes of staffing the workplace including staffing strategy, legal compliance, planning, job analysis, external and internal recruitment, internal and external selection, employment decision-making, finalizing the match, and staffing system management. This course is designed with the intent of providing pragmatic information and knowledge for effective staffing.

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