Master of Science in Leadership Development
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Course Descriptions

MSLD 201: Understanding Self and Others

This course serves as an introduction to graduate studies in the MSLD program. Students review the MSLD competency model and connect each competency to the MSLD coursework. They also complete personality and multirater assessments and engage in in-depth discussions of connections between personality, leadership styles, team roles, and career satisfaction. Other topics are building relationships, collaborating, networking, and interacting positively with others. Finally, students receive critical information on graduate study success tips and learn about Drake University’s resources. 

MSLD 202: Leadership in Organizations

This course serves as a foundational investigation of personal and organizational leadership with an emphasis on developing leadership talent. The following foundational topics in leadership are included: Overview of key leadership theories; differences between management and leadership; followership, influence, and power; and research-based practices on leadership development.

MSLD 203: Organizational Politics and Influence

Today's organizations are challenging, complex systems where success depends on the ability to navigate the political and communication environment.  Organizational leaders must effectively work with others to accomplish individual and organizational goals. This class will examine tools and techniques for identifying and effectively interacting with organizational and political challenges and realities. A variety of communication challenges, strategies, and techniques will be examined. Topics include conflict resolution styles and models, negotiation, organizational politics, influencing processes, and the language of leadership.

MSLD 204: Ethics and Leadership

The study of ethics is the study of moral philosophy and the ways in which moral dilemmas are evaluated and, ultimately, resolved.  Throughout this course we will focus on exploring the perennial question, "What is right?"   Through processes of shared inquiry, we will explore the theoretical foundations for making ethical choices and examine implications for contemporary workplace, environmental, and sociopolitical challenges.  In particular, we will emphasize the nature of moral and ethical leadership, review and critique our professional Code of Ethics, and discuss best practices for developing moral leaders.

MSLD 205: Global Leadership

This course explores the complexity of leadership in organizations within a cross-cultural and global environment.  Topics include definitions and dimensions of culture, cultural awareness and development models, intercultural communications challenges, connections between national and organizational cultures, and diversity in the workplace.  

MSLD 206: Analyzing and Communicating with Data

This course prepares students to become critical consumers of research reports in the fields of leadership and organizational learning. Students learn fundamental concepts on research design and implementation including an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, a discussion on the design of research assessments, and a preliminary review of basic statistical analyses. Discussions on validity, reliability, and various types of research bias help students separate solid from sloppy research. Ethical and legal considerations are also addressed.

MSLD 207: Inspiring and Involving Others

This course helps students strengthen their ability to foster an engaging and meaningful environment for their followers.  Topics include emotional intelligence, employee engagement, psychological safety and meaningfulness, availability of resources, person-environment and person-work fit, career development / growth, group dynamics, trust, collaboration, and building synergistic and collaborative teams.

MSLD 208: Leading Change

Leaders must not only deal with change effectively but also help their followers thrive in a constantly changing environment. This course will focus on the challenges and opportunities of organizational change. Topics include systems thinking, adaptive leadership, organizational diagnosis, and effective change leadership interventions.

MSLD 209: Innovation and Future Thinking

This course helps students hone their ability to recognize future trends, consider possibilities, and generate innovative solutions.  Additionally, students learn how to foster a culture of innovation, one that tolerates risk, rewards experimentation, and accepts failure as a catalyst for growth.

MSLD 210: Capstone Experience

Completed near the end of the MSLD program, this course acts as a capstone project to the student’s graduate school experience.  Students may select among two options: (a) an original (basic or applied) research project or (b) an approved project directly related to leadership development. Prerequisite: 24 hours of MSLD courses. Prerequisite: MSLD 259.

MSLD 211: Organizational Learning

This course introduces students to key concepts in the field of organizational learning, emphasizing its strategic nature within the organization. Topics include leading the learning function; organizational learning and andragogy theories; the ADDIE model (analysis, development, design, implementation, and evaluation) of training and development, and non-traditional learning interventions through coaching, mentoring, and cross-training. Special emphasis will be placed on the first and last components of ADDIE: Needs Analysis and Evaluation.

MSLD 212: Learning and Technology

This course introduces critical assessment, collaboration, and learning technologies.  Since technology changes constantly, students will also learn how to continuously identify and gain proficiency in new tools.  Ethical and legal considerations related to the use of technology in the workplace are also addressed. 

MSLD 213: Performance Consulting

This course helps students explore the field of human performance improvement.  Students will gain critical skills in applied organizational research, learning to identify performance improvement gaps and to propose appropriate interventions.  Topics include data collection methods, the HPI model, data analysis, and best practices in internal and external consulting.

MSLD 214: Designing, Developing, & Facilitating Learning

This course provides an overview of how to design, develop, and facilitate effective learning experiences for adult learners.  Design and development topics include writing instructional objectives, selecting appropriate training methods, and designing and developing instructional games and simulations. Facilitation topics include the rationale for selecting various facilitation methods and approaches for engaging learners.

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