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Organizational Development and Leadership Certificate

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Organizational and Leadership Development Certification
Effective leaders and managers understand how to identify the points in an organization where small changes can make a big difference in the triple bottom line--people, planet, and profits. The Organizational Development and Leadership Certificate introduces you to theoretical and practical skills that will enhance your own effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around you. This certificate offers an introduction to assessment and evaluation, leadership development, team and group development, and organizational design that will allow you to lead change that matters. 
In collaboration with other working adults, students engage in an online environment that is intimate, thought-provoking, and motivating. Students master a challenging curriculum while building a deep sense of community and shared learning.


  • Acquire a knowledge base and develop skills that are immediately applicable in the workplace.
  • Engage with faculty members who are outstanding scholar-practitioners.
  • Understand a variety of assessment and evaluation tools.
  • Become a member of a global network of professionals who value learning, creativity, and respect for individual differences.
  • Earn a certificate from an accredited, nonprofit university with significant experience in distance learning.
  • Join a professional community that leads a wide range of management and consulting organizations across for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors.

The academic credit earned with this certificate can be applied to several degree programs at Fielding:

MA in Organizational Development & Leadership - Self-Directed model
PhD in Human & Organizational Systems
PhD in Human Development

Curriculum and Program Requirements

The Certificate in Organizational Development and Leadership consists of the following requirements:

  • ODL-600 Online Orientation
  • ODL-669 Organizational Development: Origins, Evolution, and Current Practices
  • ODL-670 Leadership: Theory and Practice
  • ODL-671 Leading by Design: Theory and Practice
  • ODL-672 Group Dynamics: Effective Teams and Group Development

You must complete 16 credits of coursework in order to graduate.

Effective date: 09/01/2015

To view course descriptions, click on the hyperlinked course number/title below. Printing the page will print all course descriptions.

Required Courses

ODL-600 Online Learning Orientation, 0 semester credits
Designed to introduce students to the online environment and practices in Fielding's ODL program, this online seminar takes place prior to the beginning of the first academic trimester. Students will learn to use Fielding's website and software to navigate, post and complete initial assignments. Students will meet online and begin building community with their entering cohort and receive course introductions in preparation for beginning the academic term. Faculty and staff participate in facilitating dialogue and increasing online skills as the seminar progresses. Certificate, ODL ~ self-directed and ODL ~ OSR Cohort students participate in the orientation for four days.
ODL-669 Organizational Development: Origins, Evolution, and Current Practices, 4 semester credits
This course provides a history and overview of the field of organizational development, including the current and projected state-of-the-art. It explores the work of key theorists and contributors to the field of organizational development. The course will identify the basic values, principles, theories, and models for understanding how and why organizations develop, behave and change in the ways that they do, and the practices for leading and managing change at the individual, group and system levels. Foundational concepts, terminology and methodologies needed to understand, design and evaluate applied organizational development interventions will be explored.
ODL-670 Leadership: Theory and Practice, 4 semester credits
This course lays a theoretical and practical foundation in leadership. It explores the breadth and limitations of leadership theories (past and present) and traces their evolution. The course looks first at the organization as the context for leadership and how that context influences both leadership and followership. The course also focuses on ways leadership can, in turn, shape the organization. Students connect with their core values and aspirations as a foundation for expanding their leadership capacity. Through the fundamental leadership skills of observation, interpretation, and intervention students become instruments of organizational transformation.
ODL-671 Leading by Design: Theory and Practice, 4 semester credits
This course focuses on different theories of organizations and their relevance in today's workplace. It provides an overview of leading models of organizational structure, processes, rules, behavior, roles and function. The course considers chaos/complexity theory, addressing organizations as complex adaptive systems, co-evolving with an environment that is often turbulent and non-predictable. Students will critically examine different types of change -- incremental, transitional, transformative and strategic – and how to best enable intentional change from a design perspective. Students will explore their own orientation toward design and their use of self in the design process.
ODL-672 Group Dynamics: Effective Teams and Group Development, 4 semester credits
This course focuses on group dynamics and the impact of collaborative working teams. Elements of an effective team in various situations is discussed, such as mergers and acquisitions or inter-organizational projects. Students examine how work gets done in virtual or geographically dispersed teams, including the impact of web technologies on group potential, performance, and learning. By simultaneously studying and participating in a group, students gain an understanding of group processes and how to facilitate and collaborate with groups online and face-to-face.
Pre-requisites: ODL-670 or 671.

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What are people saying?

"Fielding has an outstanding reputation in the field of organization development and I wanted a school with credibility and accreditation."

-Dawne Bringeland, Alumna
British Columbia Institute of Technology and Thompson Rivers University

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