Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (Competency-Based)

Colleges and universities traditionally award credit for classroom hours attended, conferring degrees based on students’ completion of a certain set of courses for a given number of credit hours.  The focus of a competency-based program is on the mastery of student learning outcomes – what they know and can do – rather than on how many hours, semesters, or years a student spends in school.  A competency-based program allows students to demonstrate through assessments that they have acquired the set of competencies (levels of knowledge, skill, or ability) require for a particular degree.  Some students may have acquired much of the knowledge and many of the skills and abilities necessary for a degree through their life or previous work experience.  Brandman University’s competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program allows students to prove their competency through assessments thereby reducing the time needed to earn a degree.

This self-paced online program of study emphasizes the foundations and application of organizational leadership using a theory to practice approach. Students interested in attaining and advancing in leadership, management and supervisory roles and organizations today, would benefit from this degree program. 

The quality focus of this degree program requires students to demonstrate mastery of all competencies required for the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree program. Students with leadership experience who are self-motivated, goal oriented, and excel at working independently are ideal candidates for the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree program.

Mission

The mission of the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program is to provide students with an innovative theory to practice-oriented leadership program of study based on excellence and flexibility that creates lasting value and relevance for evolving leaders and their organizations.

Program Learning Outcomes

The focus of the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program is on the development of the people and conceptual skills which are essential to success at all levels of administration through a student-centered competency-based approach to learning.  Students in this program will focus on the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Leadership: Assess an organizational issue from multiple leadership perspectives to recommend solutions.
  • Critical Analysis: Analyze organizational challenges applying individual, group and organizational theories. 
  • Globalization and Diversity: Evaluate leadership strategies that promote organizational diversity and multi-cultural inclusion on a global scale.
  • Ethics: Create a personal ethical decision-making model.
  • Collaboration: Evaluate personal competencies in collaboration and teaming.
  • Change: Apply change management strategies to practical situations in organizations.

Requirements for Admission

The prospective graduate student in the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program must demonstrate his or her readiness to succeed in graduate-level academic coursework by satisfactorily fulfilling one of the following admission options. All graduate admissions options listed below require an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Option One

A 3.0 grade point average (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution. For graduates of regionally accredited institutions that do not conduct a GPA calculation, an official letter from the university determining grade equivalency will be accepted.

Option Two

A GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 calculated over the most recent graded 30 semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution. A satisfactory score on an accepted graduate admissions exam is required.

  1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of three of the subsections of the GRE. (Minimum score for Quantitative: 141, minimum score for Verbal: 150, minimum score for Analytic Writing: 4.5).
  2. Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum-scaled score of 400.

  3. Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): fulfill the formula GMAT + (GPA X 200) > 1000.

Option Three

An earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Four

Submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies.

The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes he or she is a good candidate for graduate study in the field of Organizational Leadership.

At time of admission, students must select an appropriate track to meet degree requirements for Domain 3.   Students must submit documentation to satisfy requirements in their chosen track.

Standard Track. No additional documentation is required for students choosing this track with the exception of students who may have previous graduate-level coursework.  At the time of admission, official transcripts must be submitted for review for possible transfer credit for Domain 3.

Military Track. The service member must submit applicable documentation as outlined below.

  • Active Duty, active reserve, retired and prior service military members in the following ranks are eligible: Commissioned Officers (any rank), Senior NCO (E7 or above) or CW2 or above.
  • Commissioned Officers must be graduates of a commissioning program (OCS or equivalent, ROTC, Military Academy) and a basic officer career course. Senior NCOs must be E7 or above and graduates of a career NCO Advanced Course. Warrant Officers must be CW2 or above and graduates of a Warrant Officer Candidate School and a Warrant Officer career course.

Project Management Track.  Applicants submit official document of completion and transcript from the UC, Irvine Extension Project Management Certificate.

Transfer of Coursework

In the Standard Track, there is a maximum of nine credits, which equates to 3 competency equivalencies, may be accepted in transfer toward the core supporting competencies Standard Track in Domain 3.

Alternative to university policies concerning transfer of coursework, the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program will accept transfer of course work, which specifically meets the following criteria:

Project Management Certificate Four Competency Transfer:  Upon receipt of appropriate official documentation of successful completion of the UC, Irvine Extension Project Management Certificate, Brandman University will credit students with mastery of four competencies (BUSC 684, BUSC 685, BUSC 686 and BUSC 687) in Domain 3. Provided that all certificate courses were completed with a grade of “B” or better, this will complete the competency requirements for Domain 3.

Military Coursework Five Competency Transfer:  Eligible Active Duty, Reserve National Guard, retired and prior military service members who successfully petition for this transfer will be awarded mastery of five competencies for comparable military course work, which includes OLCC 614, Team Leadership and Collaboration in Domain 2, and all four Domain 3 competencies by using the following substitution competencies; OLCC 641 Leadership in Military Communication, OLCC 643 Military Operations Leadership, HRCC 618 Career Management, HRCC 646 Training and Development. This is a block transfer approval only. Partial transfer of competencies is not authorized. Recipients of the five competency transfer must complete all remaining competencies for the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree from Brandman University in accordance with academic policy.

Seven-Year Limitation. The seven-year rule for completion of all competencies toward the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree applies, including credit for transfer of competencies for military schooling. (See Seven-Year Limitation in Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.)

Requirements for the Degree

The competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program consists of three Domains, each with four competencies, for a total of 12 competencies overall.  Domain 1 focuses on the leadership foundations. Domain 2, which includes a capstone competency to reinforce the application of concepts and theories learned throughout the degree program, focuses on leadership practices.  Domains 1 and 2 make up the competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership required core program of study.

Students complete one of the three tracks in Domain 3.  This Domain includes core-supporting competencies, which expand the application of organizational leadership foundation and practice in the field. Domain 3 has three tracks; 1) Standard Track; 2) Military Track for eligible military and veterans only; and, 3) Project Management Track for students who have completed the UC, Irvine Extension Project Management Certificate. See Transfer of Coursework policy.  

Domain 1: Leadership Foundations - Core

OLCC 501: Data-Driven Decision-Making and Planning

Analyze research and scholarly sources to make sound organizational decisions.

OLCC 600: Foundations of Organizational Leadership

Evaluate classical and contemporary leadership theories to refine leadership practices.

OLCC 601: Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

Apply ethical principles to inform decision-making.

HRCC 603: Globalization and Diversity

Assess inclusive leadership strategies as they relate to leadership in a global and diverse organization.

Domain 2: Leadership Practices - Core

OLCC 613: Organizational Theory and Behavior

Apply motivation and behavioral theories to impact organizational performance.

OLCC 614: Team Leadership and Collaboration

Utilize team-building principles to promote organizational effectiveness.

OLCC 615: Change Management

Evaluate theories and models that leaders implement to effectively lead change.

OLCC 681: Organizational Leadership Capstone

Evaluate a strategic organizational issue from multiple perspectives to recommend effective leadership approaches and an action plan.

Domain 3: Expanding Leadership Foundations and Practices - Standard Track (Core Supporting)

BUSC 600: Leadership and Business Operations

Examine the impact of core business functions essential to organizational decision-making.

BUSC 683: Strategic Project Management

Create a strategic project management plan that aligns with the organizational mission.

HRCC 630: Conflict and Negotiation

Apply conflict resolution strategies within an organizational setting.

OLCC 632: Leadership and Innovation

Apply innovative frameworks and strategies to address organizational problems.

Domain 3: Expanding Leadership Foundations and Practices - Military Track (Core Supporting)

HRCC 618: Career Management

Create effective personal and organizational career development plans.

HRCC 646: Training and Development

Apply effective training and development practices to meet individual and organizational needs.

OLCC 641: Leadership in Military Communication

Apply appropriate communication strategies, formats and principles in military scenarios.

OLCC 643: Military Operations Leadership

Apply military operations principles and theories to meet established objectives.

Domain 3: Expanding Leadership Foundations and Practices - Project Management Track (Core Supporting)

BUSC 684: Project Launch

Apply project launch strategies to an organizational project under consideration. 

BUSC 685: Project Planning

Create a comprehensive project plan.

BUSC 686: Project Execution

Recommend strategies that promote project management efficiency for a project in an organization.  

BUSC 687: Managing Multiple Projects

Develop effective strategies for managing multiple projects within an organization. 

The competency-based Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree program is pending WSCUC approval.