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MSOD Hits Milestone

03/13/13 -  

With 80 admitted students, the Master of Science in Organization Development at Queens is now the largest graduate OD graduate program in the country.

One reason is the great buzz from alums. Mike Clement '10, managing director at Strait Insights, LLC said "After 25 years leading individuals through change, I finally understood the theories behind the processes and approaches I successfully deployed during my career." Clement, who led Bank of America's corporate communications until 2008, said he'd known the approaches worked, but not always why. "Now," he said. "I get it."

The program raises self-awareness, said Clement, who is currently pursuing a doctorate in Executive Leadership at George Washington University. "Every class had a component designed to help you learn more about yourself... If you're going to help lead others through change, you have to know how you move through it yourself."

Anna Drake '12 credits the MSOD with providing "a comprehensive understanding of individual, team, and organizational behavior and a variety of theories and methods for improving their respective effectiveness. I also developed powerful workplace and life skills through the courses completed for my Executive Coaching Certificate."

Doing her own case study research on university transformation and strategic planning allowed her to blend her studies with her career in university advancement. It also confirmed her interest in pursuing a PhD in higher education and organizational behavior.

To what does Dr. William Sparks, director of the Graduate Program in MSOD at the McColl School of Business, attribute the program's success? After all, it only began in 2008.

"We have a variety of applied, ‘real-world' projects in various courses, so students gain practical experience along with the theory," he said. The only OD program in North Carolina, Queens' program draws students with approximately 15 years of professional experience.

To better study organizational effectiveness, leadership development, executive coaching, and change management, Queens' students have access to top OD practitioners in the business world. They're able to explore the intersection of psychology and behavioral sciences with a rigorous approach to management and analytics, Sparks said.

"We have created a very special community of learners and practitioners who are focused on human potential and helping organizations improve their performance and effectiveness," Sparks said. "This program tends to attract very serious students who view this profession as more of a calling than a vocation."

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