Dr. Alenxandre and students conversing

The GSLC Announces New Master in Leadership Practice

Act Boldly, Disrupt Responsibly, Build Thriving Organizations and Communities

The Graduate School of Leadership and Change (GSLC) is launching its second degree, the Master in Leadership Practice (MLP). It will address the learning needs of cross-sector practitioners worldwide who will be studying change as they actually lead change efforts.

Faculty and students at desk, Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership & ChangeMLP students can live anywhere, work anywhere, and come together for only two face-to-face residencies during their time in the program. MLP students must have a BA from an accredited college or university; many well might even have master’s degrees in the field of their profession. What they need now is the coaching and evidence-based practice to lead bold change in their workplaces and organizations. The start date for the inaugural cohort is spring 2020.

“For years we’ve been thinking about creating a master’s level program that could build on a number of the innovative elements of the PhD in Leadership and Change—a distinctive cohort-based, low-residency, geographically dispersed model with an outcomes-focused, mission-driven, and learner-centered curriculum,” said GSLC Provost Dr. Laurien Alexandre. “The MLP is designed for practitioners seeking to make a difference in the world.”

Students will benefit from the MLP’s developmentally sequenced 4-trimester curriculum that includes academic courses, skill development studios, coaching labs, evidence-based practices, a global peer network focused on positive change, and an original virtual learning platform.

“The structure combines the best of distance learning modalities with the power of periodic face-to-face residencies,” said Dr. Chet Haskell, Antioch University Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. “This is not just about taking a set of vibrant courses. It engages students who are seasoned professionals with each other, creating a network of peers, not just during the time of the program, but for the rest of their professional lives.”

“The MLP is anchored in strong values that have distinguished Antioch education over the decades,” said Dr. Aqeel Tirmizi, GSLC Professor of Leadership, Management, and Service. “Its innovative design invites emerging leaders and managers to meaningfully explore their leadership challenges and aspirations. Its overall goal is to enable participants to embrace their leadership and change work in creative, bold, and responsible ways.”

The 16-month program is entirely designed around a student-designed and student-led real-world action project/venture. Each trimester addresses the scholarship, skills development, and coaching needs most aligned with the four phases of an initiative, from articulating the need to designing the actual effort, from implementing the project to reflecting on the outcomes. “In essence, students learn by doing,” added Alexandre.

The four-sequence scholarship courses will emphasize responsible and authentic leadership, ethical practice, inclusive change and serving the common good. Coursework will focus on progressive and nontraditional leadership perspectives rooted in ethical awareness, global understanding, and social responsibility. The four-trimester capabilities development studio will help students strengthen their skills in needs assessment, systems thinking, project design, conflict management, multicultural team development and much more. Professional and personalized coaching will accompany students through the entire project-based sequence of their learning.

“The skills studio and real-time coaching focused on real-world organization change in the context of continuous reflective practice and cutting-edge leadership theory catapults the MLP as a boundary-spanning degree that bridges scholarship and practice in intentional and elegant ways,” said Dr. Lize Booysen, GSLC Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior.

Students will attend two residencies over their time in the program—the orientation residency during their first trimester and the capstone residency during the last. Between residencies, they participate in virtual courses and skills development with their cohort and have one-on-one coaching with a practice coach and their faculty advisor. This powerful set of inter-related learning activities are designed to guide a student during his/her journey of action, reflection, and change.

“I am truly excited for our students who will have the opportunity to work with a practice coach in their field on a real-world leadership action project, as they challenge approaches to leadership in their coursework with a team of engaged, interdisciplinary, senior faculty,” said Dr. Shana Hormann, PhDLC Alumna and former Antioch University Seattle core faculty and Dean of Students. “One-on-one coaching will be an amazing benefit for students.”

The MLP is designed to help students develop the Contextual Knowledge, Relational Capabilities, and Habits of Mind to be life-long change agents. Graduates will have demonstrated their skills in:

  • Conducting analyses of an organization’s capabilities and assessments of a community’s needs
  • Developing well-designed, evidence-based bold strategies to disrupt responsibly
  • Creating, nurturing and sustaining robust cross-sector and multicultural teams
  • Engaging with and successfully shifting dynamics that are resistant to change
  • Strengthening communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Increasing personal, organizational and community resilience

Graduates will leave the program with an online portfolio of their leadership role(s) and action project, which they can show to prospective employers or organizations with whom they work.

“This is an exciting, high-quality opportunity that is much more than simply earning an academic credential,” added Haskell. “It is a chance for people who want to have an impact, leveraging education for the achievement of their highest goals in service to society. We at Antioch are proud to add it to our portfolio of professional education programs.”

Visit here to learn more about the Master in Leadership Practice