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Organizational Leadership

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Our applied degree focuses on the process of leadership, which involves the leader, followers, and the process of management in the context of diverse organizations. Our courses are based in theory but focus on the application of psychological principles to work settings. This approach allows our students to gain insight into crucial leadership topics and to gain a deep understanding of organizational processes and the interactions between leaders and followers. In the required Capstone course all students complete a group project within their community which allows them to apply their skills while giving back. Combining theory with community-based assignments awards our students with active leadership skills, helps them build their network, and yields useful experiences that add value to their careers and communities.

The pedagogical philosophy we use to drive the program and all curricular development is based on recognizing the value of varied approaches to leadership, as well as teh unique mission of UA South to serve rural, place-bound, and transfer studentsc in Southern Arizona. The main tenets are as follows:

  • Leadership is a process, not a person (the leader), which involves the leader, followers, and organizational and cultural contexts.
  • Courses should be theory based with an application focus that reflects the work experience of many of our students.
  • There should be flexibility and choices in curricular options that serve an adult, transfer student population, e.g., degree able to be completed fully online, and potentially offering parallel online and face-to-face options. The curriculum is designed to allow students to tailor their degree to prepare for any number of future positions in multiple industries. To see how we have designed this, review our program webpage.

Course Listing:To allow our students to tailor this degree to prepare them for varied leadership positions (entrepreneurial, military, business, community, etc,) we allow them to take a variety of courses to meet the degree requirements, as shown here. Note:This is the minimum required courses for the program, it does not include elective requirements.

Introduction  to Leadership (Required)

  • PSYV 471: Psychology of Leadership

The Leader (Choose 1)

  • LDRV 302: The Leadership Function
  • LDRV 401: Leadership in a Diverse Work Environment
  • PSYV 333: Judgment and Decision Making
  • GPSV 311: Executive and Presidental Politics

The Followers (Choose 1)

  • LDRV 304: Personnel Policies and Procedures
  • LDRV 400: Developing and Maintaining Work Teams
  • PSYV 375: Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • HSTV 436: Civil War and Reconstruction

The Context (Choose 1)

  • LDRV 404: Budgeting and Financial Management
  • LDRV 303: Negotiations
  • LDRV 305: Organizational Behavior
  • HSTV 495C: Topics in Modern European History

Capstone (Required)

  • LDRV 498: Senior Capstone (Project Management)


Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Our applied program utilizes a competency focused approach to identify expected learning outcomes. A team of undergraduate researchers and subject matter experts identified the top four competencies related to effective leadership based on The Jossey-Bass Student Leadership Competencies Database*: 

  1. Communication (verbal, written, and virtual): The student will be able to convey ideas to their followers written and verbally. They are able to listen to other team members ideas and collaborate with them  to effectively make decisions. 
  2. Organizational Behavior: The student will be “group savvy” and understand how to unite a team behind one common goal. They will be able to identify the skillsets of the members of the team, and properly delegate tasks based on the members’ strengths and weaknesses. They will have an understanding of human behavior in an organizational setting.
  3. Strategic Thinking/Project Management: The student is able to observe a situation and critically examine what is happening. They are able to assess what is going on around them, and create an action plan to reach the goal at hand. 
  4. Ethics: The student has an understanding of what it means to be an ethical leader. When faced with a dilemma the student will be able to understand and act in accordance with one’s own morals and values. They understand the importance of taking personal responsibility, and being credible for one’s own actions. 

These competencies define the applied skills and knowlege that enable our students to successfully perform as leaders in the varied careers they may have, providing us with our expected learning outcomes. In addition they equip us with measurement criteria for assessing students levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities in these four areas. On this basis we have identified specific learning objectives within our courses to develop these competencies. 

Curriculum Map

To measure the teaching methods, topic coverage in respect to leadership, and faculty’s opinion of the overall program effectiveness, a survey was distributed to the core faculty members (n=4) of the Organizational Leadership Program. In respect to leadership, 100% of professors believe their courses emphasize ethics and 90% of faculty members believe their lessons cover communication, leadership, and project management/strategic thinking. Online discussions are utilized in each course, and the second most used performance measures are essays and quizzes (90% and 80%, respectively). Team projects and case studies are equally employed in about half the courses (60%), but traditional examinations and in-class discussions are only used 30% of the time. A curriculum map is available to show what assignments in which courses map onto our core competencies. Common rubrics (implemented in Fall 2015 which are referred to as Performance Appraisals) allow for comparison of similar assignments and competencies across courses.

This curriculum map shows which  courses (C) Cover or (A) Assess the different competencies through varied activities.

LDRV Core Courses Curriculum Map
Competency 302 303 304 305 400 401 404



Communication A A C A C C A A A

Leadership and Org. Behavior Concepts+Skills

Project Management / Strategic Thinking C A A A A C A C A
Ethics C A C A C C C C C

*Leadership competencies drawn from The Jossey-Bass Student Leadership Competencies Database, developed by Corey Seemiller, as Director of Leadership Programs at the University of Arizona, and author of The Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook. Research assistance provided by Tom Murray, University of Arizona.

Assessment Activities: 



This plan is intended to deploy in Fall 2017

Student Assessment

Students will be assessed upon entry into the program to establish their baseline competence on our four main dimensions. They will also be a post assessment to ensure students are meeting the expected performance level prior to graduation. Future student assessment will also be done through assignments that are mapped onto the main four competencies of our program.

Faculty Assessment

Future faculty assessment and strategic planning will be done through annual meetings.

Discussions have been ongoing through the 16-17 Academic Year to launch assessment for 2017

Updated date: Mon, 07/02/2018 - 17:05