April 19, 2014

C. LODC F.A.Q.

Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Organization,
Development and Coaching (C.LODC)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this certificate program?
  2. What does it entail?
  3. Tell me specifically about the courses.
  4. When (and how long) does it run?
  5. What should I expect the workload to be?
  6. How much does it cost?
  7. What are the qualifications for admission to the certificate program?
  8. What is unique (different) about this certificate compared to others?
  9. Is this the same as a master’s degree?
  10. Is this certificate affiliated with a university?
  11. Who are the faculty for this program?
  12. What would I actually be able to do after taking this certificate?
  13. I have an MBA. What would taking this certificate do for me?
  14. I don’t have an MBA. What would taking this certificate do for me?
  15. Who are your “typical” students in the certificate program?
  16. Why should I take this certificate?

1. What is this certificate program?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Organization, Development and Coaching  (C.LODC) is a year-long program aimed at people who aspire to create, lead, and transform contemporary organizations. It provides a unique perspective on organization development, organizational change, and contemporary leadership that is optimally suited for the complexity of today’s world. Unlike some other short-course certificate programs, this Postgraduate Certificate program combines a deep understanding of up-to-date theories with practical, real-world applications, many of which will be contributed by the participants themselves.

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2. What does it entail?

The C.LODC program comprises five courses, each involving about 36 seminar hours (plus additional preparation and research time outside of class). Two courses are taught in the January to April trimester, two in the May to August trimester, and one from September to December. Seminars are mostly held on weekday evenings, with exception of one course (see the next question). The courses are all taught at the postgraduate level.

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3. Tell me specifically about the courses.

The five courses include: Foundations I: Context of the Field; Critical Perspectives; Complexity: Theory and Applications; High-performing Teams; and Professional Practice.

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Foundations I: Context of the Field—Many models of leadership, and organization and human development have recurred throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In practice, none of these concepts and theories ever seem to vanish, although some do appear to become less dominant for decades, only to be subsequently retrieved in a modified form. The purpose of Foundations 1: Context of the Field is to examine a variety of historical themes in detail with a view toward achieving a greater understanding of how human systems disciplines (such as psychology, sociology, management and organization, adult education, and so forth) are informed, influenced, and continuously revisited by surrounding, parallel, and interacting social forces.

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Critical Perspectives—In a contemporary world characterized by diversity, it is important to contextualize our understanding of human dynamics in an analysis of control, resistance, inequality, marginalization, and systemic oppressions that are often disguised or rendered invisible by our own, individual privilege. This course seeks to query various discourses of power relations that are present in organizational and social movement venues through lenses of gender, class, social status, race, ability, and political economy, among others. Participants will learn to become aware of their own assumptions, and the assumptions that tacitly structure cultures, in ways that enable useful critiques of dominant discourses and potentially set the stage for reframing and renegotiating organizational and leadership power relations.

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Complexity: Theory and Applications—The contemporary world can no longer be readily accounted for through deterministic, clockwork-like models that presume the predictability of future outcomes based on knowledge of a present state. Massive interconnectivity and interactions of human activities suggests that a complexity model provides much more effective guidance to understand the dynamics of formal, informal, and non-formal organizational environments. This course examines the foundations of complexity theory, modes of analysis through a complexity lens, and investigates applications of complexity thinking among various realms of human endeavour.

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High-performing Teams—Organization as a dynamic, creative environment is driven by people centred processes, perhaps the most important of which is the ability to work effectively in small groups. The functioning of work teams – their ability to set goals, establish priorities and resolve task related problems – is critical to organizational effectiveness. Equally important, a high performing work team unleashes the creative potential in each of its individual members. This course will enable participants to learning the theory and skills required to develop and lead such high performing teams in an organizational setting in any sector. This course is taught as seven, full-day, biweekly seminars over the trimester.

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Professional Practice—To be effective in enabling appropriate interventions in an organizational or workplace setting, the leader, organization development practitioner, or coach must possess the skills required to be heard, understood, and accepted by members of the organization at every level of seniority and responsibility. This course is intended to build basic vocabulary and skills  in coaching, business fundamentals, and consulting practice that will enable the participants to professionally engage with both internal or external clients.

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4. When (and how long) does it run?

The initial offering of the C.LODC program begins in January and runs through December, 2013 with most seminars held weekly on Monday and Wednesday evenings (with the exception of High-performing Teams which are full-day seminars).  Most seminars run approximately 3 hours.

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5. What should I expect the workload to be?

Since the C.LODC courses are taught by highly qualified, university faculty at the level of a postgraduate (master’s) degree, participants should expect the “graduate school rule-of-thumb” to apply: On average, a graduate course requires a minimum of two-to-three hours outside of class for every hour inside class. Outside work would include reading course materials, preparing for seminars and discussions, researching relevant literature and references, working on writing assignments, and collaborating with other course participants. To facilitate participants’ access to the required materials, most courses will have some readings compiled by the professors. Additionally, participants will have Adler-arranged, electronic access to relevant literature resource databases comprising scholarly and other relevant journals.

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6. How much does it cost?

The standard price for the C.LODC program is $9,000. Because 2013 is the inaugural year for the program, the Postgraduate Certificate is being offered to the first cohort of participants at a discounted price of $6,750 (plus HST). Various payment terms are available to enable participants to manage their individual financial needs.

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7. What are the qualifications for admission to the certificate program?

Because this is a postgraduate program, all applicants will have to have completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized and accredited, degree-granting institution. This would typically be a four-year Bachelor’s degree in the North American context. For those who have earned their first degree outside of Canada or the United States, foreign credentials and some three-year baccalaureate degrees will be considered for their eligibility. Additionally, all participants require a minimum of five years’ experience after their first degree in an organizational setting, be it a formal, informal, or non-formal organization. Finally, all applicants must participate in, and pass, Adler Graduate Professional School’s pre-admission course, GPS100, “Surviving and Thriving in Graduate School,” which is offered free of charge (see the Adler Program Offerings brochure or Adler Academic Calendar for full details).

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8. What is unique (different) about this certificate compared to others?

Most certificate programs are strictly practitioner-oriented (including, for example, our sister organization’s professional coaching certificate). This means that they are oriented towards practitioners who specifically want to improve their “skills of doing.” The Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Organization, Development and Coaching takes two steps beyond simply “doing,” extending to “knowing” and “being” in their profession and practice. First, it provides an extensive and deep theoretical and analytical foundation for those who will need to derive original and innovative approaches – new practices – to new challenges and problems they may encounter in our complex, contemporary organizational environment. As well, there is an emphasis on participants becoming “reflective practitioners,” gaining a new understanding of how they, themselves, emerge and transform while acting as agents of emergent, organizational transformation. We realize that this program isn’t for everyone who might be well-served by more conventional, primarily skills-based, certificate programs. This is a unique program for those who would become unique leaders.

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9. Is this the same as a master’s degree?

No. This program is a postgraduate certificate, with courses taught at the master’s level (and potentially eligible for transfer credit, subject to review by the receiving institution). Although Adler Graduate Professional School is itself a degree-granting institution, this certificate is not a degree program.

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10. Is this certificate affiliated with a university?

Yes. Sort of. Adler Graduate Professional School is a graduate-degree-granting institution, accredited in the Province of Ontario, and operating under ministerial consent by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities according to the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000. Technically, AGPS is not a university since it offers only postgraduate degrees. In the Province of Ontario, a university must additionally offer undergraduate degrees.

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11. Who are the faculty for this program?

The faculty for the C.LODC program are all well-experienced, seasoned professors with doctorates in appropriate disciplines. Moreover, they all have considerable experience working with real organizations in the “real world.” In cases where guest instructors or lecturers are invited for parts of courses – for example, as a component of the Professional Practice course – they will have appropriate experience and recognized credentials in their particular discipline (e.g., ACPC, PCC, MCC, or similar for the professional coaching segment). See the Adler Academic Calendar for more details. C.LODC Faculty Members.

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12. What would I actually be able to do after taking this certificate?

Very simply and succinctly, you will be able to derive new approaches to old problems and not have to rely on old approaches to new and different situations. You will learn new ways of enabling and dealing with change in your organization with a fundamental understanding that, “while you may be in charge, you can never be in control,” (as our faculty dean, Dr. Mark Federman, describes it). Additionally, you will be able to comprehend and think through the dynamics of unconventional, complex, organizational situations and environments that regularly emerge on the economic, social, and political horizon. An aspect that may be of considerable interest to many participants is that you will learn new ways of engaging members of your organization who may have become disengaged, and how to work constructively and productively with individuals who previously may have been opposed or resistant to new organizational initiatives. Perhaps most important, you will be able to reflect on, and critically reassess your own assumptions and preconceptions in ways that will enhance your own progress, ability to innovate, and ultimately, succeed as an agent of emergent transformation and respected organizational leader.

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13. I have an MBA. What would taking this certificate do for me?

An MBA degree provides a great preparation for goal- and outcomes-oriented management. It emphasizes deterministic strategic planning, the coordination of a variety of execution tactics, and managing through the accomplishment of objectives towards the next set of goals. However, it has become clear that the analyses and approaches upon which MBA programs are traditionally built are perhaps less than adequate to deal with new social, political, environmental, and even economic challenges – comparatively large or relatively small – that contemporary organizations must face almost daily. The Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Organization, Development and Coaching provides its participants with innovative, alternative frames of analysis through which new sense and understanding can be made of contemporary issues. In this way, the C.LODC program augments and expands on the participant’s MBA training in ways that are specifically designed for the complexity of 21st century challenges.

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14. I don’t have an MBA. What would taking this certificate do for me?

As Professor Marvel said to the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz with respect to him not having a heart, “my friend, you don’t know how lucky you are not to have one!” The C.LODC program will provide participants with a fundamental grounding in the history and theory of organizational leadership and organization development. It will provide specific training on how to create great and effective, collaborative teams. Further, it will teach the basics of decision and strategy processes in formal organizations so that participants can essentially speak the same language of those with whom they will often engage. In addition to all of these elements that are often taught in the context of business school training, the program will equip participants with the most contemporary of analysis methods specifically designed for the complexity of 21st century challenges.

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15. Who are your “typical” students in the certificate program?

We envision three types of participants in the C.LODC program. First, we see people who may have less than ten years’ experience in an organizational setting.  They are people who are seeking to instigate fundamental changes in the way things have been done, and often engage with individuals who are members of far more conventional, traditionally structured organizations. These individuals are often able to see the intractability of problems—that is, large, complex issues that cannot simply be divided into smaller, easily solvable problems. Their life experience tells them that everything is intricately interconnected with everything else, and that approaches and solutions necessarily involve collective engagement, and collaborative efforts. They are seeking both theory and practice to become more effective in what they intuitively know.

Next, we see people who may be approaching the peak of their career in what is likely a conventional, hierarchical organization. It is likely they will have had, or currently hold, a job with some sort of management title; probable that they have experienced some sort of formal or informal management or leadership training in the context of their career. These people must deal with day-to-day issues of internal and external changes that have become far more complicated over the past decade or so. While others among their colleagues may simply rely on the rote application of so-called best practices, these professionals know there are innovative and non-conventional approaches to challenges that are becoming more complex over time. They are people seeking to recharge both themselves and their careers.

Finally, there are the people  who have achieved relatively senior leadership positions and responsibilities in their respective organizations. They are able to see the proverbial big picture of their organization in the context of its total economic, social, material, and natural environment.   Old methods may still be working at a macro-level, but these seasoned professionals realize that to stay in the game for a sustainable future, new methods are needed for new times.

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16. Why should I take this certificate?

You should take the Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Organization, Development and Coaching from Adler Graduate Professional School simply because, you seek to think and enact new ideas and innovations in your organizational environment with respect to situations and circumstance that everyone else simply sees and takes for granted as “the way it is and the way it’s always been.” You seek to go beyond simply reacting to events and managing change; rather you seek to actively and with intention, change your world.

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