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The Certificate in Strategic Leadership

Why Develop a Certificate in Strategic Leadership?

According to the Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of the Fortune 500, the gender gap in senior leadership is persistent: "Women continue to be severely underrepresented in top corporate leadership positions...most large U.S. companies have made scant progress in advancing women – and especially women of color – to leadership and top-paying positions over the last decade. If this rate of progress continues, it could take 40 years for women to achieve parity with men in corporate officer positions."

Recognizing that leadership potential, and the dearth of women in senior positions, is not just confined to large corporations, this program will encompass important learning objectives that are significant for women professionals in mid to upper-level positions across the workforce spectrum. Due to the design of the curriculum, this program will also appeal to women who do not necessarily aspire to the senior level, but do have a desire to make important, strategic contributions to their company or association by practicing sound leadership principles.

Outside of the corporate sector, this program will also provide an outstanding continuing education opportunity for female entrepreneurs. According to Cheskin Research, women are starting their own businesses at twice the rate of men. The reason for this, says Catalyst, is the desire by women to avoid the limitations imposed by the "glass ceiling", along with the need for more flexibility and influence within their working environment. Women entrepreneurs, like their corporate counterparts, can benefit from improving their leadership skills as they grow and direct their respective businesses.

Values of The Certificate in Strategic Leadership

Theories of leadership are many and varied; however, in a world of conditions and priorities that are constantly changing, leaders must be able to look beyond the "now" and take a more strategic approach to their work. We must learn to identify the signs of change, growth, or progress that will inevitably disrupt our world and use them to create long-term, competitive advantage for our organizations. A virtue of strategic leadership is the ability to apply critical knowledge that can promote new ideas, inspire others, and generate new directions within an organization. Therefore, The Certificate in Strategic Leadership is envisioned as an extension of the intellectual rigor and academic values associated with Loyola, especially with respect to service for others and ethical decision-making. 

The program is designed as an extension of the core values of the institution by: 

  • Empowering women to gain skills allowing them the ability to lead by inspiring others in a shared vision;
  • Communicating this vision clearly;
  • Foster a working environment within their respective organizations that encourages risk-taking, recognition, and rewards;
  • Mentoring, coaching, and leading by example; allowing other leaders to emerge.

It is also important to say, in keeping with the core values of Loyola as a complex research university, that the School desires to foster essential academic values: a passion for excellence, analytical reflection and critical thinking, intellectual flexibility in the analysis, evaluation and application of new knowledge, high moral and ethical values, reasoned conversation and debate, openness to new ideas and discoveries, and the willingness and ability to raise the standards of application and practice.

Program Benefits and Learning Outcomes

Completion of The Certificate in Strategic Leadership will provide a valuable credential in management techniques for women who desire to grow as leaders in their workplace. As such, the students will acquire the following program benefits:

  • Students will have refined their immediate and long-range career goals and objectives, and will have developed a realistic and attainable plan to meet those objectives;
  • Students will have acquired the benefit of a rounded, critical examination of leadership through the lenses of theory and practice;
  • Students will have created a new network of like-minded professionals from whom they can draw upon for encouragement and support, and to help them attain their employment objectives;
  • Students will have enhanced their proficiency and skills in advanced business communication and problem-solving, especially in professional managerial settings;
  • Students will have refined their aptitude in performing self-assessment and evaluation, especially as these skills pertain to their own self-knowledge and abilities to achieve their career objectives, which might also include pursuing higher education at the Master’s level.

Understanding the rigors of work life balance and scheduling, we offer students the flexibility to take only a select number of classes, or to take the entire certificate in any order, at your own pace. The following learning outcomes apply to each of the four seminars:

  • Self-assessment helps the student to better understand and develop their own managerial style, allowing for better organizational and personal effectiveness;
  • Focused concentration on the ethics of leadership allows students to examine successful leadership as a relational experience with an impact that reaches beyond the bottom line;
  • Examination of effective verbal and non-verbal communication models provide the foundation to facilitate and achieve leadership success in terms of sound decision-making, the achievement of business objectives, effective change management, timely conflict resolution, strong team-building skills, and the creation of environments that model healthy, collaborative, and productive ideals.
  • Develop leadership traits that allow a willingness to stand out; learn to withstand criticism and recover from setbacks; and, let curiosity and a questioning mind change the status quo for the better.

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