Master of Arts - Communication and Leadership
The Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership is a 30 graduate credit hour interdisciplinary program that provides knowledge, skills, and experiences for continuous self and system improvement within a complex, changing, and global context. The program is designed to develop collaborative, adaptive, and innovative leaders with a focus on the development of multiple communication skills, self-awareness, and strategic thinking. The program can be completed entirely online using highly interactive and intuitive learning management and video conference systems.
The Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership serves professionals interested in a post-graduate degree that provides knowledge and skills to advance their careers. The curriculum is designed to provide flexibility for diverse students as they pursue career and professional goals. Because leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities are the attributes most desired by employers, the curriculum will directly address these areas.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
- Evaluate the assessment, analysis and implementation of resources to achieve strategic organizational leadership within complex systems.
- Critique actions recognizing values and ethics within systems.
- Assess policy and organizational/community improvements at the local/global level.
- Analyze problems/opportunities for organizational/community improvement at the personal, local/global level using process improvement and/or innovation frameworks.
- Analyze communication processes.
The Program Director of the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Program does all academic advising for students. Students are required to consult with the advisor every semester to decide the student’s class schedule for the coming semester, in part to ensure that courses are taken when available as well as timely graduation. Permission for enrollment in any class for which the instructor feels the student’s background and preparation are inadequate will be withdrawn. Students are expected to inform Washburn University and the Program Director of any changes of their permanent and current address and contact information. International students must inform the International Student Office as well. Students are expected to check their Washburn University e-mail regularly, as official communications may be sent by e-mail.
The symbols used in grading are as follows: A, excellent; B, well above average; C, average; D, below average but passing; F, failure. In computing grade point averages: A equals 4; B equals 3; C equals 2; D equals 1; F equals 0. No grade below “C” is acceptable for graduate credit.
To graduate, students are required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Incomplete Grades and Continuous Enrollment
Incomplete grades are awarded in accordance with the Grading System described in the Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog. Effective Fall 2016, students pursuing a graduate degree who have completed all degree requirements, and have enrolled in but not completed a capstone, practicum, or thesis, will be required to maintain continuous enrollment at Washburn University until graduation (unless a leave has been approved). Continuous enrollment means that candidates must be enrolled in at least one credit hour until degree requirements are met. This requirement also applies to the summer term for students whose degrees are being awarded at the end of the summer term. Interruption of continuous registration due to a failure to follow this requirement will result in a need for readmission to the program.
Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in graduate courses to remain in good standing. Students whose GPAs fall below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation for one semester during which time they must raise their GPA to 3.0 or higher. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program. Academic probation will be granted only once. The program of study must be completed within a six-year time span.
Applicants to the program must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
The applicant should submit the following:
- The University online graduate application admission form http://www.applyweb.com/washburn/index.ftl.
- A resume.
- A three to five page essay that describes the communication and leadership skills you think are necessary for organizations to function effectively AND how this graduate degree will help you fulfill your personal and career goals.
- The names and email addresses of three academics, employers, or other persons who can attest to your potential for graduate work.
- All undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
- Hold a university credential that is equivalent to a US baccalaureate (Bachelor’s) degree.
- All Transcripts from non-US institutions must be evaluated by a recognized evaluation service (e.g. ECE or WES).
- Arrange for three letters of reference to be submitted by academicians, employers, or other persons who can attest to the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study in communication and leadership. These letters should be sent to the Communication Studies Department, Morgan 206, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas 66621.
- Meet the required level of English proficiency by iBT TOEFL score, IELTS, or another accepted measure of English proficiency. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding this requirement.
- Submit the required international application materials to the Office of International Programs. A complete list of the required documentation can be viewed on-line at https://www.washburn.edu/academics/international-programs/international-students/index.html.
Transfer credit from other accredited graduate programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- At least two-thirds of the semester hours required for the degree must be earned at Washburn University.
- All course work must be completed within six (6) calendar years.
All courses will be offered online in eight-week terms. Two eight-week online courses are offered each semester in a rotation that provides convenience and flexibility for the working graduate student and allows the program to be completed in as little as two years (if attending full-time).
Courses (total of 30 credit hours)
|CN 601||Introduction to Graduate Study - Communication Study||3|
|LE 601||Self and Systems Leadership||3|
|LE 620||Leadership/Resource Stewardship||3|
|LE 630||Organization Improvement & Innovation||3|
|LE 640||Public Policy & Global Leadership||3|
|CN 642||Team Communication in Organizations||3|
|CN 680||Seminar - Strategic Management Communication||3|
|Select one of the folllowing: 1||3|
|Special Topics in Leadership|
|or LE 698||Communication/Leadership Capstone Experience|
May be substituted for another course in consultation with adviser.
CN 601 Introduction to Graduate Study - Communication Study is a prerequisite for all other CN courses and LE courses, unless provided with instructor permission.
CN 601 Introduction to Graduate Study - Communication Study (3)
This course examines concepts and skills involved in human communication. Topics include language, nonverbal communication, relationships, perception, and conflict management. The course emphasizes the ability to analyze and synthesize information, and to interpret and assess human values. This course is designed to introduce students to graduate learning. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate school. Consent of Department.
CN 630 Communication-Conflict/Negotiation (3)
Combines theory and application to prepare students to understand, negotiate and resolve disputes among parties with differing objectives and desires within relationships, groups, organizations and communities. An emphasis is placed on the narrative structure of conflict and negotiation. Prerequisite: CN 601
CN 642 Team Communication in Organizations (3)
This course provides an in-depth look at group dynamics and communication focusing on communication and decision making, relationships, conflict, leadership, and group development. Students will examine the theory and research on the role of communication in effective and efficient work teams. Prerequisite: CN 601
CN 650 Persuasion (3)
This course examines the theoretical and practical elements into the role of communication in influencing attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors. The course allows students to take this research and put it into practice in forming and analyzing persuasion campaigns in various contexts. Prerequisite: CN 601
CN 680 Seminar - Strategic Management Communication (3)
This course is built upon a 21st century theoretical foundation that links disciplines of business, organizational communication and corporate management, with a focus on planning and leadership. According to our textbook author, a unique and important aspect of the course is its emphasis "on strategy formulation, making a clear distinction between strategic and tactical elements of communication." Using the case method and other applications for theories we cover, students will understand how they can best use various channels and contexts of communication as tactics that will help them to achieve strategic goals. Prerequisite: CN 601
CN 695 Special Topics (3)
Focuses on a topic not regularly offered, but that enhances the curriculum because of specialized faculty or student interest. Prerequisites: None.
CN 698 Capstone (3)
Communication and Leadership Capstone Experience (3 credits) The capstone experience is the culminating experience of the master's degree program and is taken in the final semester. It requires the identification of an organizational or community problem or opportunity and the development and implementation of a project that defines, measures, analyzes, and improves the problem or opportunity. Prerequisite: CN 601 and 15 credit hours in graduate communication courses
CN 777 Continuous Enrollment (1-3)
This course is to allow additional time to complete Capstone, Thesis, or Practicum Requirements. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
LE 601 Self and Systems Leadership (3)
This course explores the ways in which one interacts with given systems to provide effective leadership, and the various elements of both self and system that must be considered in this process. This requires an ability to critically examine oneself as a leader, including analysis of one's own core values and adherence to these values. Students will seek and critically examine new knowledge to improve one's leadership practice and consider the ramifications of leadership actions in systems of various scale. Students will develop a personal leadership plan and consider how this plan will affect their community of interest.
LE 620 Leadership/Resource Stewardship (3)
This course explores a leader's responsibility as a steward of an organization's human, financial and technological resources. Students will explore how the concepts of stewardship can be applied to the organization through responsible planning and management of resources. Students will develop an understanding of how to align resource plans with the organizations strategic goals and direction. The course will focus on key concepts and current readings in strategic budgeting, strategic organizational management structures, and strategic performance measurement. Students will critically evaluate organizational practices in these areas, consider alternatives and potential enhancements, and develop plans to align with and ensure achievement of the organization's strategic goals. Prerequisite: LE 601 or instructor permission.
LE 630 Organization Improvement & Innovation (3)
This course will focus on the role of leaders in the realization of organizational mission and vision through assessment, utilizing a continuous improvement framework, and innovation. Organizational assessment is required to understand critical problems to solve and opportunities to explore. Continuous improvement, utilizing Lean Six Sigma, provides a model for problem solving and opportunity development. If organizational assessment and a process improvement framework is supported, then innovation is more likely to occur. This requires the leader to work collaboratively with various stakeholders, and to manage the change process to ensure sustained outcomes. Prerequisite: LE 601 or instructor permission.
LE 640 Public Policy & Global Leadership (3)
Diversity in the organization is the new norm, and leaders must develop a high level of cultural intelligence in order to balance micro- to macro-system priorities and competing perspectives. This course will emphasize leadership of local/global organizations within environments of escalating complexity and change. This course builds upon previous leadership courses to analyze, implement and evaluate effective leadership strategies within local/global settings, with an emphasis on policy development, ethics, and social advocacy. Prerequisite: LE 601, LE 620, and LE 630 or instructor permission.
LE 695 Special Topics in Leadership (0-3)
Special topics in leadership. May be repeated for different topics. See course schedule for current offerings. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
LE 698 Communication/Leadership Capstone Experience (1-3)
The capstone experience is the culminating experience of the master's degree program and is taken in the final semester. It requires the identification of an organizational or community problem or opportunity and the development and implementation of a project that defines, measures, analyzes, and improves the problem or opportunity. Prerequisite: 18 hours of graduate communication curriculum and 9 hours of graduate leadership curriculum.
LE 777 Continuous Enrollment (1-3)
This course is to allow additional time to complete Capstone, Thesis, or Practicum Requirements. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.