The Executive Leadership and Change Program works to empower students, foster creativity and promotes collaboration and community building in the pursuit of student goals. Students learn essential skills, including innovative thought, critical analysis, and transformational leadership, that are implemented within a variety of organizational settings. The Executive Leadership and Change Program has helped develop leaders in Buffalo, Western New York and internationally for sixteen years.
- Classes are in a cohort-based, seminar format.
- Interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the internalization, integration, and application of self-awareness, team building, effective communication, systems thinking, and creative problem-solving for change.Projects are designed as hands-on laboratories for testing ideas and applying leadership skills.
- Students work closely with faculty and are encouraged to work collaboratively. Individualized learning objectives are incorporated into the program and research assignments.
- To maximize learning, the program stresses an experiential, interactive and reflective format sharing personal work experiences, evaluating case studies and meeting guest lecturers. Goals and learning objectives are supplemented through the use of multimedia technology, web-enhanced learning, and off-site visits.
- The 36 Credit Hour Program is delivered in two formats and can be completed in 24 months:
- Winter/January start - Tuesday evening format that meets once a week
- Fall/September start - Wednesday evening format that meets once a week
The program is cohort-based and classes are offered sequentially. The cohort format allows for an individualized case study approach to applying the material studied.
- The Foundational Component- seven, 3-credit courses
- The Analysis/Networking Component- 3-credit intensive shadowing course
- The Research/Application Component- A 6-credit thesis/research project
- A specialization or elective course- 3-credits
- A 3 credit capstone course
Specializations allow students to meet their personal and career learning objectives. Executive Leadership and Change students customize their research project/thesis and complete the specialization leadership course in one of four specialty tracks:
- Health Professions
- Higher Education
- Not-for-Profit Organizations
Module 1: Core Foundation (21 Credits)
This set of courses aims to provide the student with the foundational knowledge necessary to fully develop their unique leadership style and effect creative change in organizational and community settings. Course material will unite psychological, sociological, business/economic, and historical components of effective leadership. Although the main theories and issues discussed in this module arise primarily from the social science and business arenas, other disciplines in the liberal arts will be used to broaden and extend students' perspectives on core ideas and issues raised by the leadership and change theories. In addition, case studies and applications will be an integral part of the module, and will be used to assist students in finding ways to make important leadership decisions personally, in their organizations, communities, and on a larger scale, in our changing, global world. Finally, in keeping with the program's mission to promote transformational and change-oriented leadership, courses in the core foundation strive to translate more abstract theories of human behavior, organizational systems, decision making and the inquiry process into socially conscious and ethically responsible leadership styles.
- LEAF 500: Organizational Leadership and Self-Development
- LEAF 501: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Methods of Organizational Research
- LEAF 502: Leadership and Organizational Ethics, Values, and Social Environment
- LEAF 513: Developing Leadership Skills: One-on-One Leadership, Conflict Management, and Team Building
- LEAF 515: The Business of Leadership
- LEAF 529: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change
- LEAF 530: Modeling, Branding and Marketing Your Leadership
Module 2: Organizational Analysis & Community Action Project (3 Credits)
This module focuses on the application of the material covered in the first section of the core module while continuing with the theme of transformational change-oriented leadership. Module 2 combines academic concepts with organizational analysis and community action. Communication (in the form of talking across disciplinary and institutional boundaries, personal reflection, team building, and effective activation of resources) is also highlighted in this module. Faculty will work closely with individual students and with groups of students in facilitating the application of foundational material into the practice setting and in reinforcing the theme of analyzing transformational change-oriented leadership. While only three credits are required, the program places special emphasis on this module and students may integrate efforts begun here into their projects in module 3.
- LEAF 514: Leadership and Community: Empowerment, Collaboration, and Dialogue
Module 3: Thesis-Research Project/Special Topics/Elective (9 Credits)
This module is specifically designed by the student and involves either a research-based thesis or projects, supported by an additional specialization or special topics course. The student is encouraged to develop a thesis or projects as a result of work completed in earlier courses and consistent with their learning objectives. The project option provides the student with two opportunities to solve a real organizational problem and/or introduce a specific change within the context of his or her own organization. The student may also choose to research a question relevant to the practice of leadership and to attempt to answer this question through the research process.
The thesis is geared towards the development and implementation of a leadership research proposal. For the thesis option, the student is expected to identify a research question, choose a theoretical framework or a conceptual model, select an appropriate methodology, collect, analyze, and discuss the findings from their data. The project option involves demonstration of expertise in the area of leadership. The project is designed to promote creative and unique approaches to the field of leadership. The project method and implementation will vary based on the subject matter chosen.
- LEAF 540: Research Project/Thesis -I
- LEAF 541: Research Project/Thesis - II
- Specialization Course: LEAF 525 Leadership in Higher Education, LEAF 526: Leadership in Business, LEAF 527: Leadership in Non-Profits or LEAF 528: Leadership in Health Care Organizations
Module 4: Capstone (3 Credits)
This is the concluding integrative course of the leadership program. There are three important components of this capstone experience. First, is the finalization and testing of each student’s personalized model for their on-going leadership. Secondly, peer evaluation and discussion of the thesis or research projects under the direction of the seminar leader. Finally, students present their leadership portfolio reflecting on their development and growth as a leader of change.
- LEAF 560: Capstone Course in Leadership
About Our Program
- Full-time students working towards a graduate degree in Executive Leadership and Change, are eligible for a 30% tuition-only scholarship applied to the full tuition rate.
- Complete the online application.
- A written statement from the applicant which describes the applicant's own interest in the Executive Leadership and Change degree and assesses the applicant's strengths as a leader and describes what the applicant hopes to gain from a graduate degree.
- Provide a resume of professional experience.
- Two letters of recommendation from an employer, professional colleague, or major professor which evaluate the applicant's leadership potential and capacity to complete a graduate degree.
- Official transcript(s) from all accredited colleges or universities attended indicating the award of an undergraduate degree (international applicants must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and an English copy).
- Health form.
- Submission of an official TOEFL score by each international applicant who has graduated from a foreign college or university and whose native language is not English.
- Personal interview with program director.
A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 must be maintained to remain in good standing. A failed course must be repeated. It may also be necessary to repeat coursework in which a grade below B (3.0) has been earned in order to maintain the 3.0 overall GPA. A student is allowed a maximum of two repeats before being dismissed from the Executive Leadership and Change program.
Application for Degree: All graduate students are required to file an Application for Degree (PDF) form with the Registrar's Office at the onset of the final term of study. The application form is accessible on the Registrar's web page.
- Students in the program enter and finish as a cohort, maintaining continuous registration in sequenced courses. The ordinary time limitation for completion of the program is three years and compliance with the time limitation will be monitored by the Program Director. While this model offers an optimal learning experience, exceptions may be made for people who must temporarily leave the program. Such students must discuss their situation with the Program Director and file a formal Leave of Absence. The precise timing of the student's return from leave will be subject to the sequence availability within an appropriate cohort for the student's program re-entry. In cases where lack of an appropriate cohort causes a student to exceed the allowed one year's leave of absence from the program, the student will be permitted and expected to re-enroll at the earliest availability of an appropriate cohort. All other Daemen College policies on Leaves of Absence and time limitations for program completion (including extensions) will apply.
Student / Faculty Engagement
Small Class Sizes
Executive Leadership & Change
The cohorts were made up of primarily working professionals who were able to add context, value, and rich dialogue to the discussions. The program design effectively combined practice and research so you were easily able to apply what you learned immediately into your everyday life.