KALAMAZOO—Individuals in southwest and southeast Michigan will soon have an easier way to gain the skills they need to become leaders within the learning and development profession.
Beginning with the 2013 fall semester, Western Michigan University will offer the Master of Arts in Leadership for Organizational Learning and Performance at WMU-MetroDetroit in Royal Oak, Mich., and WMU-Southwest in Benton Harbor, Mich. The new degree offering was announced in 2012, and the fall 2013 enrollees will be the inaugural class.
Students will be able to complete the 33-credit-hour program entirely at WMU's MetroDetroit and Southwest regional locations, says Dr. Larry Buzas, the program's coordinator. An accredited bachelor's degree in most areas is a good base for beginning the program. Classes will meet once or twice a month in the evenings, with supplemental instruction occurring online to make them convenient for working adults.
About the program
"The program focuses on innovative technologies for learning," Buzas says. "That enables our students, many whom are human resources and organizational development leaders, to create training and development opportunities for their organizations that promote more efficient and effective learning."
Focusing on change management, talent development and organizational effectiveness, the program can enhance the careers of those in business, government, education, health care and nonprofit settings. It is already offered by WMU's Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology on the University's main campus in Kalamazoo and its regional location in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Program graduates will be adept at managing training and development projects and processes as well as measuring the impact of their efforts, and will support diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
"Employers seek graduates who are skilled for a variety of roles, including learning facilitator, staff developer, performance consultant, organizational change agent and many others," Buzas says. "Our curriculum goes beyond the traditional human resource role because demand for learning and development professionals is driven in part by the rapid pace of change in all types of industries and organizations."