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ODL FAQs

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What can I do with an MS in ODL?
Our MS in Organization Development & Leadership is a multi-sector and multi-disciplinary program. What does this mean? We have adult learners (leaders/practitioners) from various sectors (profit, not-for-profit, healthcare, government, etc.) and disciplines who are searching for skill enhancement, field advancement and other opportunities to set themselves apart and make a difference in their chosen fields of practice. As PCOM ODL current adult learners or alums, you are immediately adding value to your organizations, being noticed and setting yourself apart from other leaders, aspiring leaders and practitioners by embracing a collaborative leadership mindset to deliver individual and organizational results.  
 
Are practical/field experiences a part of the program?
PCOM’s ODL program is focused on action learning. What this means from an intentional design practice is that you—as the adult learner—identify the issues that are most important to you and your organization. We (faculty) design the coursework to promote individual discovery as you integrate ODL theory into your practice, thereby creating the real experience necessary to encourage growth as a leader and practitioner.
 
Because of the nature of our action learning emphasis, practical/field experiences are specifically aligned with the design intent of the course. In a couple of courses, the primary focus will be a field experience comprised of focused exposure to different organizations. In a couple of other courses, an extended field experience with a single, external organization will serve as a platform for skill development and enhancement as well as an opportunity to view your own organization through different cultural lenses.
 
 
Who will teach my courses?
The courses are taught by our exciting community of faculty who are active consultants, practitioners and leaders in the field of ODL—a critical element in providing value-added learning to our students. Our students are learning, testing and applying theory and experience in real-time using the latest tools, methodologies and practices necessary to deliver results for themselves and their organization(s). 
 
What is the quality of the student/faculty relationship?
The quality of the student/faculty relationship is a unique and a special strength of the ODL program. While class sizes vary each semester, class size is moderated to allow faculty to provide meaningful, individualized attention to their students. The majority of the program faculty members are also working in the field and can provide excellent, practical examples in relation to coursework. Many of our students enjoy collaborative relationships with faculty who actively participate in and contribute to the overall leadership development of their students. In providing feedback to our program directors about their experiences, our students and alumni report that our faculty members are caring, respectful and responsive and that our faculty demonstrate their genuine interest and concern for their students through mentoring and collaborative learning both in and outside of the classroom.
 
 
Is there a thesis required to complete the Master of Science in Organizational Development & Leadership degree?
In lieu of a thesis, a final capstone project  is required for completion of the MS in ODL degree. The  capstone project is an action research experience that serves as a tool for faculty to assess students’ competency and skill development. The capstone project process can start as early as halfway through the ODL curriculum, although many students enter the program with a ‘burning issue’ that they want to address as the capstone project and use the coursework to support their action research experience.
 
What is the cost of the program? Is financial assistance available?
The following tuition rates apply:
Academic Year  2013-2014
Tuition (per credit): $755
Comprehensive Fee (Summer Term):$182
Comprehensive Fee (Fall, Winter and Spring):$181 (per term)
 
For information on financial assistance, please visit the Financial Aid section.
 
When are classes offered?
In order to accommodate full-time working professionals, ODL classes are held on weekday evenings and on weekends. Turbo courses are conducted only on weekends. Other courses may be held primarily on weekday evenings with an occasional weekend class. Course schedules are designed to allow the greatest flexibility for our students. 
 
 
How long does it take to complete the master's program?
Most of the students complete the program in two to three years. However, we collaborate with students to work out a schedule that can accommodate the different life experiences and goals of our students. This may mean extending the course work past three years, if it makes sense to meet the needs of our students.  
 
Can I attend the program part-time?
Yes. Because the ODL programs are designed for working professionals, most students pursue their degree and/or certification part-time. Our flexible course offerings on weekday evenings and on weekends are intended to provide flexibility for our students.
 
Is it possible to work full- or part-time during the program?
Yes. Our programs are designed for working professionals with all classes meeting on weekday evenings or on weekends. Also, the 2-3 years allotted for completion of the MS degree allows flexibility. In fact, employment during the program may be beneficial in providing real-time experiences for engaging in ODL practice.
 
Are any standardized test scores required for admission?
No. We have found that standardized test scores are not effective indicators of successful ODL students, rather previous education and former/current work experience are key factors in admissions decisions and predictors of student success.
 
Are there any professional organizations affliliated with the ODL program?
Yes, there are two organizations with which our ODL program is affiliated, one in PA and one in GA. Philadelphia Region Organization Development Network (PRODN in PA) and Organization Change Alliance (OCA in GA) are professional networks of organization development practitioners and leaders. Their focus is to provide additional learning and growth opportunities for practitioners and leaders, nurture strong relationships with their communities, and as engaged citizens to provide their skills whenever possible to make a difference and  facilitate change. PCOM pays for the first year of membership for all first year ODL degree students.
 
 
What are the minimum admissions requirements?
Below are the minimum requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Organizational Development & Leadership degree program.  Each application is reviewed on an individual basis.

NOTE: GRE scores are not required for admission into any of the ODL programs. 
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution with a B average or better.
  • Work experience preferred (in order to take advantage of action learning).
    • Students may apply for a maximum of 6 credits for life/work experience.
    • Application fee of $50 (checks made payable to PCOM).
  • Application, including autobiographical statement reflecting understanding and interest in ODL.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Recommendation letter and form.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
 
What is the deadline to apply for admission?
In order to allow the greatest flexibility for applicants, the ODL program follows a rolling admissions cycle, meaning that there is not a specific deadline for application. However, as the greatest demand for admittance is for the fall and spring terms, early application is strongly encouraged to guarantee placement within the program during the desired term.
 
Is an interview required for admission?
Yes. Once all applications materials have been received by the Admissions Office, eligible candidates will be invited to interview with the program leadership.
 
Who should I contact for more information?
Philadelphia, PA Campus
Jeff Branch, EdD
Program Director
Organizational Development & Leadership Graduate Program
215-871-6947
 
Suwanee, GA Campus
Elizabeth (Beth) P. Levine, MA
Assistant Program Director 
Organizational Development & Leadership Graduate Program
678-225-7589
 
General Inquiries
Rachel Cuffeld, MBA
ODL Program Coordinator
PCOM Department of Psychology
215-871-6533
 
 
Last Updated: 7/7/14