Organizational Change Leadership Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE DEGREE?

The degree is a Master of Arts in Organizational Change Leadership. Many students interested in pursuing an advanced degree choose this degree rather than an MBA because of its focus on creating the capacity to lead organizational change, one of the most sought after skills by today’s organizations.

WHAT IS THE FORMAT OF THE PROGRAM?

Two formats are offered. A traditional program in which students complete 1-2 courses per semester is offered at the Kalamazoo campus and Grand Rapids regional location. A fast-track cohort program in which students complete the program in 5 semesters is offered at our Metro-Detroit location in Auburn Hills.

WHO ARE THE STUDENTS AND WHAT ARE THEIR BACKGROUNDS?

Our students comprise a diverse group of individuals working in a variety of functional areas, organization types, and industry sectors. Students include directors and managers responsible for internal change initiatives; consultants and coaches seeking to sharpen existing skills or develop new abilities; human resource professionals, performance management professionals, facilitators and trainers involved in helping human systems undergo organizational change; and individuals who are transitioning to new roles and are interested in consulting either within their organization or with outside organizations.

WHAT ARE THE BACKGROUNDS OF THE FACULTY?

Our faculty hold doctoral degrees in fields directly related to the study and practice of organizational change at the individual, group, and organizational levels—Human Resource Development, Organizational Studies, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Faculty members are scholar practitioners—they continue to conduct research in the field and they continue to engage as practitioners leading change in organizations.

WHAT DO MOST STUDENTS DO AFTER COMPLETION?

How students apply the knowledge and skills they gain throughout the program varies. Some leverage their new expertise to advance in their current organizations; other students use the degree to transition to new roles outside their current organizations. With the degree, students pursue various organizational roles in change management, internal or external consulting, human resource development, organizational development, and performance management.

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?

We offer rolling admissions for those students pursuing our traditional format in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, which means that students can apply at any time. The application deadline for the fast-track, cohort program offered at our Metro-Detroit location in Auburn Hills is July 1.

IS FINANCIAL AID OFFERED IN THE FORM OF SCHOLARSHIPS?

Various types of scholarships are available at various levels (e.g., program, department, college, and university). In particular, the OCL program annually offers the “Robert O. Brinkerhoff Endowed Scholarship,” which is eligible to full-time graduate students who are pursuing a master’s degree in OCL. Special consideration is given to single parents and adult students with experience living or working in diverse environments. This scholarship is renewable for a period of up to one year provided the student remains a full-time or part-time graduate student in OCL and has satisfactory academic progress.

WHEN CAN I START TAKING CLASSES?

Students admitted to our traditional format in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo can start to take classes at the beginning of a semester immediately following admission. Students admitted into the fast-track cohort program at our Metro-Detroit start classes in the fall of each year.