Graduate Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership

This nine-credit Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership will introduce students to the nuances of the operations of serving on a board of directors. It was designed to help executives, aspiring to reach the next level of leadership, achieve their goals and aspirations within the corporate structure.

Program Design

Courses are taught online and students may begin the certificate program in the fall, spring or summer terms.

The first course covers how corporate boards work and the competencies needed to serve on a corporate board. An alternative first course will allow students who want to emphasize a nonprofit board leadership, the option of understanding how nonprofit boards operate. The second course in the advanced certificate covers topics on how to create a personal brand strategy to overcome the barriers to serving on a board of directors; and the third course covers topics on how to increase diversity of the board of directors through organizational development and change.

Required Courses

Students choose either MGMT 6001 or MGMT 6002.

MGMT 6001 Dynamics of Corporate Board Engagement* (3 Credits)
(An alternative to MGMT 6002)

The success of a corporate board depends on the skills of its members. The governing board of an organization holds an extraordinary responsibility for establishing the organization’s strategic direction around stakeholder needs and organizing a management structure designed to execute the strategy that capitalizes on the endeavors of the organization. This course will identify the skills needed to secure a successfully functioning corporate board and pathways in which individuals can develop key leadership competencies. Some of the competencies associated with serving on a corporate board include the ability to guide the mission, purpose, vision, and core values of the organization; develop a management structure and select a well-functioning executive staff; drive the strategic goals of the organization; monitor and evaluate all facets of organizational performance; maintain fiduciary responsibility; and ensure compliance with legal, ethical, and regulatory standards. This course will discuss each of these competencies and their importance for corporate board members.

MGMT 6002 Dynamics of Nonprofit Board Engagement* (3 Credits)
(An alternative to MGMT 6001)

The success of a nonprofit board depends on the skills of its members. “the principal roles of the board of directors are to represent the public (or membership) interests in the organization and to represent the organization as its legal voice” (Bryce, 2017paragraph 1).This will result in duties that include but not limited to obtaining and supporting operations that are consistent with nonprofit organizations, aiding in fund raising for the board, and acting in the best interest of the board and its role in society. Students in this course will study how a nonprofit board operates, the required financial management skills, the ethical values of a nonprofit and its board members, and how nonprofit organizations affect their stakeholders.

MGMT 6003 Pathway for Corporate Board Leadership - Personal Branding (3 Credits)

Serving on a corporate requires recognition of the key competencies of potential board members. Often selection to serve on a corporate board is based on previously established relationships. This might be one of the reasons that corporate boards have shown a lack of diversity in the past. While there has been a positive trend toward diversifying the corporate board, individuals can take steps to become the next board member. This course will outline the key steps in raising your profile and creating a pathway for corporate board leadership. The course will address why personal branding is important and how to create your own personal brand. This includes overcoming challenges in communicating your brand and building trust and support through networking. It is also important to learn from successful examples. Panel discussions will illustrate how individuals reached their goals and overcame obstacles. These panel discussions will be part of a residency experience or executive retreat, where participants can interact with women and other underrepresented leaders, who overcame the glass ceiling to serve on corporate board.

MGMT 6009 Creating a Diverse Corporate Board (3 Credits)

A diverse corporate board requires the organizational culture and processes that encourage corporate board diversity. Often this requires a change in existing board norms. In ordered to implement a planned change, several steps need to be taken. The first is an assessment of the current composition of the board and the process by which board members are chosen. This assessment includes the current culture of the organization and how it supports diversity within its leadership. In order to close the gap between what is the current nature of the board and the optimum board, the leadership must first identify its ideal board composition. Then a gap assessment is conducted to assess the difference between the current board make-up and what is ideal. Participants in this course will learn how to conduct a gap assessment and create a plan for change. Key topics covered in this course include organizational culture, organizational change, gap analysis, and creating diversity on corporate boards.

Suggested Part-time Course Sequence:

Spring MGMT 6001 Dynamics of Corporate Boards*, 3cr
(alternative to MGMT 6002)
Micro-credential or credit toward degree
Summer MGMT 6002 Dynamics of Nonprofit Boards*, 3cr
(alternative to MGMT 6001)
Micro-credential or credit toward degree
Fall MGMT 6003 Pathways for Corporate Boards - Personal Branding, 3cr Micro-credential or credit toward degree
Spring MGMT 6009 Diversifying Corporate Boards, 3cr Credit toward degree

 *Students choose one of these two options: MGMT 6001 or MGMT 6002.

Admission and Advisement

Admission to the certificate program requires the applicant to submit an official transcript of his or her bachelor’s degree along with a completed application. Advising will be provided by the certificate program coordinator, Dr. Rosalyn Rufer.

Apply online or request information for more details on the certificate in Corporate Board Leadership.