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Online Graduate Certificates from the School of Communication Studies

Team Leadership and Communication certificate

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As perceptions of “workplaces” continue to change and evolve, organizational managers are challenged with identifying innovative approaches for motivating employees, encouraging relationship-building and networking, and implementing strategies to facilitate effective decision-making in a variety of contexts (in-person and remote). The Team Leadership and Communication certificate builds practical skills through examination of communication theories and research on relationship building, conflict management, team building, understanding diverse perspectives and communication styles, and decision-making processes.

Completing the certificate fulfills 12 of the required elective hours for the online Master’s degree in organizational communication. Students admitted to this certificate may also seek admission to the Organizational Communication degree, and/or other certificates.

Who should apply?

This certificate is a great fit for current or aspiring organizational leaders who seek advancement to roles requiring effective leadership, team building, and group facilitation skills. Specific competencies developed in this program include initiating and maintaining relationships, identifying individual strengths, assessing team performance, utilizing effective communication skills, managing social conflict, and developing team-building skills.

Skills and competencies

  • Identify effective communication skills to strengthen relationships across teams, departments, and organizational hierarchical levels.
  • Create a team-building plan to promote collaboration and cohesiveness among organizational members.
  • Identify cultural differences within organizations and develop strategies to enhance understanding and cooperation.
  • Develop a plan for engaging and leading remote teams that promotes collaboration, productivity, and cohesiveness.
  • Identify strategies for effectively managing conflict and disagreements in teams by engaging in case study analysis.

Time to completion

The certificate requires 12 credit hours, made up of the required courses listed below. Students must earn a grade of “B-“ or higher in a class in order for it to count toward the certificate completion. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all three courses is required for certificate completion.

Courses

  • Cross-Cultural Communication (COMS 5200): Analyze and explore how communication is affected by processes and problems national cultures, and the effects of differences in languages, values, meaning, perception, and thought.
  • Communication in Social Conflict (COMS 6200): Study the roles of communication in conflict and conflict in communication, and learn communication strategies for reducing or managing conflict in social situations.
  • Communication Process in Small Groups (COMS 7210): Use research and theory to learn about group social systems, group modification of individual judgment, leadership styles, group vs. individual goals, and intragroup lines of communication.

Communication and Change certificate

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Most organizations and their members resist change and the disruption it causes in routines that have become comfortable and familiar. In order to prepare organizations to thrive in the midst of innovation, leaders must take advantage of communication tools designed to effectively introduce and navigate change. The Communication and Change certificate focuses on communicative strategies to secure employee buy-in, reduce ambiguity associated with change, and develop training plans to ensure that organizational members are prepared to pivot and adapt to disruptions to their routines. Learn how to assist organizations in designing messages that align the current culture with proposed changes, and to formulate strategic plans that take into account the analysis of various audiences.

Completing the certificate fulfills 12 of the required elective hours for the online Master’s degree in organizational communication. Students admitted to this certificate may also seek admission to the Organizational Communication degree, and/or other certificates.

Who should apply?

We designed this certificate for current or aspiring leaders and organizational members who have an interest in understanding and enhancing skills associated with effectively communicating about organizational change or innovations.

Skills and competencies

  • Identify strengths of various communication channels for communicating about change.
  • Develop communication and leadership skills for implementing change
  • Understand influence strategies to secure support and buy-in of change efforts.
  • Explore strategies for soliciting feedback about innovations.
  • Develop effective training seminars to prepare organizations for adapting and integrating change.

Time to completion

The certificate requires 12 credit hours, made up of the required courses listed below. Students must earn a grade of “B-“ or higher in a class in order for it to count toward the certificate completion. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all three courses is required for certificate completion.

Courses

  • Instructional Training and Development in Communication (COMS 6270): Includes philosophies of organizational development; theories of instructional design, emphasizing stages of planning implementation, and evaluation; and communication training skills, including needs assessment and evaluation, writing objectives, application of communication content, and selection of instructional modes and resources—all investigated within business, professional, and governmental organizational contexts.
  • Communication and Persuasion (COMS 6300): Process of communication and attitude change, survey of general theories and typical research, analysis of contemporary persuasion.
  • Communication and Information Diffusion (COMS 7230) Analysis of major approaches to data and information diffusion systems on local, regional, national, and international levels. Emphasis on acquisition analysis and dissemination of data as information, including critical points of interface and interaction between a system and its uses.