Leadership and Communication

BAAS Course Block in Leadership and Communication

About the Leadership and Communication course block

The Leadership and Communication course block is an exciting skills-building and career-enhancing program designed by distinguished, award-winning Ivy League academic experts and researchers in consultation with top executives and leaders from the real worlds of business, government, and the nonprofit sector.

A Penn path to effective, ethical and career-boosting leadership

Drawing expertly on the social sciences, humanities, and data sciences, each of the five Leadership and Communication courses is scheduled especially for working adults and taught by dedicated and experienced Penn-affiliated scholars.

Each Leadership and Communication course brings you one step closer to having the intellectual understanding and professional skills needed for effective leadership and communication.

LEAD 101, Leadership Theory and Practice: This course introduces you to competing concepts and theories of leadership. You learn what the best empirical studies in the behavioral and social sciences say about how to identify, develop, and apply your own distinctive leadership traits, skills, and signature strengths, The course's learning and self-development assignments include a biographical analysis paper in which you compare and contrast your own leadership background and profile with that of a leader you admire. You conclude the course by crafting a five-year leadership career plan.

This course counts toward the Certificate in Leadership and Communication and degree concentration.

LEAD 202, Leadership Lessons from the Social Sciences: Whether in business firms, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or other settings, how do leaders get other people to believe and behave in accordance with their preferences? What explains why some individuals are more likely than other individuals to emerge to get elevated as leaders? Why do some leaders prove more effective than other leaders in achieving goals and accomplishing purposes? The vast and varied non-academic or popular literature on leadership offers anecdotal answers that are often pithy and persuasive but almost always empty or wrong. By contrast, the relevant empirical social science literature offers evidence-based ideas that are invariably tentative but generally trustworthy. Through lectures, readings, focus questions, cases, and weekly discussions facilitated by the instructor, this applied arts and sciences course equips students to sample both classic and contemporary social science research that is directly relevant to leadership theory and practice. The assigned "academic" readings include bestselling books by Nobel Prize-winning economists, psychologists, and other leading thinkers in diverse fields: organizational sociology; behavioral political sciences; behavioral economics; principal-agent models; game theory; and positive psychology.

This course counts toward the Certificate in Leadership and Communication and degree concentration. Effective fall semester 2019, the prerequisite for this course is either LEAD 101 or LEAD 304.

LEAD 203, Leadership Lessons from the Humanities: This course explores multiple and competing moral frameworks and ethical perspectives on leadership derived from a diverse range of readings in philosophy and literature, including works by Plato, Shakespeare, John Stuart Mill, Machiavelli, and others. The course includes videos, readings, case studies, and writing exercises that conclude with a capstone essay. In this course, students will learn not only about particular works of philosophy and literature, but about how to "learn to look" at works of philosophy and literature in a way that identifies and magnifies their enduring leadership-relevant ideas, insights, and lessons.

This course counts toward the Certificate in Leadership and Communication and degree concentration. Effective fall semester 2019, the prerequisite for this course is either LEAD 101 or LEAD 304.

LEAD 304: Professional Communication and Self-Development: This course provides an intensive introduction to several components of professional communication in the workplace and other settings. It also provides an introduction to empirically proven, personal and professional benefits of positive psychology. LEAD 304 is a writing-intensive course; students receive individual feedback on multiple writing assignments each week. In this course, students learn how to: organize their professional writing and speaking persuasively, based on rhetorical understanding of audience; edit their writing in accordance with professional best practices; communicate effectively in conflicts or crises; and apply the evidence-based lessons of positive psychology to achieve personal development and professional success.

This course counts toward the Certificate in Leadership and Communication and degree concentration.

In LEAD 305, Introduction to Data Analytics, without needing to know statistical analysis or be a math whiz (no prerequisites), students learn key concepts in data analytics using the programming language R, and discover how to use quantitative data in real-world real-time problem identification, decision-making, and problem-solving.

In LEAD 310, Leadership and Public Administration, students are introduced to both classic and contemporary studies of how public laws and policies are translated into effective action, how and why government reform efforts succeed or fail, and complete an original case study on the ongoing revolution in public management theory and practice favoring public-private partnerships and “collaborative governance.”

In LEAD 320, Leadership and Business Organization, students interactively and critically study five of the most influential books ever published regarding why for-profit enterprises succeed or fail; do an original “management consulting” report on an actual business firm; and write a final paper on what, if any, particular individual styles or institutional structures predictably and reliably enable one to “succeed in business.”

In LEAD 330, Leadership and Nonprofit Management, students are immersed in research that profiles America’s vast and varied, large and growing “independent sector,” exploring what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to leadership and innovation in the non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations (charities, churches, private colleges, hospitals, and others) that, even if only counting the about 1.4 million registered with the IRS, now have more $2 trillion a year in annual revenues, more than $5 trillion in total assets, and more than 14 million full-time employees.

Courses are subject to change.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree courses in the Leadership and Communication course block are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in this block include a weekly synchronous session.

All Penn LPS Online courses offer academic credit.*

Please note: Students completing this course block while enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree are awarded a Certificate in Leadership and Communication upon completion of the degree. If you are enrolled in the BAAS program and don't complete the degree requirements to graduate, you are not eligible to receive this certificate.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Team effort: Penn LPS, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, and Civic Enterprises

The Certificate in Leadership and Communication is designed, developed and delivered through a working partnership between the leaders and staff of Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, and those of Civic Enterprises, headquartered in Washington, DC.

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies is the home of lifelong learning at the University of Pennsylvania. Housed within Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, LPS offers high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, summer and online studies as well as customized professional training with courses that span across academic fields.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary year, The Robert A. Fox Leadership Program is Penn's premiere leadership and service-learning fellowship program, dedicated to helping equip and empower Penn students and alumni to identify, develop and apply their leadership traits, skills and signature strengths.

Civic Enterprises works with universities, nonprofits, corporations, foundations, businesses, and governments to develop innovative programs in the fields of education, national service, civic engagement, conservation, public health, and more.

John Bridgeland

John Bridgeland

Founder, CEO of Civic Enterprises

Vice Chair, Service Year Alliance at the Aspen Institute

Vice Chairman, Malaria No More

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, University of Pennsylvania

Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

John Lapinski

John Lapinski

Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor, Faculty Director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, University of Pennsylvania

Bruce Reed

Bruce Reed

President, Civic Enterprises

Co-chair, Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative

Senior Fellow, Results for America

Meet the Faculty

Elizabeth Matthew

Elizabeth Matthew

Associate Director, Curriculum Development and Instruction, Penn LPS Online

Rebecca Padot

Rebecca Padot

Assistant Professor, Department of History and Government, Misericordia University

Senior Fellow, Penn Partnership for Religion and Urban Civil Society

Penn Partnership for Effective Public Administration and Leadership

Course Registration

Fall 2019 registration is now open

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