Organizational Leadership, M.A.


What type of student does the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) seek to serve?
Our candidates are primarily people involved in the human side of the organization and typically hold roles where they directly manage others. This program is focused on organizational behavior and communication, change management skills, and personal/interpersonal effectiveness. We have concentrations in organizational management, professional and executive coaching, training and development, and higher education/student services.

In what format are courses offered?
The MAOL program is offered in an accelerated 8- week format. Specifically, students can choose from:

  • Weeknights in Oak Brook (each class meets one night per week)
  • Online

Note: Some courses in the program are offered online only.

About how long will it take to finish the program?
If you take one 8-week course each session it will take about two years. Some students take a blend of courses and complete requirements in about 18 months. Others may need to skip a session due to home, family, and job commitments. Because the courses are offered in an accelerated format, on a year-round basis, they accommodate both students who wish to enroll continuously, and those who need to take courses at a slower pace. There is a seven year limit on the time a student may take to complete the program.

Do I have to begin the degree during a certain semester?
No. We offer rolling admission into the program. You may start the program at six different times each year, as there are two opportunities to start each Fall, Spring, and Summer semester.

Can I apply for the program online?
Yes, you can apply at

Professional and Executive Coaching Concentration
Professional and Executive Coaching Certificate

What is coaching?
Professional and Executive Coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes, and managing personal change. Coaching is a powerful process uniquely designed to create lasting change. Coaching is also a profession, and one that offers highly qualified experts the opportunity to experience career fulfillment as well as financial security. Because of the extraordinary benefits of the coaching relationship to both client and coach, it’s no wonder that the demand has never been greater for great coaches.

Why a concentration or certificate in Professional and Executive Coaching?
While most of the other concentrations in the program help students develop their own leadership skills in certain areas (e.g., training and development), the coaching courses help prepare students to coach other leaders and help them enhance their leadership skills. Professional and Executive Coaching is a multidisciplinary- based approach that can provide professionals with a distinct advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Within the past decade, coaching has grown rapidly as a profession in businesses, schools, and organizations. This four-course program will explore and research the theory from which coaching has emerged and will teach the skills needed to become an effective internal or independent Professional and Executive Coach.

What is the structure of the coaching courses?
The courses are conducted synchronously online. This means the Professional and Executive Coaching courses will follow a different structure from the other MAOL courses. Students will need to meet on a designated day of the week, during class time (6-10pm CST), even though the course is offered online. Students cannot miss more than one class meeting per sessions and still meet the requirements for time spent together covering the learning objectives. Weekly attendance during class time is required.

This technology supports interactivity and collaboration while creating a powerful virtual learning experience. Courses will meet from 6pm until 10pm CST one night a week for 8 weeks. Students will need a computer with a speaker and microphone or a compatible headset with a microphone.

What will this help me to do after I have taken the classes and passed the exam?
Organizations and individuals are turning to executive coaches for leadership development, succession planning and to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

The professional and Executive Coaching Certificate or concentration is ideal for anyone who seeks to become an external executive coach, an internal coach, or a leader who wants to set themselves apart by consistently bringing out the best in employees.

Graduates work as independent coaches on their own or in small partnerships, or as internal coaches/consultants within HR departments of organizations and corporations. Some graduates stay in current roles, as HR business partners or line managers, for example, and use their coaching skills to find greater fulfillment in their roles.

What are the benefits?
  • Learn coaching strategies based on research and evidence in the field.
  • Determine personal coaching styles guided by well-researched models.
  • Develop the ability to coach virtually and face-to-face.
  • Discover the theory behind effective coaching practices.
  • Receive supervision from academically qualified coaching practitioners.
  • Learn how to start a coaching practice both inside an organization and as an independent practitioner.
What are the four coaching courses?
ORGL-54600 Introduction to Professional and Executive Coaching
  • This course provides an overview of professional coaching and introduces students to the 8 coaching competencies, their significance, and how to apply them in working with coaching clients. It also provides context for coaching credentials, niches and specialties, professional connections, and organizing yourself as a coach.
  • This course is a prerequisite for the other three coaching courses.
ORGL-54700 Coaching Methodologies
  • This course teaches students how to apply various coaching models and techniques to real-world coaching scenarios.
ORGL-54800 Building a Coaching Practice
  • This course teaches students how to strategically plan and create their coaching practice from the point of view of the successful independent practitioner as well as how to start a coaching initiative within an organization.
ORGL-54900 Coaching Assessment and Research
  • This course teaches students the basic concepts of qualitative and quantitative research practices and discusses how these are applied to the field of coaching. This course also provides students with an overview of how to use leadership and personality assessments in a coaching relationship.

What if I do not have previous experience in Coaching?
No prior experience is necessary! Successful coaches come from all walks of life. People bring in all their unique talents and interests and design their coaching around what's important to them (business executives, teams, managers, leaders, human resource professionals, trainers, consultants, therapists, teens, medical conditions to name a few.)

People who are attracted to coaching seem to have a calling. They often feel they’ve been coaching and want to take their skills to a professional and more effective level. What makes a great coach is someone who is curious, believes in possibilities and has the ability to see the magnificence of others.

Students simply need to be fascinated by human potential, inspired by individual creativity and unwaveringly committed to holding others creative, resourceful and whole. Great coaches are people who are committed to their clients’ growth and to their own continuous learning.

What is the ICF certification process for the ACC level of Certification?
  • Completion of Our ACTP accredited coaching courses (4 courses)
  • A minimum of 100 hours (75 paid) of coaching experience with at least eight clients following the start of your coach-specific training. At least 25 of these hours must occur within the 18 months prior to submitting the application for the credential.
  • Completion of the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA). This is a written exam that is multiple choice and short essay that focuses on the 8 core coaching competencies.
  • ICF Members: $100 USD
  • Non-members: $300 USD

Can you explain more about the 100 hours of coaching experience I need and how that works?
A client coaching hour is 60 minutes of actual coaching with a client who has hired the applicant as a coach and not in any other capacity. Client coaching sessions of less than 60 minutes will count as partial client coaching hours (for example, 30 minutes of client coaching will count as 0.5 client coaching hours). Coaching must be done in person or by telephone, by video conferences, or other voice-to-voice technology. Twenty-five of the 100 hours can be pro-bono coaching that you are not paid for. Up to fifty (considered to be paid) hours of the requirement can be received through the Lewis University Professional and Executive Coaching Program via peer coaching opportunities.

You are also able to count internal organization hours of coaching. Internal coaching is coaching done as part of the applicant’s employment. To count as client coaching hours, internal coaching must be part of the applicant’s job description. Coaching of direct reports (employees for whom the coach is an immediate supervisor) does not count as client coaching hours.

What will it be like taking these classes synchronously?
The Professional and Executive Coaching program courses utilize state-of-the-art technology and synchronous online learning methodologies. Students attend live virtual classes delivered through Zoom. This technology supports interactivity and collaboration creating a powerful virtual learning experience.

What if I have to miss a class after the course begins?
You are able to miss up to one class session per course and still meet the requirements of the ICF education hours towards certification.

ORGL-54600 is a prerequisite for the other three courses. Do ORGL-54700, ORGL-54800, and ORGL-54900 have to then be taken in that sequence?
Although we recommend this order, they do not need to be taken in this sequence but were built in this sequence intentionally to build on previous learning.

If I choose to take the four classes as a student at large but then decide to complete MAOL degree how would that work?
It is best to make that decision after completing two of the four courses because only two courses can be transferred for credit towards the program. You can still decide to complete the MAOL program after taking three or four of the courses but only two will be able to be applied for credit.