Central Penn College - New organizational leadership bachelor’s degree

Central Penn College


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September 17, 2012 New Organizational leadership bachelor’s degree

Central Penn College is pleased to announce a new addition to its career-focused degree offerings, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. Available fully-online or through day classes and evening courses at Central Penn’s Summerdale campus, as well as through a hybrid of on-site and online courses, it is the only area bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership with concentrations in emergency operations, government and nonprofit organizations. The program was granted approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education on July 12. Central Penn’s academic calendar operates on accelerated, 11-week terms, offering students four start dates per year. The college is currently enrolling students for the fall term, which begins Oct. 8.

“There is a distinct need and demand for leadership skills in the workforce within Pennsylvania and the United States,” says Associate Dean of the School of Applied Sciences Patrick Hughes. “The interdisciplinary nature of the new program’s curriculum allows interested students to learn how to inspire, lead others and affect change, all while specializing in one of the three  areas of concentration. There is a vast applicability of the concepts of leadership in many arenas.”

The organizational leadership degree program prepares students to gain a solid theoretical and practical education in the principles of effective leadership. Students are provided with an education to facilitate and enhance their professional employability within their respective field of study or continue on to graduate study. The program emphasizes understanding leadership issues and applying the exercise of ethical leadership in complex social, culturally diverse, team and organizational settings.

Leadership has long been a focus at Central Penn College, from academic programming to the resources offered to students. The Charles “T” Jones Leadership Library opened its doors in 2002. The library, named after noted inspirational speaker and friend of the college Charles "Tremendous" Jones, houses a collection of personal development and leadership materials from many of the country’s top motivational speakers and authors. In 2010, Central Penn built upon its leadership programming through the creation of an institution-wide, interdisciplinary 21-credit Craiger C. Parker Leadership Development Program (LDP). A highly selective program, the LDP was designed to develop, foster, and recognize leaders of honor and integrity, and enhance students’ major fields of study.

With the approval of the organizational leadership bachelor’s degree, Central Penn is currently in the process of transforming the LDP into a co-curricular program led by the student services office. The revised program will weave leadership into student clubs, honors societies and other student-run organizations.

Economic outlook

“Being a student of leadership, I recognized and researched how vitally important the topic of leadership has become,” says Hughes, the principal individual who developed and formally requested the new program.

Hughes is currently completing his dissertation for a doctoral degree in leadership from Alvernia University, has earned a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership from Shippensburg University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Minor in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University.

The research process to recommend the new program began in late 2010 and was submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for approval in April 2012. The concentrations and curriculum were peer-reviewed by highly qualified academicians with experience in organizational leadership.  

Based on program student learning outcomes, graduates of the program will be prepared to obtain positions such as: management analysts; organizational development specialists; management consultants; organizational trainers; community development specialists; human resources managers; training and development specialists; strategic planners; personnel development specialists; and employment, recruitment and placement specialists.

The Job Outlook 2012 survey report published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) showed that the second top attribute that employers seek on a candidate’s resume is leadership, with 77.2 percent of respondents selecting this attribute.

Central Penn’s organizational leadership program is designed to proactively teach leadership concepts and practical knowledge to those in the workforce pipeline, addressing an issue that Hughes uncovered through research; that generally leadership is taught to working adults only after they have encountered problems.

“Why do we wait for people to go into the workforce before we train them in leadership?” Hughes poses. “Central Penn’s program will truly prepare students to be leaders at the next level.”

On top of Central Penn’s regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Higher Education, the organizational leadership program is an institutional member of the International Leadership Association, based out of the University of Maryland. The International Leadership Association (ILA) is the global network for all those who practice, study and teach leadership.

Organizational leadership bachelor’s degree program

In the program, students will learn to:

  • Compare and justify the need for leadership and management concepts
  • Explore and examine leadership roles
  • Discuss the knowledge, methods, and techniques needed to develop and motivate followers, resolve conflict and disputes
  • Examine and distinguish organizations as complex systems and the implications of workplace diversity, organizational change and corporate culture
  • Select and apply techniques to continually improve an organization by using critical thinking, problem solving, and various research methods to support decisions
  • Through service learning, students will synthesize and interpret the impact social responsibility plays on significant political and social issues
  • Differentiate and compare principles of management, leadership, administration and supervision

The concentration in emergency operations provides students an opportunity to explore and apply leadership concepts to various agencies' collaborative response to safeguarding communities. In addition, it works to show that public policy, organizational management and leadership drive the response to these events.

The concentration in government allows students to explore and apply how the leadership process can influence the different levels of government and current structures. Students can further expand their knowledge on how policy is created through governmental leadership.

The concentration in nonprofit organizations provides students insight into the strategies, framework and usefulness of these organizations. It examines the philanthropic philosophy of leadership of those seeking to transform and improve life within the community.

Students can also elect to take a general organizational leadership degree through a fully-online program or through day or evening courses on the Summerdale campus.

The organizational development curriculum includes 43 credits of core courses, including: alternative dispute resolution; ethics; leadership in society; management proposal writing; nature of leadership; organizational behavior; organizational change management; organizational communications and leadership; principles of management; topics of multiculturalism; social responsibility and statistics.

Central Penn College’s hands-on curriculum culminates in required internships or capstone courses based on the personal needs of the student. To further highlight to employers the knowledge, skills and abilities that they have learned in the organizational leadership program, students in this field of study also complete a final leadership application project or honors project.

To prepare students to become productive leaders, employees and citizens, Central Penn upholds high standards in appearance, attendance, community service, conduct, professionalism, etc. The college’s mission is to provide an education that prepares its graduates to obtain employment or advancement in their chosen field, continue their education or be contributing members of society.

Visit www.centralpenn.edu or call 1-800-759-2727 to learn more about the organizational leadership degree program at Central Penn College or apply for the fall term.


Central Penn College has been helping students turn potential into career success since 1881, now offering bachelor's and associate degrees in the fields of accounting, business administration, criminal justice, information technology, communications, healthcare, homeland security, legal studies and organizational leadership. The college, currently serving students at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations, attributes its high rate of student success to a caring faculty and its hands-on learning approach. Based on Central Penn’s most recent One-Year Graduate Survey, 82.9 percent of graduates were employed in their chosen field or continuing their education within one year of graduation. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. www.centralpenn.edu