Course Descriptions

Antioch University Santa Barbara’s (AUSB) Women & Leadership Certificate Program is comprised of two five-month long terms. Following are descriptions of each of the two terms and the courses specific to each term. Throughout the program, participants will attend three, two and one-half day residencies on AUSB’s beautiful campus in downtown Santa Barbara. Between the three residencies, participants will utilize AUSB’s virtual learning environment to continue the courses they will begin during the first program residency and continue during both terms.

History, Principles and Practice of Women & Leadership:

Gender differences are a combination of complex innate and cultural factors that are part of the life experience and a crucial issue in terms of leadership and power. In addition to exploring the issues related to gender and leadership, the Program will focus on the study of Values-Based Leadership and the  development of an individual skill set that will assist in implementing meaningful change both personally and institutionally. In Term 1, all aspects of gender and leadership will be examined, including historical, theoretical, and experiential perspectives. During our First Residency, participants will engage in self-assessment, workshops, lectures, and interaction with peers, faculty, guest speakers, and mentors and will begin the exploration of these topics. The experiences and relationships begun in Residency 1 will continue using AUSB’s virtual learning environment for online study and conversation; reading; and work with peers, faculty, and community/institution-based mentors. The design and initial implementation of the participant’s Leadership Project will provide the means to a personal experiential learning opportunity.

Each two and one-half day Residency will include distinguished guest speakers, panel presentations, small workshops, individual instruction, readings, and social gatherings. Participants will be assigned to a small cohort whom they will work with throughout the program and begin to build a collaborative learning team. Residency 1 will preview the program, and introduce participants to the concept of Values-Based Leadership and its importance as the “lens” by which we will examine women as leaders. Gender issues and leadership will be explored from historical, theoretical, and practical perspectives, and participants will network with peers, faculty, guest speakers, community leaders, and prospective mentors. During Residency 1, participants will also initiate the design of their individual Leadership Project and receive instruction and support in using AUSB’s virtual learning environment, which will be an integral component of the program.

With educational opportunities available to both men and women, why would gender still be an issue in leadership today? Beginning in Residency 1, this online course will explore the history of the feminist movement as it relates to leadership; current research on gender-related issues and leadership in the public sector, business, and non-profit venues; the study of gender science and gender stereotyping; and the experiences of women leaders.  Case studies of female leaders will be examined.  A moderated online discussion about these issues will also explore current trends and theories about gender and leadership.

Values-Based Leadership provides a model and theory that inherently fits the intrinsic characteristics of the decision-making often employed by women. This online course will survey the history, philosophy, theory, and ethics of Values-Based Leadership in examining women as leaders.  It will also examine and address the related essential leadership skills.  A moderated online discussion about these issues will also explore current trends and theories about leadership skills and gender.

Working closely with faculty and mentors, each program participant will design and implement an experiential Leadership Project.  This individual (or small group) project may relate to the participant’s current employment; volunteer activities; or an entirely new endeavor within the public, business, or non-profit sectors. Faculty mentors will assist in selection of a mentor in the participant’s home community who will serve as an adviser on the project. The design and implementation of theLeadership Project will occur over the duration of the program and provide an opportunity to participate in and practice Values-Based Leadership skills in action. This includes, but is not limited to, the articulation of a clear project vision, empowerment of others to work as a team, creative problem solving, the constructive assessment of self and others in relation to leading a project, and the effective use of mentor relationships.


The Understanding and Experience of Gender and Values Based Leadership in Action

Values-based leaders have the capacity to lead and develop any organization within the public sector, business, and non-profit environments. In order to achieve meaningful change, values-based leaders appreciate the interrelationship of these environments and understand the mission and culture of the organizations they lead. Values-Based Leadership also demands self-knowledge, authenticity, vision, passion, and courage. Excellent communication and problem solving skills are essential and self-confidence grounded in self-knowledge and experience is invaluable. The second term will begin with Residency 2, focusing on enhancing each participant’s leadership communication skill set. Participants will continue to study the principles of effective Values-Based Leadership and how they intersect with gender and leadership challenges through online courses and discussion. They will also explore gender and leadership issues as they relate to economic and social justice; the challenge of work and family-life balance; and the importance of mentoring, networking and self-care. Participants will also continue to work on their Leadership Projects.

Like Residency 1, Residency 2 will take place on AUSB’s campus over two and one-half days.  Responding to information gathered during the first term, including the use of individual assessments, this second Residency will focus on enriching each participant’s Values-Based Leadership skill set. With distinguished guest speakers, panel presentations, small workshops, instruction, and interactions with peer mentors, Residency 2 will combine intensive self-study and workshops focused on the importance of active listening, effective team work, persuasive written and oral communication, problem solving, and the efficient use of technology and social media. Continuing the collaborative learning process established in Term 1, Residency 2 will provide participants the opportunities to network with peers, faculty, guest speakers, community leaders, and mentors while continuing to work on their individual goals and in their small cohort groups.

Building on WLC-001A, this course will continue the study of current research on gender related issues and leadership in the business, public sector, and non-profit venues. In addition, this term will focus on particular issues that leaders face in creating and communicating a powerful leadership vision, motivating a team and effectively delegating responsibilities, negotiating, dealing with boundaries, setting personal limits, and embracing change. The challenge of work and family-life balance, self-care, and the importance of networking will also be explored using case studies and current material; the impact of gender will be examined in relation to all of these topics. During WLC-001B, exploration of personal, professional, cultural, and experiential histories will also contribute to the effective self-study and development of short- and long-term personal leadership plans.

The second part of this course will continue the study of the history, philosophy, theory, and ethics ofValues-Based Leadership, through the lens of its relation to women as leaders. Particular attention will be focused on the interconnectivity of the business, political/public, and not-for-profit worlds, as well as issues related to economic and social justice. Participants will also examine different values and character traits associated with effective values-based leaders –aspects of transparency, curiosity, flexibility, resilience, charisma, grace, fairness, and authenticity – within the context of case studies of historical leaders and participants’ aspirational leadership goals.

Continuing the learning from WLC-003A, participants will continue the implementation of their experiential Leadership Projects, and will work closely with their peers, faculty, and community mentors. The Leadership Project provides the opportunity to practice and hone Values-Based Leadership skills, such as empowering others in teamwork, creative problem solving, constructive evaluation of the project, and fully executing a clearly articulated project visio