Executive Leadership Program

execLeadershipOur Executive Leadership certificate program originated in a growing awareness that a significant number of our graduates had gone on to assume leadership positions in the non-profit sector and from feedback about the needs for continuing education that had shown up on Alumni Surveys. At the same time, I was involved in a series of breakfast conversations over several years with Gerry Zipursky, a longtime colleague and prominent community leader. One of the recurring themes of these conversations was the changing landscape of the non-profit sector and the challenges faced by the next generation of leaders in the sector and a second theme directly related to education – the fact that leadership in the sector is often provided by graduates in social work, counselling and community development who often have little previous education and training in administration, management and leadership.

My breakfast colleague, now Director of Continuing Education and Community Engagement at CityU in Canada is a gifted leader, with knowledge and skills highly evolved through a lifetime of rich experience, learning and self-reflection. On my end as a university administrator, I wanted our graduates, particularly those who are now assuming leadership positions to benefit from my colleague’s formidable knowledge and impassioned approach.

After a several years of breakfast meeting I prevailed. The program structure then began to emerge in the context of further conversations between Gerry and other senior leaders in the sector always asking the question: “What does the next generation of non-profit leaders need to know?” Each module of our Executive Leadership – Non-profit Organizations, six module certificate program reflects an outgrowth of these conversations.

The effect of this approach is to create an educational program that emerges from a community of practice addressing the educational needs of that community and making use of the university’s particular resources and expertise in delivering educational programs. Through the good offices of the university a community, in this case, the non-profit sector in a large city informs, inspires and regenerates itself. At the same time, the academic and scholarly environment of the university is enriched by the presence of an environment in which theory and practice meet.

We have been offering this exciting certificate program over the past 1 ½ years. Over 50 leaders from the non-profit sector have now taken this program and given us very positive feedback. To date the program has required that participants take all six modules. In response to numerous requests we have put together a spring/summer offering that enables participants to take their choice of 1-6 modules. We have also broadened the scope of the offerings by including three (3) new modules. We hope you will join us and the growing community of non-profit leaders who are CityU graduates.

For more information about our Executive Leadership Program, visit our programs page

Arden Henley