Master of Leadership Development (MLD)
Next Cohort Start Date:
August 8, 2015
Earn your graduate degree with confidence. The Master of Leadership Development (MLD) program confronts the critical areas of leadership, team effectiveness, power and relationships, strategic planning, influencing without authority, and communication. It empowers participants with the latest techniques to navigate these complex management issues. Gain the management and technical skills necessary to advance in your career and successfully guide your organization into the future.
This dynamic 12-month program enables professionals, such as yourself, to make a significant impact in your for-profit or not-for-profit organization. Its flexibility allows you to fit your graduate degree in your busy schedule, while still maintaining your family and career responsibilities.
The MLD program provides students an educational experience that allows them a broad range of perspectives as well as a focused area of study. The Integrative Core courses provide a range of outlooks for students, while the Focus Area courses narrow in on students’ specific area of interest: Organizational Leadership and Not-for-Profit Leadership.
This program is designed to be completed in one year using a hybrid format. There are face-to-face cohort group seminars on campus at the beginning and end of each course, at least one interactive webinar during each course and web-based assignments and discussions throughout. Students will take two courses every eight weeks, one from the Integrative Core and one from their Focus Area. Unlike many online colleges, the hybrid format allows you to build long-lasting relationships with your peers and professors.
The MLD program is designed for working professionals who are in search for a program that meets their career goals and fits into their schedule. Around 90% of the MLD students work full-time, many with family obligations, and are able to excel in the accelerated cohort model. The assignments are very student driven, meaning you get to complete projects that are relevant to your current position or passion, which makes them fun and helps keep you motivated. By going through the program with the same individuals you build great friendships with provide you a great support system.
Students take two classes each 8 week term:
- You meet one weekend every other month.
- You will be attending the final session of your courses on a Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and beginning your next two courses on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where you are able to meet your professors and have a very good understanding of what is expected over the semester. You then complete all assignments and projects through our innovative course management system, Brightspace (D2L), along with resources such as Skype and Adobe Connect.
In order to meet the needs of our diverse student body we have two convenient start dates and meeting places.
- August: One weekend every other month, at the Independent Colleges of Indiana building in Indianapolis.
- February: One weekend every other month, on the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, located 5 miles from Terre Haute, Indiana.
Through the one year program you will only meet a total of seven weekends. The courses offered are the same for both starting dates.
Graduating from the MLD program will enable you to:
- Work collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.
- Understand the influence of social and cultural context on individuals and organizations.
- Critically analyze research and ideas from various sources to determine alternatives.
- Conduct assessment and evaluation activities to guide practice and decision-making.
- Use appropriate technologies to enhance productivity and effectiveness.
- Develop and understand a repertoire of creative and ethical problem-solving models.
- Optimize team effectiveness
- Apply leadership skills to effect positive change in an organization, workplace or community.
What MLD students are saying about their experiences at The Woods:
The MLD program in itself allows flexibility. Therefore, for me, there was no struggle in managing my time. Professors are extremely understanding and helpful if an issue arises. However, the responsibilities of the program were very manageable, but still encouraged me to learn and apply my knowledge. As I work a full-time job, am starting a new business venture, and am newly married, I feel time is very precious. However, the program was perfect for my busy life!
As the director of aviation at Vincennes University, I knew I needed to boost my leadership skills. In mechanics, I am a perfectionist. I know the what and how for mechanics, but leadership is more flexible. I needed the skills to better understand how to bring a group of people with different skills and priorities onto the same page. I didn’t want an MBA. MLD was unique.
Since I have a Bachelors of Science in Business Management, I wanted a master's program that included a broad scope of disciplines (human resources, marketing, finance, psychology) and a focus of leadership development in organizations as opposed to a traditional MBA program. In addition, in an effort to maintain a life balance as a wife, mother, and a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry, I wanted to find a program that offered the flexibility of a distance program, yet offered some in-class opportunities, which is found in the MLD hybrid schedule.
There are a number of very significant benefits I experienced as a result of earning my MLD. I founded a successful not-for-profit after completing my MLD. Not only do I directly attribute the vision necessary to start a change organization to what I learned while completing my MLD, I know that SMWC instilled the ability in me as a leader to also act and create a reality for my vision.
The Master of Leadership Development program is a 36 credit hour program designed to be completed in one year. Students take two courses every two months. Students who cannot meet this rigorous schedule will be permitted to elect a two-year completion option, taking one course every two months.
Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be available to individuals with a GPA of 3.25 or higher. Learn how to apply for the scholarship: MLD.scholarship.February2015.doc
Scholarships up to $2,000 will be available to individuals exhibiting financial need. Awards will be given based off FAFSA results and need statement. To apply you must fill out the scholarship form.
Corporate Connections Program
Students employed by a Corporate Connection Partner will receive 10% off of tuition, in addition to any other scholarships received. If you don't work for a Corporate Connection Partner, we will help to get your employer signed up. It's free and easy! For a complete list of partners and information on how to get your employer on board, visit Corporate Connections.
MLD Program Costs
Application Fee (non-refundable)
Fee waived if application is submitted online.
Tuition (per credit hour, 2013-2014)
Total Cost of Tuition
Technology Fee, per semester
*The College reserves the right to alter fees.
Federal Financial Aid
Students who are enrolled in the MLD program may apply for federal financial aid up to $20,500 per year (full time). Full time status for graduate programs is 9 credit hours per semester. The Office of Financial Aid can assist students with dividing their financial aid awards over the course of the program.
More information can be found at the Office of Financial Aid.
To keep the program flexible for working professionals, the MLD program relies heavily upon technology and collaborative software applications. All courses use an online learning environment known as Brightspace (D2L) as the foundation, along with additional technologies to support online collaboration.
The MLD program offers you:
- An innovative and interdisciplinary education with diverse perspectives.
- A master’s degree in one year’s time.
- A flexible distance learning schedule, so you can complete your coursework on your own time.
- The opportunity to further your education while maintaining your life at work and at home.
- A degree from an institution that has 35 years of experience in distance education.
In order to apply for the Master of Leadership Development program, you must submit the following:
- Completed application form (online or by mail).
- Official transcript of all collegiate work.
- One-to-two page essay describing your interest in the MLD program, your selected Focus Area, and what you hope to gain from the program.
- Two letters of recommendation from someone knowledgeable of the applicant's professional or academic experience. Recommendations should be completed using the online form: Graduate Recommendation Form
Other admission requirements include the following:
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 / 4.0 or higher on any undergraduate work.
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 / 4.0 or higher on any graduate work.
- Access to a WiFi-enabled laptop computer with Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS 10 or higher.
- Access to a high-speed (DSL, cable, etc.) internet connection.
Applications are processed upon receipt and acceptance letters are mailed within 30 days. All application materials should be submitted to:
Office of Graduate Admission
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana 47876
Federal law requires college transcripts be sent directly from the originating college where the coursework was completed. We cannot accept transcripts sent or delivered by students.
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