Division of Continuing & Distance Education, Summer School Off-Campus & Distance Learning

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Leadership Certificate Course Descriptions

State Government Leadership Certificate

Description of the Curriculum


SPCM 587: Team Building and Group Decision Making (3 CR)

This course demonstrates the significant role that teams, teamwork, and decision-making play in organizations.  Current theories and practices are examined to develop strategies for effective team building and improved decision making.  This course is designed to meet the "People" competency.

SPCM 754: Managerial Communication (3 CR)

This course examines the implications of communication as it relates to management contexts, processes, and activities.  The specific aim is to develop communication expertise in the functions necessary for effective organizational administration, management, and leadership.  This class is designed to meet the "Customer Care" competency.

BADM 592: Topics in Business Administration: Leadership and Ethics (3 CR)
This course analyzes the role of ethical considerations in the process of making sound managerial decisions.  The implications of these decisions on future organizational performance are investigated with a particular emphasis on leading organizational change.  It explores the role of emotional intelligence (EI) in leadership and ethical decision-making.  This course is designed to meet the "Taking Care of Business" competency. 
POLS 724: Organization and Management (3 CR)
A study of the principles governing the organization and management of public agencies with emphasis on the role of the executive.  This course is designed to meet the "Allocating Resources" competency.
Capstone Course
POLS 592: Special Topics: Leadership Capstone (3 CR)
The capstone course is designed to synthesize the leadership work participants have completed in prior coursework; each student will design a format that demonstrates his/her cumulative learning and development and reflects leadership abilities. 

This class is designed to be the capstone for the series.  Faculty involved with leadership training will direct the class which may involve the following:

  • Individual/Group research projects that address state government challenges
  • Portfolios that catalog and analyze students' research on leadership
  • Research proposals pursued independently
  • Final presentations will be made in a retreat setting

Degree Transition

Several courses in the management series are part of the curriculum for the Master of Science in Administration (MSA) degree offered by USD.  Students who wish to pursue a more specific degree (Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration) may find that some of the courses in the series will apply to those degrees; however, participants interested in those degrees should contact on-campus advisors regarding full degree requirements.