ODC Essentials Group

Graduate Certificate inOrganization Development and Change Essentials

Program summary

Learn to lead change initiatives and evaluate group dynamics to facilitate positive organizational change. This program can help you build a strong foundation in organization development and change, and the credits earned in the certificate may be applied toward the MPS in OD&C.

Application deadline

Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,017 per credit

Gain Key Skills to Initiate Organization Change

  • Apply critical knowledge in organization development and change, appreciative inquiry, and process consultation.

  • Lead both small-group and large-group change initiatives.

  • Use various resources to develop, implement, evaluate, and market organization development programs.

  • Observe group dynamics and facilitate change efforts.

Organization Development and Change Essentials Courses

In this 12-credit program, you can build a strong knowledge base of organization development and change, appreciative inquiry, and process consultation.

Required Course (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Development of major concepts, skills, and techniques required by workplace learning professionals to support and facilitate organization change.

Elective Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in process consultation. Process refers to how groups interact and how people get along.

  • 3
    credits

    Reviews standard approaches and then examines the processes associated with planning, developing, and implementing training and development programs in the whole organization.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides students with an understanding of group dynamics by assimilating contemporary concepts related to team development and group processes.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in the theories, principles, and techniques of Appreciative Inquiry (AI).

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Increase Your Potential for Advancement with OD&C Essentials Certificate

Penn State's OD&C essentials graduate certificate program can prepare you to work with corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, in roles including change management, strategic consulting, talent management, workforce development, performance improvement, and training.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Learn more about this program

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,017 per credit
12 or more$12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,027 per credit
12 or more$12,325 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

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Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Program Related to This Certificate

All of the credits earned for this certificate can be applied to the following Penn State World Campus degree program:

Develop your knowledge of organization development, appreciative inquiry, collaborative engagement, and change management. Gain practical skills to effectively manage and lead change in corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Organization Development and Change

Who Should Apply?

This program is for you if you work in a field related to organization change and workforce development or are newer to the field and want to develop the expertise needed to initiate meaningful, positive changes.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Certificate in One Year

  • Take 2 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Certificate in Two Years

  • Take 1 course each semester

 

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by April 15 to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by July 15 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Steps to Apply

  1. For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

    GPA — postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required.

  2. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

    Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

    Test Scores — GRE or GMAT scores are NOT required.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

    Program-Specific Questions/Materials

    Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

    • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
    • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

    Checking Your Status 
    You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form. 

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this program.

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

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Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the OD&C essentials graduate certificate, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

Whitney DeShong
OD&C Program Office
The Pennsylvania State University
303 Keller Building
University Park PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-9768
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

You'll study with faculty from Penn State's Department of Workforce Education and Development, which has been internationally recognized for offering high-quality degree programs through the College of Education since 1993. The faculty has extensive experience teaching in online educational environments.

Faculty

  • Catherine Baumgardner

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      MHA, Finance, Planning, Marketing, Ohio State University
    • Degree
      B.S., Business Administration, HR and Production Management, Ohio State University

    Dr. Catherine Baumgardner is a faculty member in Penn State’s School of Public Policy as well as the Workforce Education and Development program. She is also president of Catherine Baumgardner & Associates, Inc., a consulting practice specializing in leadership and organization development. An experienced health care executive, she has more than 30 years of operational and consulting experience. Dr. Baumgardner has worked with inpatient and outpatient hospital environments as well as physician practice management and long-term care. Her research interests include organization development, leadership development, and workforce engagement.

  • Eric J. Bergstrom

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.Ed., Training and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Human Resources Management, Penn State

    Dr. Eric J. Bergstrom has taught undergraduate credit and noncredit business management courses as well as graduate training and development and organizational development courses. He has facilitated leadership development programs for organizations across a variety of industries focused on strategic planning processes, continuous improvement processes, human resource development, and organization development. His practical and research interests include individual career development, leadership competency modeling and development, human resource development, and organizational process improvement.

  • Maureen Dodson

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Professional Writing, Carnegie Mellon University
    • Degree
      B.A., English, Seton Hill University

    Dr. Maureen Dodson has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses at Penn State for more than 20 years. She teaches WFED 880: Facilitating Groups and Teams for Penn State World Campus. Dr. Dodson has spent her career helping organizations advance leadership skills, improve interpersonal communications, and create high-performing teams. Her expertise lies in DiSC®, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), team performance, and coaching. She is certified in a variety of 360 Instruments.

  • Shubha G. Kashyap

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Student Affairs Administration, Michigan State University
    • Degree
      B.S., Psychology, Michigan State University

    Dr. Shubha G. Kashyap is a higher education and organization development professional with extensive experience in change management, business coaching, strategic planning, appreciative inquiry, process consultation, and facilitation. She is the director of online learning design & innovation for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Having worked at multiple universities, Dr. Kashyap’s drive for increasing access to education is eminent throughout her career. She has successfully launched several online degree programs designed for adult learners, specializes in program development for diverse learners, manages small- and large-scale strategic education initiatives, and is an advocate for first-generation college students and inclusive education practices. Her research interests are in the areas of coaching, managing institutional change, and examining facilitating and inhibiting factors for change management.

  • John M. Kenny

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Bryant University
    • Degree
      B.S., Physical Oceanography, U.S. Naval Academy

    Dr. John M. Kenny is an experienced researcher. He was an Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., and a Research Fellow for the Office of Naval Research. He was also a senior research engineer at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory. As a Penn State adjunct professor, he teaches Process Consultation. Dr. Kenny is a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and teaches Theater Security Decision-Making.

  • Michele Newhard

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Ancient Greek History, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.A., Classics, Penn State

    Dr. Michele Newhard's teaching and research interests include appreciative inquiry, positive psychology and positive emotions, strengths philosophy, systems thinking, intergenerational communication, coaching, and team-building. She has developed and taught graduate courses in the basics of appreciative inquiry, appreciative inquiry coaching, and appreciative leadership. Dr. Newhard has published work on appreciative inquiry, succession planning, work-family balance, and job burnout. She is also a certified life and mentor coach, as well as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.

  • William Rothwell

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • Degree
      M.A.B.A., Business, Sangamon State University, Springfield, IL (now the University of Illinois at Springfield)
    • Degree
      M.A., English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • Degree
      B.A., English, Illinois State University, Bloomington

    Dr. William J. Rothwell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CPLP Fellow, is professor of workplace learning and performance in the Workforce Education and Development Program, part of the Department of Learning and Performance Systems, on the Penn State University Park campus. As one of the founders of the MPS in ODC program, he had many years of experience in OD before becoming a faculty member in 1993. His research interests center around organization development, talent management, and succession planning. He is the author of 110 books and more than 200 articles.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply