operational excellence group

Graduate Certificate inOrganization Development and Change Operational Excellence

Program summary

Build your expertise in project management, team facilitation, and Lean Sigma processes while reinforcing basic organization development concepts. This certificate program may provide a pathway toward the MPS in OD&C.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,017 per credit

Gain Practical Skills to Lead Operational Excellence

  • Apply critical knowledge in organization development and change, continuous improvement, and process consultation.

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

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

  • Observe group dynamics and facilitate change efforts and continuous process improvement initiatives.

Organization Development and Change Operational Excellence Courses

In this 12-credit program, you can build a strong knowledge base of organization development and change, organizational design, project management, and Lean Sigma processes. You will focus on leading small- and large-group change initiatives and how to evaluate group dynamics to facilitate positive organizational change.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Covers the essential concepts and skills needed to make effective contributions on projects, on time and within budget. This course has been reviewed and approved by the ​PMI® Authorized Training Partner Program.

  • 3
    credits

    The course focuses on essential lean- and six-sigma concepts to improve processes in any industry.

  • 3
    credits

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

  • 3
    credits

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

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

A group of business professionals collaborating and laughing in a meeting

Penn State's OD&C operational excellence graduate certificate program can prepare you to work with corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations as a consultant and practitioner on change management, workforce development, project management, process improvement, lean processes, and training.


Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

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 

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.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

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

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

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 master's 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, process improvement, or workforce development, or are newer to the field and want to develop the expertise needed to initiate meaningful, positive changes.

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

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

Penn State students wearing caps and gowns at their commencement ceremony

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

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

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

Customer service representative wearing a headset

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

To learn more about the OD&C operational excellence 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

  • 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.

  • Taesung Kim

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.Ed., HRD, Yonsei University, South Korea
    • Degree
      B.A, Education, Yonsei University, South Korea

    Dr. Taesung Kim has more than 10 years of experience as an internal manager and external consultant in the field of human resource development and management. He worked for KPMG Korea, a Korean member firm of the KPMG global network that provides audit and business advisory services, as a senior manager in the Learning and Development Center. He served simultaneously on the HR Steering Group, the Labor-Management Council, and the Promotion and Communication Steering Group.

  • Jennifer Siford-Myers

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development (OD/HRD), Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Criminal Justice, Boston University
    • Degree
      B.S., Occupational Education, Human Services, Wayland Baptist University

    Dr. Jennifer Siford-Myers is a practitioner in the field of HRD/OD in the public sector. She has also served as an instructor for the Professional Personnel Development Center at Penn State. Her research interests are employee engagement, organization development, process improvement, and data analysis. Dr. Silford-Myers is the author of multiple publications focused on organization development, employee engagement, and health care. A recent publication (2017) is Assessment and Diagnosis for Organization Development: Powerful Tools and Perspectives for the OD Practitioner.

  • 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.

  • Jeffrey L. Spearly

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Vocational Industrial Education, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Accounting, Penn State

    Dr. Jeffrey L. Spearly is senior director of Learning and Development for Penn State Executive Programs and a senior instructor in the Smeal College of Business. He is responsible for all aspects of Penn State Executive Programs' world-renowned programs, including client development, client needs assessments, and program design, delivery, and evaluation. Dr. Spearly works with clients to design learning and performance processes that address OD needs, issues, and challenges facing their organization.


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

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