M.A. in Organization Development

For more information, contact the Special Sessions Degree Programs Coordinator:
Karen Fischer
karen.fischer@sonoma.edu


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Program Director

Sara Tickler
tickers@sonoma.edu


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About the Program

The M.A. in Organization Development provides professional preparation for developing organizations and communities that are more sane and effective.

In four semesters, participants gain the practical skills, conceptual knowledge, and field-tested experience to successfully lead organization and community improvement efforts.

Cohort groups of 15 students participate in seminar discussions, skill-building activities, and extensive field projects, under the guidance and supervision of experienced OD practitioner faculty.

This program has a strong commitment to the principle of diversity. We seek a broad spectrum of students, including members of under-represented groups.













The Organization Development Program provides professional education for mid-career individuals preparing to become managers and specialists in organizational change, consultation, and leadership. Classes are primarily on weekday evenings and Saturdays, although internship projects require some work during business hours. Where appropriate, these projects may focus on participants' sponsoring organization.

In four semesters, participants gain the practical skills, conceptual knowledge, and field-tested experience to successfully lead organization improvement efforts. Cohort groups of 15 to 20 students participate in seminar discussions, skill-building activities, and extensive field projects under the professional supervision of experienced faculty.

The program focus and format are based on the awareness that our increasingly turbulent business, technology, and socio-economic environments are creating serious challenges for most organizations. They must become more cost-effective, sane, innovative, resourceful, and adaptive. To respond appropriately to these challenges, organizations must be staffed with managers and specialists who have a new set of skills. They need the ability to:

  • Provide effective leadership for desired change
  • Understand systemic and strategic dynamics affecting the organization
  • Be knowledgeable in cutting-edge methods of management and change
  • Address underlying causal factors rather than settle for superficial fixes
  • Guide the redesign of organization structures, work processes, and governance
  • Consider the needs and perspectives of relevant stakeholders
  • Facilitate group problem solving, decision making efforts, and teamwork
  • Mediate conflicting interests to develop a broad consensus for action
  • Be reflective and aware of their own internal experience and interaction patterns, as these may support their effectiveness with client groups
  • Act with awareness of the social and ethical dimensions of their work