William Woods offers new degree in workforce leadership

William Woods University has created a new degree program designed to further the knowledge and management skills of employees and managers whose educational background is primarily technical or industrial.

“There was a need for this type of program, and we are proud to be providing it,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, president of William Woods, said.

Dr. Betsy Tutt, dean of graduate studies, commented, “This program grew out of a New Programs Task Force, which studied new degree programs in both the undergraduate college and the graduate college.  The next logical step for us is to proceed with an appropriate graduate degree in this arena as it is strategic in the success of our local and state economy.”

Dr. Stephen Forsha
Dr. Stephen Forsha

The degree, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Workforce Leadership, will be offered online and aims to “minimize the loss of transfer credit and maximize a student’s ability to complete a bachelor’s degree,” Dr. Stephen Forsha, assistant professor and program director for undergraduate online business programs, said.

The B.A.S. in Workforce Leadership is specifically designed for candidates who have completed an Associate of Applied Science degree. Prior college credit will be reviewed to determine whether the credit may be applied to the degree—either fulfilling general education requirements or applied to the major.

“Each student’s academic record is unique and is treated as such by the development of a personalized degree-completion plan,” Forsha said.

The degree includes courses in accounting, economics, business, communications, technology and workforce leadership.  Two new courses have been developed specifically for this degree:

LDR 345—Leading Teams will cover the principles needed to create and lead effective teams.  Students will generate, compare and assess effective team interventions to produce high achieving teams in organizational settings.

Topics covered in this course include stages of team development, identifying and assigning appropriate human capital to teams, team culture and alignment to corporate culture, ensuring team productivity through effective and timely leader interventions and team disbandment.

WRK 499—Workforce Strategy provides students with the opportunity to utilize the skills and information they have learned in the prerequisite major courses to complete the final strategic business assessment.

Students will create professional assessments of companies in their field by investigating several factors, drawing conclusions from that data and explaining their opinions in terms of concepts learned throughout the program.

“The program is designed to challenge students so they may be prepared for opportunities and challenges in real life situations,” Forsha said.