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Executive Coaching Certificate

Join the next cohort: Starting June 2019

The St. Thomas Executive Coaching Certificate is one of the few university-based coaching education programs in the world, featuring a strong blend of theory and practice across 15 credits of graduate-level coursework.  The program's cohort model facilitates regular face-to-face interaction with your colleagues and welcomes you to a professional learning community during your 12-month program and beyond.

Our faculty are seasoned practitioners who introduce multiple coaching frameworks and approaches. Students are supported in developing their own coaching philosophy, practices, and voice that is grounded in the standards, competencies, and best practices for the field of executive coaching.

Participants receive 37.5 hours of individualized feedback from an experienced Mentor Coach and create a portfolio demonstrating their competency while completing at least 21 hours of coaching fieldwork. This hands-on experience will prepare those seeking International Coach Federation (ICF) certification.

Executive Coaching as an Industry

According to a recent Executive Coaching Survey, conducted by the Conference Board, 63% of organizations use some form of internal coaching. 77% of organizations agree that executive coaching is only going to increase as an industry.

A Coaching Community

Current students and alumni of the program will join a community of professionals in this field of practice for on-going sharing and development. Workshops and events offered by coaching certificate faculty before, during and after the program provide a variety of opportunities to enhance your network, engage with colleagues, and deepen your learning.

The Executive Coaching Certificate is ideal for:

  • HR professionals/organizational leaders seeking to apply coaching skills to their current role
  • Coaches and consultants, internal or external to an organization, wishing to further develop their skills
  • Practiced individuals seeking a career transition
  • Counselors and psychologists wanting to diversify their offerings

 NOTE: The Executive Coaching certificate is stand-alone program and its coursework cannot be applied as elective credits for the Flex MBA degree requirements.


Curriculum & Course Descriptions

The 15-credit curriculum includes four 3-credit academic courses and three 1-credit practicum courses.

Introduction to Executive Coaching

COAC 619: 3 credits (Summer term)

This introductory course focuses on developing a coaching approach to leadership, both personally and within organizations. Distinct from mentoring or management consulting, coaching approaches involve specific standards, practices and skills. Students actively learn models and techniques to develop their coaching competence, identify strengths and areas for improvement in the coaching practices within their organizations and understand their own coaching presence and style by practicing skills such as deeply listening to coaches/clients, asking powerful questions, building awareness, and giving direct feedback.

Coaching Foundations: Process, Theories & Skills

COAC 620: 3 credits (Fall term)

Students will learn theoretical and psychological assumptions that will guide their coaching practice as they compare and contrast the philosophies, practices, and methods of four major coaching perspectives, or approaches. They will actively practice and refine core coaching skills through both in and out of class coaching including establishing trust in a coaching relationship, listening at a deep level, making powerful observations about the client, giving impactful feedback and asking effective questions to expand client insight and awareness, and designing actions with clients. In addition, students will examine various ethical dilemmas that can arise in coaching practice such as confidentiality and negotiating potential goal conflicts among others. Students will complete required hours of outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles. They will take on the role of scholar practitioners as they strive to deepen their skills. Prerequisite: HRDO 616 or COAC 619

Individual and Organizational Considerations in Coaching

COAC 621: 3 credits (January/Spring term)

This third course of the Graduate Coaching Certificate focuses on the development of mindfulness in one's coaching practice. Students deepen their coaching abilities as they learn advanced coaching methods and techniques, apply them in their practice with their peers as well as clients in their organizational setting. Students will complete required hours of outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles. Students simultaneously broaden their understanding of their client and the organizational context in which that client leads by exploring theories related to organizational and systemic factors and situations that add context and considerations in the coaching the whole person (e.g. Team, Gender, Diversity, Leadership, Culture, Change, Internal/External, Career management, Transition management) and incorporating their learning into their interactions with their clients. Students will discuss important ethical considerations in coaching individuals from diverse backgrounds, and challenges within organizations encountered by individuals relating to such dimensions as gender, disability, ethnicity, and cultural background.

Integrating the Theory, Research, and Practice of Coaching

COAC 622: 3 credits (Spring term)

The focus of the final course in the program is to continue to help students deepen their coaching knowledge and skills, while helping them integrate and synthesize what they have learned over the duration of their experience so they can be best prepared to engage in the professional practice of executive coaching. Students will be expected to research and demonstrate coaching approaches and skills that reflect their particular interests. In addition, the course gives attention to a number of topics that are important to practice of coaching, including the role of executive coaching in organizations, evaluating the impact and outcomes from coaching, managing a coaching business or practice, and understanding one's professional responsibilities for ongoing development, learning, and supervision. Students will continue to complete outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles

Coaching Practicums

COAC 501, 502, 503: 1 credit each

The three 500-level coaching practicum courses are the fieldwork components for the Executive Coaching Certificate program. As students work with their clients, they receive individualized feedback and have regular opportunities to reflect upon their practice and participate in skill building activities through small group coaching circles and 1-1 sessions with their mentor coaches.


How to Apply

To apply for the Executive Coaching certificate, please review the following requirements. 

We are accepting applications for the next cohort to begin in June 2019.  Early admit applications are due by February 15 and the final application deadline is April 15.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree (in any subject)

  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or the successful completion of a graduate degree

  • At least two years of organizational experience

Submit application materials

  • Application form
  • Current Resume
  • 2-3 references
  • 4 essay questions
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work
  • For international applicants: English proficiency test and international transcript evaluation

Complete an Interview

Interview dates will be scheduled following each application deadline.

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