Nina Morel, Dean
Lipscomb University launched the first competency-based education program approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership. This program is based on the research of Organization Systems International (OSI), using OSI’s Polaris® competency model. Polaris includes 41 communication, interpersonal, leadership, personal, contextual, management, and conceptual competencies, Other organizations using OSI’s unique competency system include Wendy’s International Inc., Service Master, Nike, Petco and AT&T. While OSI has worked with a small number of higher education institutions, Lipscomb is the pioneer degree program based on this competency model.
Beginning in 2016-17, a version of this major was offered as a pilot under the US Department of Education Experimental Sites Initiative in a completely CBE, subscription-based model for employees of certain partner universities. Students in this program will also agree to follow guidelines outlined in the CBE Experimental Sites Initiative Program Handbook.
Distinctive Attributes of the Organizational Leadership Major
The College of Professional Studies offers competency-based assessments through our CORE Assessment Center. Students in the Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.) program may be assessed in 15 competency areas. For the B.P.S. degree, students who are assessed at a Level 2 (3000-level) or above badge can transcribe college credit toward their major. Students placing at Level 1 (2000-level) may receive elective credit. Students may apply up to 30 credits earned through competency assessment toward their B.P.S. degree. In addition to credits, students will receive an electronic or digital badge for each level of competency they demonstrate in the CORE Assessment Center, beginning at Level 1. Students who participate in the CORE Assessment Center but do not demonstrate competency at the level needed for their degree will then register for an online, self-paced course that includes learning activities and personal coaching with a faculty member to help them reach the necessary or desired competency level.
Students may earn up to 30 credits through competency-based behavioral assessment. Since Lipscomb is assessing and awarding the credit, credit hours earned by assessment in the assessment center may count toward the last 30 credit hours earned in residence at Lipscomb. Of the 15 competencies on which students may be assessed, six are considered the “big six” leadership competency core and are required for an Organizational Leadership Major.
The major must include an 18-hour academic concentration area, nine of which must be distinct and six must be taken at Lipscomb. An 18-hour concentration can be any articulated minor on campus or one of the pre-defined concentrations listed in the catalog. Students can also customize a concentration in consultation with their advisor.
Program of Study RequirementsMajorMinorCertification