Lisle, Illinois ~ A lot has changed since the late 1800s when only 15 percent of American women worked outside the home. But today while they make up nearly half of all American workers, only a small minority holds top-level management jobs.
To give more women the advanced skills they need to lead and succeed in business and life, Benedictine University's Moser College for Adult and Professional Studies is offering the flexible, distance-learning Master of Science (M.S.) in Leadership program, which is specifically designed to empower women to overcome obstacles and climb the corporate ladder.
"Many of the barriers women face are often a lack of self-confidence and the fear of taking risks," said Tanesha Pittman, executive director of Moser College. "More importantly, there are many organizational structures that are still not conducive to promoting women for a wide variety of reasons.
"This program provides women the skills, requisite knowledge and confidence to help them tap into the gifts and talents that they have or have been afraid to utilize in the current workforce," she added.
The 16-course, 64 credit-hour program is part of the Women's Institute for Global Leadership, an educational clearinghouse for emerging and top female leaders from around the world who are seeking continuing education opportunities.
The program provides a solid foundation of leadership theory, practical business experience and mentorship to prepare women to make significant and lasting contributions to their communities, careers and families.
The program is designed for working professionals with busy lifestyles, so students can complete coursework online in a six-week (weeknights) or two-week (weekends) schedule. To compliment online courses, students and faculty in the Weekend College format meet in a learning team on Saturdays and Sundays every third weekend at the Moser Center in Naperville.
Since the degree program first launched in 2010, students – from medicine and food service to technology and education industries – have enrolled in the program, where they have received instruction from some of the top leaders in the fields of their chosen career path.
Faculty include an executive recruiting consultant to Fortune 500 companies, the owner of a business leadership coaching firm, accomplished authors, artists, financial planners and more.
Students receive rigorous instruction in such topics as networking, taking risks, critical thinking, ethical leadership, servant leadership, diversity and inclusion, financial management and acting as a change agent. Students also receive one-on-one guidance from career mentors and advisors, who are leaders in their field.
"There is no other program like this in the nation," Pittman said. "It was uniquely designed so that women help other women as they move forward in their leadership journey. The instructors are encouraged to make sure that is a part of the delivery in each course. It is not a cookie-cutter program. It is designed for women so they can excel in their chosen field."
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.