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The Science of Improvement for Organizations and Leaders Certificate

The world of education is experiencing unprecedented challenges.  Leaders rarely have the luxury of time to address these challenges; change is a constant.  Building a school, college or university culture that is wired for change and responsive action to address challenges and improve performance is essential.  And it is one of the top responsibilities of leadership today.  

In this one-of-a-kind, virtual, self-paced, 10-module, non-credit course offered by The Center for Higher Education Leadership and Innovative Practice (CHELIP) at Bay Path University, students will learn the basics of improvement science and how to apply it to implement and manage change.  Upon completion, students will receive a certificate in addition to a digital badge which can be posted on all social media channels to demonstrate course-based competencies and skills.  Additionally, students will be introduced to the Malcolm Baldridge Excellence in Education framework, which can be used as a roadmap for scalable organizational change.

Improvement science is an evidence-based problem-solving approach centered on continuous inquiry and learning. Change ideas are tested in rapid cycles, resulting in efficient and useful feedback to inform system improvements. A core principle of improvement science is that a system’s performance is a result of its design and operation, not simply a result of individuals’ efforts within the system.  Improvement science helps organizations build a shared understanding of how their systems work, where breakdowns occur, and what actions can be taken to improve overall performance.

Ultimately, using improvement science to address challenges can lead to an organizational culture of continuous learning and improvement.

This course is ideal for educational leaders who need to learn better ways of problem-solving and how to lead organizational change.  Students will learn how to use evidence-based practical tools and methods to eliminate recurring issues. Given current challenges in education, declining enrollment, financial pressures, and reduced government funding; this is an excellent time to focus on institutional improvement to meet these challenges head-on. This course is designed for education professionals at all levels of the institution including the Board of Trustees, Presidents, Superintendents, Principals, and other PK-12 leaders, Vice Presidents, Provosts, Chancellors, Deans, Department/Program Chairs, faculty, and staff.

What will you learn?

  • Foundational elements of improvement science
  • How to apply several quality tools such as process mapping, driver diagram, 5 whys, fishbone analysis and the PDCA cycle.
  • How to use the Malcolm Baldrige quality framework to drive revenue growth and contain costs
  • Strategies for identifying the root cause of any problem or challenge
  • Using improvement science concepts and tools to drive culture change
  • Creating actionable strategies for obtaining and using the right data in change efforts
  • How to apply people-centered leadership skills to support change and encourage staff participation. 

Fees and Registration

Students work at their own pace completing each module.  The all-inclusive course fee is $895 which includes all course materials, the digital badge processing, and access to the course instructor.

Register today The Science of Improvement for Organizations and Leaders Certificate.

About the Course Instructor Karen Carlson

As a executive team member of a $450 million medical device manufacturing division, Carlson has led numerous quality initiatives focused on process improvement, cost-savings, customer satisfaction, and strategic planning.

During the past fourteen years, Carlson has applied her quality assurance skills working in higher education administrative and faculty positions, including a leadership role in institutional assessment. This combined experience has provided her with a unique perspective and deep understanding of the need for continuous improvement in higher education. She currently teaches Six Sigma concepts to graduate students in the Bay Path University, MS in Healthcare Management program. 

Carlson holds a BS in Economics from Smith College, and a MS in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University. Carlson graduated from the Smith College Executive Management program, where she studied executive management topics. She is a member of the American Society of Quality and holds the following three ASQ certifications: Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.