Leadership Studies

LOS Course Descriptions

LOS Course Descriptions

The Leadership and Organizational Studies interdisciplinary program offers with courses that utilize a variety of active and experiential learning methods.

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate

Undergraduate

LOS 112 Microsoft Excel

This course uses a problem-solving approach to electronic spreadsheets. Students will learn advanced data analysis, formulas, and create graphs to interpret the data. This course should be completed prior to taking a financial management, economics, or budgeting course. Offered Fall, Spring, & Summer. Cr 1

LOS 114 PowerPoint

This computer program allows users an electronic means of giving presentations to groups of people. Students will learn how to create electronic slides using written, graphic, and sound materials. The slides can then be formatted in several different ways: 35 mm slides, overhead transparencies, and handouts. Students who have to give presentations to classes or who are considering careers in teaching, marketing, or public relations fields should consider this course. Offered Fall, Spring, & Summer. Cr 1

LOS 120 Statistics for Informed Decision Making (QR)

This course introduces and applies quantitative analyses to address real world questions. It applies descriptive statistics, sampling and significance testing, correlation, and regression analysis to issues related to the four themes of the Common Core. The course provides the opportunity to interpret and analyze statistical decision making, and identifies data misconceptions and misuses. Prerequisite: math proficiency. Offered Fall, Spring, & Summer.  Cr 3

LOS 210 Creative Critical Inquiry (CI)

This writing instruction course introduces students to criteria for identifying and constructing well-reasoned arguments, fosters the discovery and the use of students’ critical/analytical voice in their writing, and develops skills for incorporating, interpreting and integrating the views of others. It provides the opportunity to refine critical thinking abilities by analyzing everyday life experience, including how culture shapes our sense of reality and ourselves. The course highlights the importance of generating good questions and tolerating ambiguity when seeking to understand complex issues. Prerequisite: College Writing. Offered Fall, Spring, & Summer.  Cr 4

LOS 270 Introduction to Leadership

This course explores effective leadership on campus and beyond and offers an overview of leadership models and leadership development tools, including self-development, strengths-based leadership, and group dynamics and roles. Complex organizations are introduced and discussed. Students are expected to implement leadership concepts and practice leadership skills through engagement in campus and community activities and service learning. Cr 3

LOS 299 Writing in the Major

This course provides instruction and practice in the methods of thinking and writing applicable to leadership and organizational studies. As those in leadership positions should strive to be excellent communicators, the goal of this course course is to strengthen leanders' written communication skills and knowledge of various styles, formats, and appropriate voices, as well as critical thinking skills. The one-credit course is offered fully online. LOS majors should take the course as soon as they start the program. Prerequisite: College Writing with a grade of C- or higher. Co-requisite: LOS 300. Cr 1.

LOS 300 Organizational Theory

This course provides an overview of organizational theories in a leadership context. Organizational issues, such as structure, leadership, power, and change are introduced and analyzed. This is an excellent course for students interested in how organizations work.
 Students in the LOS major must complete this required course with a grade of a B- or better as a condition of their degree. Completion of College Writing with a C- or better is required for LOS majors and preferred for all other students. Co-requisite: LOS 299. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 301 Group Dynamics(EL)

This course gives students an understanding of how people behave in groups and the skills needed by group members to participate effectively in group activities. It provides a theoretical foundation for how groups function, with a focus on group process and development; and it discusses how these theories can be applied to a wide range of group settings. This course uses experiential techniques to help students develop critical skills and understanding of group dynamics. Prerequisite: Completion of College Writing with a C- or better is required for LOS majors and preferred for all other students. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 302 Organizational Behavior (EL)


This course examines human behavior in organizations: individual, group, and organizational processes that impact workplace behaviors and organizational life. The focus is on understanding factors that contribute to organizational effectiveness and the major challenges facing organizations today. We will discuss individual and organizational learning, individual values and motivation; interpersonal communication and work team dynamics, leadership and emotional intelligence, power and influence, organizational culture and change. Students will engage in experiential and skill-building activities and apply conceptual frameworks to their real-life work experiences. Cr 3.

LOS 304 Organizational Budgeting and Finance

This course offers introduction to budgeting, budget analysis, cost analysis, and decision making in organizations. Specific topics include the finance cycle and financial presentations; analyzing budgets over time and across organizations using deflators and ratios; introduction to cost-benefit analysis; time value of money; and an overview of basic accounting principles. Assignments emphasize using Excel 2016 for analysis and presentation of fiscal and budget data. Students will learn to present budget information to knowledgeable but non-technical audience using tables and graphs. Prerequisites: LOS 112 or equivalents. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 310 Science, Technology, and Society (SCA)

This course examines the history of science and technology and the social changes related to them. It examines the impact of science and technology on ethical and religious beliefs, social institutions such as education, family, and work, and on larger sociopolitical entities and relations. The course also explores the effects of science and technology on natural and human-made environments. Cr 3.

LOS 312 Human Resource Management

This course focuses on the procedures and processes associated with the management of human resources within organizations. Topics include recruitment, staff development, job analysis, personnel systems, and training. Cr 3.

LOS 314 Employee Relations

This course provides an understanding of the trends in legal, social, and economic aspects of labor-management relations within United States. Topics include a historical overview of labor law, grievance procedures, the negotiation process, equal opportunity, and personnel rules. Includes case studies and simulated bargaining and arbitration exercises. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 316 Diversity in Organizations (DIV)

Using historical, socio-economic, and psychological perspectives, students learn about the challenges diverse members of U.S. society, such as women, people of color, people from marginalized classes, and those from other countries have had and continue to face. Students gain an understanding of how the workplace may affect diverse peoples and how others can learn to make the workplace more hospitable. A primary focus of this course is on examining beliefs, behaviors, or unconscious attitudes that perpetuate the oppression and subordination of diverse members of society in the workplace, while also looking at how increased diversity is adding to workplace productivity, creativity, and learning. Readings are drawn from the social sciences and humanities to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. Cr 3.

LOS 317 New Media and Social Networking: Identity and Expression Online

How are private and public identities established online? Are political and social movements built, organized, even undermined by social networking and online culture? Do online communities impact real world communication, language, and thought? Read critical theory on new media and explore technological and cultural associations with this nascent but pervasive phenomenon. Cr 3

 LOS 323 The Media and Politics

This course explores the implications of political campaigns in American politics. Topics include management of campaigns, candidate recruitment, positive and negative advertising, political consultants, political parties and interest groups, effects of media coverage, campaign financing, and impact of campaigns and elections on public policy. Special consideration will be given to current campaigns. Cr 3.

LOS 325 Advancing Innovation in State and Local Government

This course examines how public policy is formulated, adopted, and implemented and the structure and processes of administration in states and local governments.  Policy issues and challenges facing Maine’s governments, and the potential roles of leaders in facilitating change and innovation, are a special focus of the course. Cr 3.

LOS 327 Leading through Conflict

Conflict management is explored as an essential leadership tool and analyzed as a necessary component of healthy systems and innovations. We will investigate techniques that help individuals and groups mediate and negotiate differences encountered in a variety of situations. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 329 Research Methods

This course is an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods which can be used in organizational planning and decision-making and in the social and behavioral sciences. Students learn how to apply appropriate methods of inquiry and complete an applied project. Strongly recommended for students going on to graduate school, careers in consulting, or human resource management. Prerequisite: LOS 120 or equivalent. Cr 3.

LOS 330 Leading Across Cultures

Students will explore leadership practices in multiple cultures and how our increasing interactions with these diverse leadership styles have changed our conception of leadership in the U.S. This course will help students determine the skills they will need to take on a leadership role in a global society. Cr 3

LOS 336 Dealing with Difficult People and Behaviors


It has been stated that everyone is someone's difficult person. Almost daily, we come in contact with people we would characterize as difficult. They are the people we work with, sell to, depend on, and live with. There are intimidators, manipulators, analyzers, know-it-alls, overly friendly, accommodators, chronic complainers, and whiners. Their actions consume time, energy, and emotion at the expense of productivity and morale. This course provides fresh insights and immediately usable skills needed to quickly, confidently, and assertively identify and deal with various types of people, difficult or not, in a variety of contexts while maintaining our own self-confidence. Cr 3.

LOS 345 Leadership and Film

Like literature, film allows for an exploration of various themes and experiences that would not normally be available to an individual. In this course, students will explore leadership as it is presented in various films. Through the use of film, we will discuss themes relating to leadership such as power, influence, oppression, ethics, service, and more. Cr 3.

LOS 350 Leadership

This foundational course provides learners with a review of major leadership concepts and theories. It discusses research findings, practice, skill-building, and direct application to real world scenarios, and offers an overview of a variety of topics impacting today's leaders as a foundation for learning including power and ethics, leadership development, politics and influence, decision making, and creativity and innovation. Through an experiential design, students will reflect on personal leadership styles and examine approaches to leading others in diverse organizational settings. LOS majors must complete this course with a grade of B- or better as a condition of their degree. Prerequisite: Completion of College Writing with a C- or better is required for LOS majors and preferred for all other students. Cr 3.

LOS 360 Innovation in Organizations

This course is designed to develop practical skills in creative and innovative thinking that leaders can use to identify opportunities, generate value-creating ideas, and overcome barriers to successfully bringing new concepts to life. In this class, students will learn about creative thinking tools and how to practically apply them; develop an appreciation of the personal and organizational factors that influence creativity and innovation; explore the leadership and facilitation skills that will prepare them to lead teams through creative problem solving. Cr 3.

LOS 361 Entrepreneurship

This course focuses on why people become entrepreneurs, the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, the changing demographics of entrepreneurs, and the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy and society. In this class, students will examine the entrepreneurial process from the decision to become an entrepreneur through idea generating, writing a business plan, competitor analysis, getting financing, marketing, team building, considering ethical and legal issues, and developing strategies for growth. Cr 3.

LOS 387 Collegiate Leadership Competition

Competitions and performances are high impact educational practices. When conceived and implemented well, these practices can hone and enhance a student's behavioral skills and cognitive competencies. This course is grounded in an intentional team-based learning model that culminates in participation in the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Like the training regimen of athletes and musicians, students in this course will participate in a robust "practice field" where-as student leaders-they can apply what they're learning in a context that challenges and stretches them to the boundaries of their leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. Cr. 3

LOS 398 Independent Study(EL)

Prerequisites: LOS 300 or junior standing and permission of instructor. Cr 3.

LOS 399 Special Topics

Scope of topics vary and may include current special issues related to leadership and organizations. Cr 3.

LOS 400 Senior Seminar: Global Citizenship

Students will develop an understanding of current global challenges and their effects on local communities, as well as the major stakeholders involved in addressing these challenges. They will learn about the role of international organizations and the processes these organizations use to design and implement effective solutions for global challenges. They will explore how proposed solutions may be affected by the intersection of cultural perspectives and sovereign interests. As an outcome of the course, students will identify a global issue/challenge that they care deeply about and will develop an actionable “Commitment to Action Proposal” to address a manageably-sized piece of that larger issue. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer. Cr. 3

LOS 422 Leadership in the Public/Nonprofit Sectors

This course prepares leaders who can work for the common good across public, nonprofit and private sectors, and lead and manage in a diverse world. Students gain an understanding of the unique nature and challenges of leadership in public service and roles for leaders. Theories of public and nonprofit leadership and their application in complex and inter-sectoral settings are considered. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

LOS 425 Training and Development

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for adult learning as it applies to training and development process in the context of leadership and organizational development. Topics covered include the assessment of learning needs and setting of objectives; the design and facilitation of learning processes such as workshops, on-the-job training, self-directed learning, web-based training; and the assessment of outcomes. Students will design and deliver a leadership development training session as a major project for this course. Prerequisite: Instructor permission required. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 436 Risk, Public Policy, and Society

This course considers the variety of ways in which risks, especially risks to the environment and health, are measured, perceived, communicated, and acted upon in our society. Perspectives will be drawn from health fields, natural sciences, and political science, as well as from the social sciences. Cr 3.

LOS 439 Women's Ways of Leading: Building Partnerships, Creating Change

This course offers historical and multi-disciplinary perspectives on women leaders, systems of power and privilege, cultural shifts, and the psychology of bias. Our investigations will range from the private corporate sector to government and nonprofits, both within our country and abroad. Learning will be enhanced by facilitated discussions and interviews with community leaders. Cr 3.

LOS 440 Leading Organizational Change (EL)

As we move further into the twenty-first century, organizations and their leaders find themselves in highly competitive, fast-paced, and globalized environments in which change is essential for success, for their very survival. Organizations and their members must continue to learn, adapt, and evolve to keep pace with the changes occurring around them. This course is designed to provide necessary tools coupled with a better understanding of the major challenges and leadership orientations associated with initiating and implementing organizational change. We investigate theories, concepts, research, and their applications to better understand why and how organizations change. Cr 3.

LOS 462 Community Leadership and Civic Engagement

This is an introduction to community leadership and engagement. Students will develop an understanding of the theories, principles, and practices of leading communities. Students will gain knowledge of skills for promoting and sustaining community change and improvement. Topics include social justice, developing citizenship, community building, mobilization and advocacy, visioning, and strategic action planning. Cr 3.

LOS 470 Leadership Study Abroad (INT & EL)

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues in leadership across cultures and provide tools to be an effective leader in a global environment. Through international travel, a variety of readings, and reflection exercises, students will examine a range of leadership situations and cultural factors that influence the quality of a leader's performance. To help apply theory to experience, students will be given a number of opportunities to articulate ideas about the concepts explored through presentation, group discussion, and writing. Prerequisite: Instructor permission. Cr 6.

 

Graduate (Back to top)

LOS 500 Foundations of Leadership Studies I: Theory and Practice

The course provides an overview of leadership theory, practice, and intellectual history using disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches from philosophy, social science, the humanities (e.g. literature and history), and science. We explore the wealth of interpretive frameworks for leadership with the objective of increasing our understanding of this complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The study of leadership will be utilized to examine critical issues emerging today. Cr 3.

LOS 501 Foundations of Leadership Studies II: Theory and Practice

The goal of this course is to further the development of students' knowledge of leadership theory and practice, with a special emphasis on the individual and group levels of analysis. Throughout this interdisciplinary exploration of the diverse factors that impact leadership, students will engage in a variety of readings, discussions, writings, and exercises designed to demystify the connections between theory and practice. Cr 3.

LOS 502 Leading Organization Development

With a focus on organizational development frameworks, strategies, and processes, this course explores the theories and research of leading effective holistic systems change. An emphasis will be placed on processes for leading organizational change and related emerging leadership theories and research. Case studies are used to examine the intended and unintended consequences of organizational development efforts. Cr 3.

LOS 512 Deliberate Creativity and Innovation

Deliberate creativity studies investigate the theory and practice of facilitation methods that enable people, processes, products, and environments to be innovative. After exploring the numerous and diverse facets of this area of study, students should be able to demonstrate (both in discussion and practice) their ability to use their learning in an applied setting. Cr 3.

LOS 525 Advancing Innovation in State and Local Government

This course examines how public policy is formulated, adopted, and implemented and the structure and processes of administration in states and local governments. Policy issues and challenges facing Maine’s governments, and the potential roles of leaders in facilitating change and innovation, are a special focus of the course. Cr 3.

LOS 550 Cultural Contexts


This course provides an analysis of the role that culture and cultural differences play in professional, civic, and social life. The essential question for the course is: how does one effectively lead in a multicultural environment? Cr 3.

LOS 571 International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference

Conferences offer multiple opportunities to socialize attendees in the broad professional and academic discourses. They also offer exciting opportunities for participants to exchange new and emerging ideas, spaces to know one another, and even to make commitments for future projects. In this course students will attend the International Leadership Association (ILA) conference along with pre- and post-class sessions to become familiar with one academic culture related to Leadership & Organizational Studies. Students will have multiple opportunities to ask questions related to professional development and conference participation in general. Finally, students will engage with the conference theme (e.g., Leadership in Turbulent Times) through conference participation, class dialogues, and assignments. Students will reflect on various leadership issues related to practicing inclusive leadership. Cr 3.

LOS 587 Collegiate Leadership Competition

Competitions and performances are high impact educational practices. When conceived and implemented well, these practices can hone and enhance a student's behavioral skills and cognitive competencies. This course is grounded in an intentional team-based learning model that culminates in participation in the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Like the training regimen of athletes and musicians, students in this course will participate in a robust "practice field" where-as student leaders-they can apply what they're learning in a context that challenges and stretches them to the boundaries of their leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. Cr 3.

LOS 599 Topics

Scope of topics vary and may include current special issues related to leadership and organizations. Cr 3.

LOS 610 Methods of Inquiry

This course considers the concepts, principles, and methods that may be used in research for organizational and leadership studies. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research designs used in organizational planning and decision-making and in the social and behavioral sciences will be considered. The course will cover topic areas related to the application of appropriate methods of inquiry. Cr 3.

LOS 611 Communication and Relationship Building

This course investigates the communication and behavioral theories and techniques that mediate interpersonal dynamics. Students will engage in a course of study designed to help them develop awareness of their communication abilities and difficulties and tools to effectively address the interpersonal challenges they face now and will face in the future. Cr 3.

LOS 614 The Conflict Process

Developing skills in framing conflicts and facilitating the communication processes that help groups mediate differences is key to successful leadership. The course examines research on leadership behaviors encountered in a variety of situations including small groups, organizations, communities, and internationally. Cr 3.

LOS 615 Leading Difficult People

This course provides students with an exploration of current research and theories of human behavior as they relate to the more difficult of behaviors that we encounter as leaders. Foundational topics covered include verbal and nonverbal communication, self-concept, effective listening, assertiveness, defensive and supportive communication, and conflict resolution. This course will then build on this base to specifically explore how leaders can help mediate the effects of difficult people and behaviors. Through various readings, interactive discussions, case study analyses, and experiential written assignments, students will learn how to practically apply theory to their own professional, social, and personal life situations; discover how to identify difficult behaviors in themselves and others; and acquire skills to more effectively handle the difficulties that negative behaviors can cause. Cr 3.

LOS 622 Leadership in the Public/Nonprofit Sectors

This course prepares leaders who can work for the common good across public, nonprofit and private sectors, and lead and manage in a diverse world. Students gain an understanding of the unique nature and challenges of leadership in public service and roles for leaders. Considers theories of public and nonprofit leadership and their application in complex and inter-sectoral settings. Cr 3.

LOS 625 Training and Development

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for adult learning as it applies to the training and development process in the context of leadership and organizational development. Topics covered include the assessment of learning needs and setting of objectives; the design and facilitation of learning processes such as workshops, on-the-job training, self-directed learning, web-based training; and the assessment of outcomes. Students will design and deliver a leadership development training session as a major project for this course. Cr 3.

LOS 626 Leadership Program Design and Evaluation

The goal of this course is to develop knowledge of and skill in planning leadership programs, with a special emphasis on curricular design and program evaluation. The overall focus of this course is on planning leadership programs that provide or support learning for individuals and groups in higher education, both in curricular and co-curricular contexts. This focus includes programs of instruction including the sequencing of leadership learning objectives and outcomes, situational factors, learning activities, and feedback and assessment procedures, as well as support services. While these contexts present a myriad of situations in which program planning occurs, we will focus on essential components of program planning that seem to be common to most, if not all planning situations. Cr 3.

LOS 627 Leadership Education

This course focuses on leadership education by connecting leadership theory and andragogy to practice. As institutions of higher education continue to focus on the leadership development of undergraduates, this course attempts to prepare aspiring leadership educators to fulfill the promise of their future institutions’ mission statements. By developing programs, workshops, courses, sessions, and other opportunities for leadership learning in both curricular and co-curricular settings, students in the course will develop practical skills and valuable knowledge related to becoming an efficient and effective leadership educator in modern postsecondary environments. Cr 3.

LOS 631 Leadership and Film

Like literature, film allows for an exploration of various themes and experiences that would not normally be available to an individual. In this course, students will explore leadership as it is presented in various films. Through the use of film, we will discuss themes relating to leadership such as power, influence, oppression, ethics, service, and more. Cr 3.

LOS 639 Women's Ways of Leading: Building Partnerships, Creating Change

This course offers historical and multi-disciplinary perspectives on women leaders, systems of power and privilege, cultural shifts and the psychology of bias. Our settings of our investigations will range from the private corporate sector to government and nonprofits, both within our country and abroad. Cr 3.

LOS 651 Technology in Society


Technology and society studies investigate the social implications of technology, the values expressed in uses of technology, and the policy decisions that affect and are affected by technological change. Students will analyze various arguments surrounding how technological change has affected the manner in which we live and how we as leaders should utilize technology in the future. Cr 3.

LOS 661 Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership

What are the roles of ethics and spirituality in leadership? Where do ethics end and spirituality begin? This course approaches the study of leadership from the perspectives of meaning, values, and human connectedness. The hunger to understand our lives, be part of a larger whole, be complete, and serve are examined as they relate to the leadership process. Cr 3.

LOS 662 Community Leadership and Civic Engagement

This course is an introduction to community leadership and engagement. Students will develop an understanding of the theories, principles, and practices of leading communities. Students will gain knowledge of skills for promoting and sustaining community change and improvement. Topics include social justice, developing citizenship, community building, mobilization and advocacy, visioning, and strategic action planning. Cr 3.

LOS 665 Organizational Consulting: A Perspective on Leadership


In this course, students learn what consultants do and how they do it effectively, including work in an organization with a client leader who has a need. Topics include self-assessment, phases of consulting, system frameworks, intervention strategies, and ethical standards and practices. Cr 3.

LOS 670 Leadership Study Abroad

This course investigates the study and practice of leadership in other countries. Students will travel to other countries and examine leadership issues in different contexts. Cr 3.

LOS 688 Master's Capstone I

The seminar allows students the opportunity to work with faculty to develop a comprehensive individualized research project leading to expertise in a particular area of leadership interest. Seminar meetings will include collegial (student) as well as faculty critique and assistance in developing research projects that exemplify an original contribution to scholarship. Questions posed and methods of study for the capstone will be discussed. The capstone faculty advisor must approve all projects. The seminar will conclude with students identifying the key questions and hypotheses, a comprehensive review and analysis of relevant literature and a well-developed research design for their thesis project. Prerequisite: LOS 610 with a B or better. Cr 3.

LOS 689 Master's Capstone II

The Master’s degree thesis offers students the opportunity to work on an individual research-based thesis project resulting in a substantive paper that involves original collection or treatment of data that explores the role of leadership in developing or implementing meaningful change in an organization or community. This scholarly work will exemplify an original contribution to the field of leadership studies. The final product of a Master's Thesis is a paper of publishable quality. Students will formally present their theses at the end of the semester. Prerequisites: LOS 610 and LOS 688. Cr 3.

LOS 698 Independent Study

Prerequisites: LOS 500 and permission of instructor. Cr 3.

LOS 699 Special Topics

Scope of topics vary and may include current special issues related to leadership and organizations. Cr 3.