This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2023-2024 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs
and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program
approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available
in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
Whitney S. Newcomb, Ph.D.
Professor and chair
The mission of the Department of Educational Leadership is to prepare visionary scholars and leaders who promote equity, inclusiveness and justice across a variety of spheres.
The department achieves this mission through an interdisciplinary integration of theory, research and practice. Students engage in course work, activities and projects that promote a deeper understanding for providing equitable educational opportunities for inclusive communities.
Intensive study of general, PreK-12 and higher education leadership policy and practice offers students opportunities to examine complex issues across a variety of contexts. Students work alongside dedicated, diverse and internationally recognized faculty that foster learning environments centered on intellectual integrity and advocacy.
For more information consult the department’s website.
ADLT 300. Introduction to Human and Organizational Development. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the basic theories and concepts of organizational development and human resource development. Students will explore core aspects of the field of HRD including its foundations, basic theories, mission and goals, areas of emphasis, and issues and trends in the field. Students will also explore the definition and history of OD, fundamental theories, and the key steps of the OD process.
ADLT 301. Adult Learning Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course provides an overview of learning and development in adulthood, beginning with the historical development of the field and its philosophical underpinnings. Concepts, models, theories and research in the field of adult learning will be addressed, with an emphasis on practical application of adult learning principles. The psychological and social aspects of adult learning are also addressed, as well as the effects of age on learning and motivations for learning.
ADLT 302. Basics of Instructional Design for Adult Learners. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. Instructional design has been described as the process used to design, implement and evaluate learning solutions for adults. This course provides an overview of the instructional design process, including how to assess the needs of an organization, build a learning product that relates to the identified needs and how to evaluate how well the learning solution addresses those needs. Modern instructional design models and frameworks will be discussed, with an emphasis on practical application. This course will be especially helpful for those that work, or plan to work, to support and improve the learning in their organizations.
ADLT 303. Facilitation Skills for Human and Organizational Development. 2 Hours.
Semester course; 2 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 2 credits. This course provides an overview of the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate and deliver professional presentations and group meetings in various settings. Participants will learn the basics of workshop and group facilitation, including how to plan for the session and how to select appropriate support materials. Participants will also identify effective methods for the facilitation of workshops, in-person meetings and virtual meetings. Instruction will involve dynamic group exercises, experiential role-plays and mini lectures, with a key emphasis on practicing and experiencing facilitation in a variety of settings.
ADLT 304. Designing Online Learning for Adult Learners. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. Learning in an online environment is different when compared to learning in a face-to-face classroom environment. Online education can pose a variety of special challenges for both the students and the instructors, but it can also provide completely different opportunities to engage, collaborate and learn. This course is designed to provide an overview of how to design instruction for the unique needs of adult online learners. Participants will examine online teaching strategies and instructional design practices, as well as discover methods that can lead to online learning success, while developing an appreciation for how adult learning theory can inform effective online instruction.
ADLT 305. Technology for Learning and Development. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered in hybrid format). 3 credits. Technology, both current and future, is the backbone for creating online learning. This course examines tools that structure and support online learning and instructional design with particular emphasis on the unique affordances and challenges of each tool, including tools used for producing, delivering and supporting online/hybrid learning and technology-enhanced learning. This course will be especially helpful for those who work, or plan to work, to support and improve the learning in their organizations through developing online learning solutions.
ADLT 400. Developing Intercultural Competencies in the Workplace: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course is designed to explore the intersection of personal and professional identity as it relates to workplace culture, climate and working relationships. Ultimately, it seeks to aid in the development and understanding of concepts and theories that underpin people relations in professional spaces. Throughout the course students are exposed to various theories and frameworks that situate social identity within larger social structures using the lens of sociological and psychological constructs. In an effort to enhance this understanding, students can expect to explore concepts and theories such as cultural competence, feedback, social cognitive career theory, organizational culture and social identity theory. Additionally, students will begin to contextualize prejudice and oppression and consider how they have operated historically in the workplace and continue to manifest within various social systems. The course intentionally focuses on issues of diversity, inclusion, cultural competence and equity. It is designed to prepare students to be knowledgeable of biases based on social identities (race, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, social and economic status, political ideology, ability status, etc.) and how each of these contributes to experiences in the workplace.
ADLT 401. Organizational Development and Change. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course offers a practical and realistic approach to the study of organizational development from the standpoint of its relationship to an overall program of change. While it introduces theoretical and historical foundations of the field, it uses a conceptual framework for understanding the relevant issues in OD coupled with an experiential learning approach which focuses on the development of interpersonal skills that can be applied to life and future job situations. Students will be able to readily experience OD through the use of concepts, theories, illustrations and company examples that show how OD is applied. By engaging in this deeper involvement in the learning process, a lasting impact and/or meaning should be produced, which will result in improved skill and performance.
ADLT 404. Team Learning and Development. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course will explore basic issues and dilemmas fundamental to all groups, such as leadership, mission, goals, group member roles, stages of group development and issues in team performance. The course provides opportunities for learners to examine personal roles and contributions to groups through team assignments. Through an examination of group theory, models and practices, students will explore the nature of intragroup and intergroup behavior, along with the often unconscious processes that occur in the group-as-a-whole.
ADLT 405. Project Management in Learning and Development. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course focuses on a holistic and realistic sociotechnical view of project management, meaning that it encompasses both the technical and sociocultural dimensions of project management and how they interact to determine the fate of projects. It is framed through the lens of application for the learning and development field where emphasis is not only on how the management process works, but also on why it works. Throughout this course, students will learn practical techniques for rolling out performance improvement solutions through learning and development that solve a business problem. This course will also give a comprehensive and integrative understanding of the project management process which will be useful for those at any level of an organization assigned to work on projects.
ADLT 406. Consulting Skills in Adult Learning Environments. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. This course is an introduction to the concepts, methods and skills required for effective process consultation, or helping, in a variety of adult learning environments including for-profit and nonprofit organizations, higher education, government and other community-based settings in which the adult educator is attempting to effect change. As such, this is a course in developing influencing skills. Implicit in the process consultation model is the assumption that all organizational problems are problems involving human interactions. No matter what technical, financial or structural problems are involved, humans are always involved in managing and implementing the solutions proposed for change strategies. Therefore, understanding human processes and the necessary requirements for change to occur are essential aspects of consulting.
ADLT 407. Culture and Instructional Design. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered in hybrid format). 3 credits. This course is intended to enhance knowledge and skills in the design and delivery of e-learning content for the increasingly diverse population of adult learners within the context of current global, national and regional current events. E-learning content includes hybrid, or blended, learning, online courses and learning modules, and face-to-face courses that integrate technology. Creation of successful e-learning requires skills beyond the integration of technologies, such as digital audio and/or video, animation, social networking tools, virtual worlds, screen capture software, digital images, collaborative document editing, as well as linked content. Successful e-learning in the 21st century demands an understanding of the context in which the designer works, including considerations of current events, diversity and inclusion, and an understanding of trends in emerging technologies. This course provides a survey of these trends and the understanding of instructional design methodologies within this context.
ADLT 490. Internship in Human and Organizational Development. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 field experience hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students who have completed a minimum of 21 hours of 300-level ADLT courses course work from the B.A. in Human and Organizational Development core and with approval of the adviser. This course should be taken during the senior year of the program, or after 21 hours of study within the major, to ensure students have the background and experience to be successful during the internship. This program is designed to offer experiential learning activities in an off-campus environment. Ideal activities for an internship experience provide the student with an opportunity to explore human resource development career interests, while making lived connections between academic theory and practical application in a work environment. Proposed internship activities must first be discussed and approved by the academic adviser, and then completed under the guidance of an on-site supervisor and the faculty sponsor of this course. A minimum of 125 clock hours of learning activities are required.