Management Coaching Program Broadens Options

New Degree Concentration Emphasizes Skills to Boost Business Performance

Oct. 1, 2009

Expanding its specialized study options, the UT Dallas School of Management is offering a new degree concentration focused on educating coaches to support leaders, managers and other professionals in obtaining optimal employee-performance results.

Available through the school’s Executive Education area to students headed for a master’s degree in management and administrative sciences, the Organizational Behavior and Coaching concentration introduces executive and professional coaching, shows how it works and provides supervised practice.

The director of the school’s Executive and Professional Coaching Program, Dr. Robert Hicks, says interest from current coaching students, new workplace challenges and technological innovations prompted the concentration’s creation.

On the technical side, coaching students can now “go to class” online synchronously. That means that at a regularly scheduled time, they can, via high-speed Internet connections and Web conferencing software, meet in a virtual classroom, where their instructor — online elsewhere — can link them to one another in a true group setting.

For its curriculum, the Organizational Behavior and Coaching concentration follows the lead of an existing Exec Ed graduate certificate program in coaching. Enrollees in the certificate program can put course credits toward a full master's in management and administrative sciences.

Characteristically, coaches “have a calling to help,” says Dr. Hicks, a clinical professor and licensed psychologist.

While that impetus is necessary, it is not sufficient for professional coaching mastery. “Generally, what we find is that you really have to have some life experience to succeed at coaching,” Dr. Hicks says. Hence, coaching’s appeal among — and his preference to enroll — professionally mature learners.

To satisfactorily complete the concentration, students must earn 12 credit hours in core coaching classes and 14 hours in organizational behavior electives. To earn the master’s degree, they complete another 10 hours in basic business courses. With its focus on business and the professions, the coaching program has a suitable home in the School of Management.

“Facilitating self-directed change is what coaching is all about,” Dr. Hicks says, noting that the school’s program’s “core method is solution-focused coaching” that emphasizes positive psychology, management science, appreciative inquiry and a set of strategies for constantly improving thinking and problem-solving skills.

Media Contact: Kris Imherr, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4793, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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Robert Hicks Robert Hicks is director of the School of Management’s Executive and Professional Coaching Program.

The Coaching Concentration

Hicks says most students seek out the coaching program for one of three reasons:

  • They want to earn a credential from the International Coach Federation in support of an independent coaching practice.
  • They are senior human-resource professionals who coach within their organizations and want to do a better job.
  • They are leaders “who just want to improve because they believe in coaching as a leadership style and organizational skill.”

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April 19, 2018