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January 25, 2007

Cowley to offer online degree program in Leadership

Beginning this fall, Cowley College will offer an online associate of general studies degree program in Leadership (EMS Emphasis). Each online class will be taught over eight weeks instead of the normal semester.

The degree program in Leadership (EMS emphasis) is designed to provide a conceptual framework for individuals to facilitate the implementation of successful leadership practices in EMS organizations. Topics such as leadership styles, organizational leadership and financial management provide a better understanding of the necessary components that form a successful EMS organization, and how individuals at all levels of the organization can be responsible for positive organizational change.
About a year ago, Slade Griffiths, Cowley’s Director of EMS Education and chair of the Allied Health Department, was contacted by members of the Kansas Board of EMS, who asked if Cowley would consider developing an EMS leadership program.

Griffiths discussed the idea with the Cowley EMS Advisory Committee and decided to start the development process. Chris Cannon, one of two Lead MICT Instructors in the Allied Health department, was a natural for developing this degree because of his MS in Leadership from Southwestern College.
Griffiths and Cannon talked about the concept for several months and then met with others at the college, in particular, Bev Grunder, Sue Saia, Susan Norton and Sheree Utash, who provided guidance and suggested courses.

At some point, they realized the degree would actually benefit students in other fields and made a decision to design the course with eight core leadership classes (24 credit hours) and three EMS specific classes (nine credit hours). 

This design allows others at the college to offer the eight core leadership classes and three other discipline-specific classes to meet other industry and community needs. 

“We believed that flexibility was truly needed,” Griffiths said.

Cannon developed most of the course procedures and the degree requirements. He is happy to see the program become a reality.

“I'm very excited that Cowley is adding this program,” Cannon said. “The help and support I received from Slade, Bev, Sue, Susan and Sheree was exceptional and integral to the success of the program. It will be very beneficial for leaders within the EMS profession, and within other industries as well. After completing the program, learners will be well prepared to face the many complex issues that are confronting leaders today.”

Griffiths was quick to praise the work Cannon did.

“I am proud of Chris who ran with the idea, quickly found his vision and was able to develop a new degree that would benefit many students and organizations,” Griffiths said.

Both Cannon and Griffiths spent several long nights working on the project, which Griffiths found enjoyable.

“As I was working on it, I kept telling myself that the development of this degree was exactly why I wanted to work in academia – it is something I truly love,” Griffiths said. “For me, the development and implementation of new things is a real joy.”