Explore Organization Development & Human Relations (MS)
Champlain College Online’s master’s degree in organization development & human relations is designed to prepare students to nimbly address organizational challenges and influence change at individual and group levels in today’s global organizations. Combining the expertise and value of a master’s degree in human resources with a foundation in organizational strategy, this program empowers professionals to identify and leverage an organization’s unique strengths to form resilient and adaptable organizational cultures that withstand the constant disruption today’s workforces face.
Interdisciplinary by nature, this enriching curriculum will teach you how to successfully lead, inspire, and cultivate diverse talent with the opportunity to differentiate your degree with a graduate certificate in an in-demand concentration of your choice in employment law, human resources management, leadership, or positive organization development. With an emphasis on applied learning, and the ability to specialize your degree through an embedded certificate of your choice, this program will help you bring theory to life in authentic and relevant ways that will give you a competitive advantage in the business world.
Differentiate Your Master's Degree
Set yourself apart with a graduate certificate that can be earned along the way in a business concentration of your choice:
- Employment Law: Learn how to identify and leverage an organization’s unique strengths to form resilient and adaptable organizational cultures that withstand the constant disruption today’s workforces face.
- Human Resource Management: Learn how to use HR functions to advance the mission and strategic goals of an organization in authentic and relevant ways.
- Leadership: Learn how to lead change in organizations and guide diverse people and perspectives to work toward a common goal in authentic and relevant ways.
- Positive Organization Development: Become a more effective champion of positive change within your organization and gain a foundation in the philosophies, theories, applications, and practices of positive organization development.
Build Your Career Future
Designed for both mid-career professionals and those seeking to join the field, this master’s degree program will help facilitate career growth and opportunities for real-world application of knowledge. You'll gain expertise in managing organizational change, become a self-aware and engaged leader, and develop practical creative problem-solving skills, transforming into a modern leader in organization development and human relations.
Academic Excellence and Recognition
Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education
Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report
Designated as a Military Friendly School for our commitment to the military community
Named the Best Private Online College by Intelligent.com
Prepare For What's Next
Take the next step in your work life by creating new perspectives and methodologies for identifying and leveraging opportunities masked as challenges, and the cultural context within which they occur. Through gaining the expertise of both a master's in organization development and a human relations degree, as well as the critical soft-skills needed in advanced roles, graduates of Champlain's online master’s in organization development & human relations degree will be prepared to pursue leadership roles in the vast and varied field of business.
Master's degrees are in high demand and employment in master’s-level occupations is projected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029. A master's degree also pays off: the median salary for professionals with a master's degree is $78,210.*
*Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2020; job titles: Payscale, 2020
Top Jobs for Master's in Organization Development & Human Relations Graduates
- Change Management Specialist
- Compensation and Benefits Manager
- Director of Human Resources
- HR Analytics Specialist
- Training and Development Manager
Learn more about Champlain's 100% online Master's in organization development & human relationsprogram, designed for working professionals.
Champlain's online organization development and human relations courses encompass the top skills needed by today's human resources professionals.
In addition to the 18 credits of required courses, choose one of the following certificates: Employment Law, Human Resources, Leadership or Positive Organization Development.
Be introduced to the foundational ideas of organization development (OD) theory, informed by historical roots and current strategies. Attend?to the nature of organizational complexity in today's world and recognize the need for an evolved approach to organizational change. The emerging dialogic mindset is contrasted to the diagnostic mindset that historically pervaded OD practice. Learning is both theoretical and applied; students will form the basis for a change in their own context to integrate theory into practice.
The most powerful tool an OD practitioner has when influencing change is themselves. In this course, students explore how to be an effective change agent and develop a self-awareness of how our thoughts, beliefs and experiences affect what we see and how we behave.? Students will also have opportunities to enhance this self-knowledge as leaders of change.
A significant part of organizational life is experienced through groups and teams. This course will explore theories of team processes and group dynamics with an emphasis on how to influence team development and effectiveness in decision making and collaboration. Students will have an opportunity to integrate class learning through applied team projects both within the class and beyond.
This course explores the concepts and theories related to strategic and large system change. Special attention is given to the importance of engaging diverse stakeholders in change efforts and creating momentum for change at the system level to prevent typical resistance to change. Students will explore a variety of cases as well as their own organizational system as a context for putting course concepts into practice.
In a world of continuous change, organizations strive to create cultures that blend and leverage the unique strengths of the organization and its people to meet challenges presented by such an environment.? This course explores the theory and practices that allow organizations to develop resilient cultures and mindsets to successfully meet dynamic environments.? Students will explore a variety of cases as well as their own organizational system as a context for putting course concepts into practice.
In this capstone course, students complete an applied project to support the translation and application of core concepts and program competencies, including those in the embedded certificate. Students will learn about and use action research principles, as appropriate for their individual research topic, and reflect on research practices and results.
Complete certificate requirements prior to begining capstone.
Employment Law Certificate
This course offers an overview of fundamental areas of employment law. Topics include job discrimination and related laws, labor law and labor relations, plant and job safety, public officers and employees, employee contracts, self-employment, Americans with Disabilities Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, non-competition agreements, workers' compensation, unemployment obligations, and personnel issues such as drug testing, lie detectors, whistle-blowing, and wrongful discharge.
Students will examine the various laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, with a focus on federal statutes and regulations. Topics include liability under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and the FMLA. Students will consider workplace discrimination related to race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, age, and sexual orientation. The students will also learn about how complaints are filed with and investigated by the EEOC, with a detailed discussion on how the employer is required to respond to these complaints
Students will examine the decisions and statutes relating to the rights of workers to organize, the collective bargaining process, legal issues related to strikes, boycotts, and picketing, and the role of individual rights within unions. Students will also examine the structure, mission, and procedures of the National Labor Relations Board, the distinction between NLRB decisions and court decisions, and the relationship between the two.
Students will examine the laws that regulate how employees should be hired, fired, promoted, disciplined, or evaluated in unionized and nonunionized environments. It explores the steps an employer should take to avoid allegations of discrimination during the hiring, firing, or disciplinary process. The course also examines the legal limits on monitoring an employee's email, computer usage, and outside activities (including social media) and examines the legal limits on drug testing employees and checking an employee's criminal, credit, and medical background.
Human Resource Management Certificate
To gain a foundation for the Human Resource certificate, students take a macro-view of the field and examine the role of an HR department as a critical strategic business partner within the organization. Students integrate concepts and current workplace issues, including using new technologies in the field; the need for a broader understanding of business and culture; and how to build and support agile teams that work effectively.
Diversity is different from inclusion and organizations often miss the real opportunity to successfully move to a culture of inclusion. Students will look at organization development theory and change models to address diversity as organizational change, thus leading to inclusive policies, practices and procedures in all dimensions of the organization. They will explore diversity as it relates to race/color/sex and will also include diversity as it relates to other facts such as appearance, generational beliefs, economic status and gender identity.
Companies are exploring human capital analytics for workforce reporting and to help make informed decisions about human resources. The continuum of value that analytics bring to an organization includes practices from basic data reporting to predictive analytics. Explore workforce reporting and both traditional and advanced decision-making analytic tools, especially predictive modeling, which make it possible for organizations to inform decision making for the future. Learn to make the business case for using advanced HR analytics.
Coaching in the workplace draws on many related fields including behavioral science, systems thinking and the study of change. After a review of those areas, students will use that foundation to develop a range of coaching tools. Learn to ask the right questions, provide applicable feedback, use a customized approach and help employees learn to independently grapple with problems and find solutions. Finally students will use coaching to deepen an individual's self-awareness to promote action and accountability.
Complete MGMT-536 MGMT-545
Explore concepts and frameworks for how to lead effectively in today's ever-changing world. Using an integrative reflective practice approach, students examine their own approach to leadership and create an initial plan for their own leadership development, as well as the leadership development opportunities for their organization.
Explore the formal and informal communication strategies that help leaders influence beyond their formal authority. Topics will include how to have generative conversations, communication tactics for engaging stakeholders, cross cultural communications, managing conflict, building impactful narratives that engage and inspire, and the impact of technology on communication in today's organizations.
Examine how to cultivate meaningful relationships across an organizational system, from co-workers, to team members, to broader stakeholders. Attention will be given to how to leverage both formal and informal relationships to create positive impact. Topics include perceptions, motivation, emotional intelligence, building teams, and conflict management.
Explore how to accelerate organizational change by focusing on and leveraging the core strengths of individuals and the collective system. Learn how to challenge the traditional deficit mindset that pervades organizations, and how to use evidence-based appreciative practices to cultivate shared leadership across a system.
Positive Organization Development Certificate
Positive Organization Development (POD) is the intentional approach to change that emphasizes what elevates and inspires individuals and organizations. Whereas traditional approaches to change have focused on identifying and improving breakdowns and deficits within organizations, POD seeks to uncover positive deviance and assets and accelerate successes within a system. While not ignoring problems, students will explore how to create optimal organizational states by drawing upon the theory and science of Appreciative Inquiry, positive organizational scholarship, positive psychology, and sustainable enterprises.
Learners will explore the fundamental relationship between inquiry and change and experiment with the power that questions have to shape organizational life. Through observation of and reflection upon the questions asked by and to them in their own organizational lives, learners will explore how every effective organizational change process begins with the very questions we ask. The theory and practice of 'inquiry based leadership' will be detailed as a framework to create effective organizational interventions at every level within an organization.
Students will explore the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as a specific philosophy and specific action-research framework for creating positive organizational change. Case studies will examine how AI has been applied in different sectors to create positive whole-system change. Students will be introduced to the practical tools and resources for engaging groups and organizations in AI, as well as applying the principles of AI to their own life.
Take POD-500 or permission by program director
A key aspect of PosOD involves the identification and augmentation of strengths within all levels of an organization. Learners will explore the myriad of strength-based assessment tools, beginning with tools and techniques for uncovering strengths at the individual level, the team level, the organizational level, and community level. This class focuses on how to uncover strengths and assets that often go under utilized and how to use this data in strategic ways for creating positive organizational change.
Take POD-500 or Program Director permission
- Culture Builder. Advocates for the health and vitality of an organization to embody its mission, vision, and values.
- Innovative Change Leader. Using a strengths-based approach, fosters a learning environment which capitalizes on successes and failures.
- Inclusive Process Advisor. Orients groups and group work toward the achievement of shared goals by facilitating inclusive group processes that ensure all voices are heard.
- Self-Aware Change Leader. Makes well grounded, intentional choices about the use of self as an instrument to effect change.
- Strategic Systems Change Leader. Comfortably works within a whole system and advises on inclusive strategies for organizational change, transformation and alignment.
Champlain College Online's organizational development and human relations faculty, led by program director Linda Miller, are expert practitioners in the field. Their industry expertise ensures that our curriculum is aligned with the needs of employers, and reflects the skills today’s human resources professionals need for success. Classes led by our seasoned experts will give you real-world insight into the field and create a rich community of career-focused learning.
Alumni of the Champlain College Online human relations and organization development program work in corporations, small businesses, government organizations, and non-profits nationwide. These include:
- Bayada Home Healthcare
- Burlington Police Department
- Comcast Communications
- Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- IBM Corporation
- Keurig Dr. Pepper
- Massachusetts State Police
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Postal Service
Titles our alumni hold include:
- Assistant Director
- Contracting Officer
- Client Services Manager
- HR Advisor
- HR Specialist
- Legal Assistant
- IT Consultant
- Operations Program Specialist
- Outreach Specialist
- Program Integrity Clinical Manager
- Regional Operations Manager
- Revenue Agent
- Safety Systems Analyst
- Sr. HR Specialist
- Social Insurance Specialist
- Technical Expert
Increasing your career mobility is at the center of everything we do. As an online master's degree student, you get free access to the Fast Start Formula Career Course for getting noticed and getting hired, taught by Jen Morris, a leading executive career coach that partners with us to support our students in their job search journeys. This online course is self-paced and full of tips and tricks to land a job you'll love. Jen also hosts live webinars to answer specific questions, share additional insights, and does live "hot seat" coaching.
Tuition & Costs
Continuing your education is an investment in your future. Learn more about our affordable tuition rates.
Meet Faculty Leadership
Linda MillerPhD CPA
- Accounting (A.S., B.S., Certificates)
- Human Relations and Organization Development (M.S.)
- Integrated Studies (B.S.)
- Positive Organization Development (Certificate)
Linda Miller, PhD, CPA, is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Champlain College Online. She is responsible for the online accounting and integrated studies programs, as well as the MBA and master's in human relations and organization development programs. Following 12 years in accounting, business, and consulting positions, Dr. Miller has spent over 20 years in higher education at a variety of schools, including Bucknell University, the University of Vermont, and Pennsylvania State University, where she also taught in the executive education programs.
With an education focus primarily in adult and online education, Dr. Miller has enjoyed developing a wide variety of online certificates and degrees in business-related areas, including supply chain management and leadership. Dr. Miller continues to research best practices in online teaching and learning and to create opportunities for Champlain College Online instructors to develop their online teaching skills. Other specific areas of interest for Dr. Miller include the impact of technology on supply chains and the effective teaching of transformational leadership.
Dr. Miller holds an M.S. in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Business Management (School of Supply Chain Management) from the same. She is a member of the International Leadership Association and the Society of Supply Chain Management Professionals.
"I hadn't attended college in 40 years, and I was afraid I couldn't use a computer well enough to do an online degree. But somebody at Champlain was always there to help - I'd just call and say, 'I don't know how to do this,' and they'd teach me."
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