New Master’s Degree at Wilson College

The Master of Applied Leadership is a new online master’s program beginning Fall 2021 at Wilson College. The degree aims to assist working professionals advance in their current or future careers by helping them better develop their problem solving, communication, and change management skills, all while helping them understand organizational structures.

Students who desire to grow as leaders in their respective fields, or wish to expand their horizons onto different and greater careers, are the ones who can truly benefit from this new Master’s program. 

According to Dr. Michael Cornelius, the director of the Applied Leadership degree and Professor of English, “This degree is very much about communication, innovation, facilitation. It teaches the students how to lead, how to inspire others, how to solve problems. So, it could

Photo of Doctor Cornelius
Photo of Doctor Cornelius provided by Wilson College

benefit any who seeks a position that does not require a particular and specific knowledge set but rather those individuals seeking work in a field that values those particular aspects in someone: the ability to communicate, to lead, to inspire.” This means that no matter the student’s career choice, the degree’s emphasis on critical analysis and organizational leadership will be helpful in advancing their leadership skills. 

Featuring courses such as Language and Culture, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Leadership, Critical Thinking & Impactful Communication, Organizational Communication, and Decision Marking and Essential Communication, the degree helps students to effectively communicate to diverse groups of people, find innovative answers to problems and challenges, and manage conflict on interpersonal, intrapersonal, and organizational.

To further achieve these results, Dr. Cornelius declares that the degree is crafted for students to “take the knowledge and skills they learn in class and put them to use (…) we have classes like Interpersonal Dynamics that directly teach students forms of communication to a wide variety of groups—but the real key is to create assignments and scenarios where students can practice those skills. We want our students to see that direct connection to what they are learning in class—even if it seems theoretical—to what they are doing on the job, or what they plan to do on the job.”

Among being organized, Dr. Cornelius advices that having a good work ethic and a strong desire to learn are some of the skillsets that students should have before starting the program. However, as he assures, “People often seem to think that you are born a leader or not. I don’t believe that. This program will give you the confidence you need to lead and teach you the skills to be flexible and successful in a variety of situations.” 

Every student is capable of entering and completing the degree no matter their current leadership skills or learning level. As long as students have the initiative to succeed, they will be successful. 

For more information about the degree, such as tuition and cost, graduate assistantships, and degree concentrations, feel free to contact Dr. Cornelius at 

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