The Student Experience


“The EMPA Program has taught me the true meaning of leadership.  Not only did I discover my leadership strengths and abilities in the program but most importantly taught me that no matter where we are in our organization, we can lead from where we sit.  My travels to Washington DC and Vietnam gave me an understanding of how cultural awareness and leadership play an important role within the communities we work.”
- Shryvonne 2017 Cohort

The student EMPA learning experience mirrors the program’s emphasis on “leveraging knowledge”, “co-production of the public good” and providing support to maximize collective learning for all."

Leveraging Knowledge

Integrated Curricular Experience to Develop Student Competencies.  Students experience an integrated sequence of courses designed to cultivate the competencies to professionally contribute, supervise, and lead in complex and “shared-power” settings. 

Unique Field-based Immersion in Transformational Cross-Cultural Settings. The program uses its field trip courses in Washington D.C. and to a foreign location to broaden and deepen the contextual and cultural leadership competence of students in the program. These are designed as full immersion experiences with engaging on-the-ground learning, not simply “listening to talking heads”

Capstone Project to Advance Applied Learning. At the completion of their program of study, students choose an organizational challenge to integrate and apply their leadership knowledge and advance their professional development aspirations.

Co-production of the Public Good

Cohort Learning: Classroom and peer centered discussions are designed to capture and share the knowledge of cohort members

Practice-Centered Learning: The program uses the organizational and work challenges of participants to apply leadership theories and practices.

Maximizing Learning for All

High Level of Student Support: The program provides students with high levels of personal support in registering, purchasing books, accessing parking and making adjustments to accommodate “surprises” in their personal and work life.  The tuition and fees of the program have been set to take this high level of support into account.

Emphasis on Responsiveness, Equity and Mutual Collective Responsibility: The faculty are experienced practitioners who are skilled and committed to meeting the different learning needs and backgrounds of students. There is an emphasis on the collective responsibility of each member of the cohort for the success of one another, as well as a responsibility to actively engage in perspectives different from their own to contribute to the safe, welcoming and diverse learning communities in and outside the classroom.