Center for Continuing and Professional Education

Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership

The application for the Spring 2017 Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership program is now open. The final application deadline is Dec 15, 2016. Click here to view course schedule   

Program Description

Change is the new normal for organizations, and demand for consultants and change leaders who can lead positive, sustainable, and effective change initiatives continues to grow. Consulting and change leadership are rapidly expanding fields now representing a multi-billion dollar industry.

For change leaders, it has long been known that change initiatives succeed or fail based on leadership. The Ken Blanchard Companies recognized in a study it commissioned on the success of change initiatives that organizations are demanding effective change leadership in order to implement change.

As technology, markets, and regulations change, organizations must adapt quickly to remain relevant and competitive. As a result, organizations are in need of change leadership and consulting services to help them through the organizational changes necessary to stay competitive.

The Georgetown University Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership is designed to teach consultants and change leaders the tools, knowledge, skills, and perspectives to support effective, sustainable, and positive change in dynamic organizations. The program is designed to assist consultants and leaders who face the following questions:

  • Does your organization need to change the way it’s working to stay competitive?
  • Are you being asked to lead or manage change?
  • Have you been hired or engaged to help with an organization undergoing change?
  • Do you need to know how to guide and support an organization through change?

Program Objectives

The program provides the knowledge, skills, tools, and perspectives to build your competence in collaborative consultation, which will enable you to:

  • Support and collaborate with organizations to create and sustain effective changes that leverage and engage the organizations’ human capital resources;
  • Work with organizations to foster more functional leadership and group dynamics that enable higher levels of productivity and effectiveness organization-wide; and
  • Help organizations meet their business objectives.

Designed For

  • Business leaders, including government and non-profit professionals, who would like to support change in their organizations
  • Organizational leaders and change leaders responsible for internal change initiatives;
  • Consultants and coaches, looking to hone existing skills or build new consulting skills
  • Human resource professionals, performance management professionals, facilitators and trainers involved in helping organizations undergoing change;
  • Individuals who are transitioning to new roles and are interested in consulting to organizations during change.

Career & Industry Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates a 58% growth in consulting services across a variety of career fields by 2020, with management consulting growing at a pace of 22%, faster than the average for all occupations.

Program Format

The Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership program is a cohort-based program where students learn the skills of consulting through experiential activities in a laboratory-type setting. Students learn about themselves as both leaders and members of groups as they interact in the cohort and learn and practice the different phases of consulting.

As consultants and leaders, it is critical to know how you are impacting the organization in which you are working. The cohort environment provides a safe laboratory-type setting enabling students to experiment with and practice new behaviors and to ask for and receive feedback from students and faculty on the impact of their actions.

David Kolb defines experiential learning as being actively involved in an experience, reflecting on the experience, conceptualizing the experience, and using what you have learned to make decisions and problem solve in order to apply new ideas gained from the experience. The program uses Kolb’s learning model and has a journaling component which is designed to help students reflect on and make meaning from their experiences as well as help them to become reflective practitioners.

Because of the experiential nature of the learning, each student’s attendance is required at each and every session. The program focuses on the practical application of theory, which is taught through practical experiences rather than lecture. Theory is learned through the reading and applied in the classroom and during the client project.

The program provides an intense learning experience, which can be transformative in nature and will challenge the student on many levels both personally and professionally.

Students in the program can expect to:

  • Engage in exercises designed to apply learning about skills and theory
  • Read all assignments prior to the start of each session. Faculty will not review or lecture on the reading material.
  • Submit a one paragraph Learning Self Assessment (LSA) prior to the start of each session.
  • Submit short written assignments (3-5 pages) after each session.
  • Submit a final written paper (PAE) of 20-25 pages in length.
  • Complete a consultation with a client organization.
  • Spend an estimated 10 - 20 hours per week of effort outside the classroom throughout the seven (7) month program
  • Receive real-time feedback, coaching and advising from session faculty, who are practitioners in the field.

Program Schedule

  • The program is offered once per year: January-July.
  • The program comprises 172.0 contact hours of instruction. Classes meet once a month for seven months on three consecutive days (Thursday through Saturday) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the exception of the first session, which meets four consecutive days (Wednesday through Saturday).
  • Sessions cannot be taken independently of the certificate program. Missed time cannot be made up on a different day or in a different cohort. Participants are required to attend every day of each session and complete all sessions to earn the certificate.
  • The Client Project Practicum, which is completed outside of class, is required. 

Program Faculty

Chuck Appleby, Ann Carr, Bob Devlin, Marcia Feola, Shirley Gross, Tom Kornbluh, Sukari Pinnock, Carolyn Spigel, and Nedra Weinstein

Certificate Requirements

Students must successfully complete all seven (7) required courses for a total of 17.20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or 172.0 contact hours, to receive the Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University. The program must be completed in sequence as a cohort over seven months.

  Course Name Course Type CEUs
1 Basic Foundations: Organizational Consulting Required 2.80
2 Consulting to Organizations Required 2.40
3 Engagement: Data Collection and Analysis Required 2.40
4 Group Dynamics: Facilitating Change Required 2.40
5 Interventions: Intention, Impact and Results Required 2.40
6 Essential Facilitation Skills for Consultants and Leaders Required 2.40
7 Program Integration: Closing & Transitioning Required 2.40
Total 7 Required Courses   17.20

See below for course schedules and registration information.

Program Tuition

Total tuition for the certificate program, which includes the seven required courses, is $6,995.00. Full tuition is due at the time of enrollment. A payment plan is available to divide the total tuition fee into three installments over the duration of the program (7 months). Withdrawals and refunds are processed based on the Withdrawal and Refund Policy. This program also qualifies for Veterans Affairs Benefits for eligible students.

Tuition Payment Considerations

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

  • Seek employer funding or reimbursement
  • Enroll in our interest-free payment plan
  • Use Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits/ GI Bill
  • Apply for a private education loan

Program Materials

Most course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed in digital format and accessible through Blackboard, Georgetown's learning management system. Students must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Required Reading (subject to change per term) 

Students are required to read all of the following texts. In some cases specific pages will be assigned for particular courses. All books are available through major booksellers and online retailers.

  • Bregman, Peter. (2007). Point B: A Short Guide to Leading Big Change 
  • Bridges, William. (2009). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. 3rd edition
  • Fullan, Michael. (2011). Change Leader: Learning to do What Matters Most 
  • Heath, Chip and Heath, Dan. (2010). Switch: How to Change Things Up When Change is Hard
  • Oshry, Barry. (2007). Seeing Systems:  Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
  • Schein, Edgar. (2009). Helping, How to Offer, Give and Receive Help
  • The Arbinger Institute. (2010). Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Specific chapters and/or pages will be assigned from the following texts:

  • Block, Peter. (2011). Flawless Consulting, A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used.  3rd edition
  • Cryer, Bruce. (2000). From Chaos to Coherence, the power to change performance
  • Jones, Brenda B. & Brazell, Michael. (eds). (2006). The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change: Principles, Practices and Perspectives 

Program Admission and Registration

The Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership certificate program has a competitive admissions process. As this is a cohort program, each applicant will be evaluated as an individual and as part of a well-balanced cohort of students.For each cohort, an admissions selection committee chooses a group of students who represent a variety of backgrounds, occupations, and goals for the program to enrich the classroom experience. Students must be open to feedback and personal growth, have a capacity for self-examination, and have a willingness to challenge one’s own beliefs. To ensure that there is a baseline of knowledge and experience in the cohort, applicants must have the following minimum prerequisites:

  • A bachelors degree or equivalent.
  • A minimum of five years of education, training and/or professional experience in coaching, human resources, leadership, organization development or a related field.

The faculty selection committee will review completed applications on a rolling basis. Admission decisions will be made and communicated to the applicant within six weeks following the submission of a complete application. Admissions decisions will be communicated via e-mail. Applicants should ensure that their e-mail service is configured to accept e-mail from the domain.

Application Checklist

A complete application consists of the following documents:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. A non-refundable $35 application fee.
  3. An updated resume (no more than 2 pages).
  4. One letter of recommendation in which the recommender specifically addresses the following points:
    • How the recommender knows the applicant.
    • The applicant's self-knowledge and capacity for self-reflection and challenging his or her own beliefs.
    • The applicant's receptivity to feedback from others.
    • The applicant's commitment to his or her own development, with examples.
    • The applicant's commitment to the development and growth of others.
  5. Individual essay in which the applicant addresses the following questions:
    • What are your goals, both personal and professional, in attending this program?
    • Describe a recent situation and its impact on you when (a) you examined or challenged a belief you held or; (b) received feedback that was surprising to you.
    • What activities have you been engaged in to foster your personal growth and development?

Admission Deadline

The program has one intake each year beginning in January. Admission is offered on a rolling basis. For best consideration, applicants should submit applications by the priority deadline. Applicants will receive an admission decision within six weeks of submitting all required application documents.

The application for the Spring 2017 Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership program is now open. The final application deadline is Dec 15, 2016. Click here to view course schedule.   

International Students

A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Non-credit professional certificate programs are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, Georgetown University cannot sponsor international students for student visas (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in courses. For more about travel visas, please see the section on international students under Frequently Asked Questions.

More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please send an email to or call 202.687.7000. Interested students are also encouraged to RSVP for an upcoming information session.


Basic Foundations: Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership
Consulting to Organizations: Entry and Contracting, Consultants and Change Leaders as Instruments of Change
Engagement: Data Collection and Analysis; Preparing Client Feedback
Essential Facilitation Skills for Consultants and Leaders
Group Dynamics: Facilitating the Human Element in Organizational Change
Interventions: Intention, Impact and Results
Program Integration: Closing, Transitioning and Moving Forward

Course Schedule

Course Name Semester and Section
Essential Facilitation Skills for Consultants and Leaders
Group Dynamics: Facilitating the Human Element in Organizational Change
Program Integration: Closing, Transitioning and Moving Forward
Interventions: Intention, Impact and Results
Consulting to Organizations: Entry and Contracting, Consultants and Change Leaders as Instruments of Change
Engagement: Data Collection and Analysis; Preparing Client Feedback
Basic Foundations: Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership
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