Royal Roads opens new executive and organizational coaching MA

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Approaching the twentieth anniversary of its widely subscribed Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program this fall, Royal Roads University created an entirely new program to celebrate.

The university recently received approval from the provincial government for the Master of Arts in Executive and Organizational Coaching (MAEOC).

And the biggest proponents of MAEOC? Graduates of its certificate predecessor, many of whom have expressed interest in signing up for the new program.

Zoë MacLeod, RRU’s associate vice-president, Professional and Continuing Studies — and a certified executive coach herself — says Royal Roads approached alumni to ask what needed to be enhanced to improve the journey for those interested in coaching. The answer: “more learning.”

While RRU added more courses, starting the MAEOC program is a big — and needed, MacLeod says — step up from there.

“[Coaching] is a flourishing new professional field,” she says, “and the opportunity for more research, more learning and to really deepen our understanding and knowledge through graduate-level programming was compelling.”

The key change to the field, as reflected in the name of the new program, is that in the early days of coaching training, most students were focused on becoming external coaches for individuals and organizations, MacLeod says, while today, more and more coaches work within companies and organizations, providing support for colleagues across many departments.

Having coaches within organizations represents a move away from control- and directive-oriented management, she explains, and toward a more human-centred approach in which the coaches are thought partners aiding those who need help solving problems to uncover their own solutions on a variety of topics — from human resources and social change issues to climate crisis concerns.

“Coaching helps people, it helps organizations,” she says.

Despite the growing popularity of executive and organizational coaching, MacLeod notes, there are few such masters programs anywhere, and currently none in Canada, so interest is already high for the first MAEOC cohort, which is set to launch in June 2022. In fact, a survey to certificate alumni yielded more than 120 responses within 24 hours.

Find out more about the Master of Arts in Executive and Organizational Coaching, including program start dates and application information.