School of Leadership and Professional Advancement

705 Libermann Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5600
Fax: 412.396.5072

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Professional Administration Course Descriptions

MSPA 701 - Leadership in Administration

In this course, students will be provided with an overview of the leadership principles and practices that are particularly critical for those in administrative positions.  Topics to be addressed include: basic concepts in organization theory; leadership and administration functions; the organization and its environment; integration and differentiation of administrative processes; recognizing and managing differing agendas; use of discretionary authority; policy creation and administration; effective interpersonal communication; workplace civility; preventing workplace violence; and dispute resolution.

MSPA 702 - Accounting and Budgeting

For organizations to be effective, adaptive, and sustainable, they must effectively allocate and manage their financial resources.  Administrators must be well versed in the theories and practices of accounting and budgeting in support of their organization’s goals.  In this course, students will gain knowledge and practical experience in the following: basic principles of fiscal accountability and stewardship; accounting and reporting standards (external and internal); budget and planning cycles; approaches to project planning; aligning budget metrics and strategy; commitment authority – enabling decision making at all levels; and human and cultural dimensions of planning and budgeting.

MSPA 703 - Personnel Administration

Recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented employees is one of the most critical tasks for a sustainable organization.  Administrators involved in these processes therefore play a significant role in furthering an organization’s mission.  In this course, students will gain knowledge and skills in the following areas: linking organization and people strategy; strategic sourcing of talent; employment law; best practices in hiring; ensuring fit between organization and job; performance-based interviewing; coaching to improve performance; corrective counseling; recognizing and rewarding performance; compensation strategy; and trends in strategic use of human capital.

MSPA 704 - Information Communication

Modern organizations are awash with data, and it takes knowledge and skill to transform these data into usable information for complex decision making.  In this course, students will learn the following concepts: basic principles of organizational communication; statistical thinking and basic data analysis; critical thinking ; recognizing and avoiding bias (i.e., how not to lie with statistics); visual display of information; evaluating evidence for making decisions; effective meeting planning and design; giving effective presentations; and persuading and influencing others using data.

MSPA 705 - Applied Leadership Ethics

Leaders and administrators are constantly faced with difficult choices demanding that they make decisions and set priorities explicitly based on ethical considerations. In this course, students will learn the foundations of moral and ethical theory and then apply them to real-world problems involving: indentifying and resolving conflicts of interest; framing ethical choices; safety and environmental health; privacy and information ethics; IT security and electronic monitoring; issues surrounding diversity and diversity training; organizational justice; gender, sexual orientation, and harassment issues; tensions between vision and control; and corporate social and environmental responsibility.