The SUNY Empire Women's Corporate Leadership Academy is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2021 term. If interested in signing up and joining a cohort of empowering leaders, please email your name and phone number to grad@esc.edu.

Deadline for the spring 2022 term is December 31, 2021.

About the Academy

The SUNY Empire Women’s Corporate Leadership Academy was created to address the persistent gender inequality that pervades corporate America. SUNY Empire seeks to promote women’s increased participation in American corporate leadership, including serving on corporate boards, through targeted programming that supports women in preparing for executive and board leadership positions and organizations with the ultimate goal of establishing more institutional equity. Activities focus on the development of women leaders, addressing issues such as leadership, communication, networking, and self-promotion strategies that contribute to the unique challenges faced by women seeking to advance into executive or board leadership positions.

The mission of the Academy emphases the advancement of women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds through the development of organizational polices that attract diverse board members and strategies for developing effective internal pathways which promote diversity. Credit bearing courses can be taken as standalone micro-credentials or as part of an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership. Academy programs are open to individuals of all backgrounds regardless of background, sex, gender, or other demographic characteristic.

Academy Activities

Credit Bearing Activities

MGMT: 6003 Pathway for Corporate Board Leadership – Personal Branding (3 credits) Micro-credential
(Fall term)

Serving on a corporate board requires recognition of the key competencies of potential board members. Often selection to serve on a corporate board is based on previously established relationships. This might be one of the reasons that corporate boards have shown a lack of diversity in the past. While there has been a positive trend toward diversifying the corporate board, individuals can take steps to become the next board member. This course will outline the key steps in raising your profile and creating a pathway for corporate board leadership. The course will address why personal branding is important and how to create your own personal brand. This includes overcoming challenges in communicating your brand and building trust and support through networking. It is also important to learn from successful examples. Panel discussions will illustrate how individuals reached their goals and overcame obstacles. These panel discussions will be part of a residency experience or executive retreat, where participants can interact with women and other underrepresented leaders, who overcame the glass ceiling to serve on a corporate board. This course is offered as a standalone micro-credential or as one of three courses in the Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership.

MGMT 6001 Dynamics of Corporate Board Engagement (3 credits) Micro-credential
(Spring term)

The success of a corporate board depends on the skills of its members. The governing board of an organization holds an extraordinary responsibility for establishing the organization’s strategic direction around stakeholder needs and organizing a management structure designed to execute the strategy that capitalizes on the endeavors of the organization. This course will identify the skills needed to secure a successfully functioning corporate board and pathways in which individuals can develop key leadership competencies. Some of the competencies associated with serving on a corporate board include the ability to guide the mission, purpose, vision, and core values of the organization; develop a management structure and select a well-functioning executive staff; drive the strategic goals of the organization; monitor and evaluate all facets of organizational performance; maintain fiduciary responsibility; and, ensure compliance with legal, ethical, and regulatory standards. MGMT 6001 will discuss each of these competencies and their importance for corporate board members. This course is offered as a standalone course or as one of three courses in the Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership.

MGMT 6009 Creating a Diverse Corporate Board (3 credits)
(Spring term)

A diverse corporate board requires the organizational culture and processes that encourage corporate board diversity. Often this requires a change in existing board norms. In order to implement a planned change, several steps need to be taken. The first is an assessment of the current composition of the board and the process by which board members are chosen. This assessment includes the current culture of the organization and how it supports diversity within its leadership. In order to close the gap between what is the current nature of the board and the optimum board, the leadership must first identify its ideal board composition. Then a gap assessment is conducted to assess the difference between the current board make-up and what is ideal. Participants in this course will learn how to conduct a gap assessment and create a plan for change. Key topics covered in this course include organizational culture, organizational change, gap analysis, and creating diversity on corporate boards. This course is offered as one of three courses in the Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership.

MGMT 6002 Dynamics of Nonprofit Board Engagement (3 credits) Micro credential
(Expected offering Summer 2022)

The success of a nonprofit board depends on the skills of its members. “the principal roles of the board of directors are to represent the public (or membership) interests in the organization and to represent the organization as its legal voice” (Bryce, 2017paragraph 1). This will result in duties that include, but are not limited to, obtaining and supporting operations that are consistent with nonprofit organizations, aiding in fundraising for the board, and acting in the best interest of the board and its role in society. Students in this course will study how a nonprofit board operates, the required financial management skills, the ethical values of a nonprofit and its board members, and how nonprofit organizations affect their stakeholders. This course is an alternative to MGMT 6001 and is offered as a standalone course or as one of three courses in the Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership.

Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership (9 credits)

This nine-credit Advanced Certificate in Corporate Board Leadership will introduce students to the nuances of the operations of serving on a board of directors. The certificate was designed to help executives, aspiring to reach the next level of leadership, achieve their goals and aspirations within the corporate structure.

How to Enroll in Academy Academic Activities:

  • Current SUNY Empire graduate students may enroll as they would any other SUNY Empire graduate course using MyESC.
  • Non-SUNY Empire graduate students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution may enroll in the course by following the graduate nondegree study process.