Course & Seminar Schedule

Course Descriptions

Courses are in numerical order by Catalog (HDDR) Number 


HDDR 6302 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution

This course is designed to provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential to being effective negotiators. Participants will learn successful strategies for negotiation, as well as have ample opportunity to practice their skills in simulation exercises. The program offers a systematic approach to mastering the fundamentals of making favorable agreements that minimize conflict and maximize results. Some specific benefits include: (1) learning how to maximize the potential of making an agreement on your terms; (2) learning how to avoid making an unfavorable agreement; (3) identifying strengths and weaknesses in personal negotiating style; (4) improving your ability to make good choices in negotiation strategy; and (5) understanding the role of relationships in making good agreements.

HDDR 6303 Mediation & Dispute Resolution

Mediation is a process that employs a neutral third party, the mediator, to help disputing parties make decisions that concern the future of the dispute. This course provides an overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of mediation process. Participants will learn a step-by-step process to conduct mediations, and practice fundamental dispute resolution skills, such as listening, reframing, summarizing, problem-solving, and creating a safe, non-threatening environment. Through lecture, discussion, video simulations and interactive exercises and role plays, participants will gain a functional knowledge of the power and practice of mediation. This course satisfies the 40-hour statutory requirement to serve as a mediator in Texas court-connected programs.

HDDR 6304 Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

This course provides an introduction to Arbitration as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. The student will be exposed to fundamental theoretical, legal and practical aspects of the discipline. Taking the legal definition of arbitration, "a forum in which each party presents argument before an impartial third party, who renders a specific award," arbitration will be compared and contrasted to other forms of dispute resolution.  The class will follow the life cycle of a dispute, beginning with the drafting of an arbitration clause through court challenges to a final arbitration award.

HDDR 6305 Foundations of American Legal Systems

The structure and procedures of the United States court system will be studied with a particular emphasis on how methods of alternative dispute resolution augment, coordinate and sometimes clash with the goals of traditional litigation. Students will learn legal concepts and terminology essential to successfully working within the field of dispute resolution and will be introduced to basic legal skills. These legal skills include legal reasoning , interpreting case law, statutes and administrative codes, as well as receiving a primer on research materials and tools used by judges and lawyers to evaluate the merits of a legal dispute.

HDDR 6307 Practicum

Supervised experience in the Center for Conflict Resolution Clinic with required observations.

HDDR 6310 Research Methods

The focus will be to provide students with a fundamental understanding in research methods allowing them to be discerning consumers of literature in the dispute resolution field. Students will learn sound research design, inference from data to conclusions, and the assumptions underlying various methods. In this way, students will be empowered to judge for themselves the value, validity, and reliability of studies they read.

HDDR 6311 Section 775  Advanced Techniques & Skills in Mediation:

Topic 1:     Transformation, Transcendence, and the Crossroads of Conflict

Every conflict, no matter how trivial, points us toward a crossroads in our lives. One road leads to anger, fear, confrontation, and bitterness, and draws us into quarrels over the past. A second leads us to empathy, acceptance, honesty, and mutual respect and draws us into negotiations over the future. Yet there is also a third road, largely hidden from view, that leads us to increased awareness, compassion, integrity, and heartfelt communications, and draws us into awareness of the present. It encourages openhearted relationships, forgiveness, reconciliation, and renewal. It wakes us up, makes us more mindful of ourselves and others, and nurtures our energies and spirits. This is the path of transformation and transcendence, of wisdom, spirit, and heart. This class will present techniques for transformation and transcendence, including encouraging openhearted communications, shifting attitudes and awareness, and reaching forgiveness and reconciliation. It will explore ways of increasing empathy in the midst of rage, togetherness in the midst of separation, and celebration in the midst of failure. It will investigate the limits and frontiers of conflict resolution, including the internal frontiers of spirituality, and the external frontiers of social, economic, political, and environmental conflict. It will support participants in using conflict as a catalyst for personal, family, organizational, and social change, and in changing the way we change.

HDDR 6312 Advanced Negotiation

This course will examine the dynamics, constraints, and skills needed in the negotiation process. Theories of negotiation are studied through current literature and specific techniques are taught through simulated exercises. Participants will develop the skills needed to negotiate effectively for their vital interest and how to choose among a range of procedural options. Course content is drawn from fields of law, psychology, business and communication.

HDDR 6313 Advanced Mediation

Advanced mediation is a continuation of the basic mediation course focusing on the most prominent dispute resolution process, mediation. It assumes an understanding of the mediation process and provides in-depth examination of important issues in mediation practice such as convening, multi-party mediation, mediator bias, mediator ethics, and mediator qualifications. Highly interactive, the course moves far beyond introductory lectures and simple role plays. Pre-Requisites:  Mediation and Dispute Resolution, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and Psychology of Conflict

HDDR 6315 Communication and Dispute Resolution

The course focuses on human communication in the context of conflict. It addresses the challenges of effective communication and its role in resolving conflict. Attention is paid to the most effective methods of communication used in dealing with differences particularly those used by dispute resolution professionals in the processes of negotiation and mediation.

HDDR 6316 Decision Theory

Dispute resolution professionals create value by helping people frame and make tough decisions. We don’t tell them what to do. We help them create a framework for effective decision making – serving as "decision architects" if you will. Since effective decision making is not strongly correlated with higher education or high I.Q., it must be learned and practiced. This course incorporates psychology and neuroscience, behavioral economics and game theory, and light statistical analysis through computer programs that aid decision makers. Students will learn about well-known barriers to disinterested analysis, factors correlated with poor quality decisions and adverse outcomes, the incidence and magnitude of settlement decisions errors, and methods they can employ to improve decision making and problem solving skills.

HDDR 6317 Using On-Line Dispute Resolution Tools

Due to challenges of costs, speed, and jurisdiction, courts are not the best choice to handle online disputes. Rapidly expanding e-commerce, the growth in cross-boundary transactions, and the inability of traditional legal processes to deal with disputes arising over the web has created a need for redress options. ODR connects capable neutrals with parties in ways thatbring efficiencies to inefficient online marketplaces. This course examines the development of ODR, the new challenges it poses to neutrals and systems designers, and looks at all the major providers, administrative agencies, and international organizations currently involved. This is accomplished with state-of-the-art ODR technologies through a series of simulations.

HDDR 6319 Psychology of Conflict

What happens when one party is a conflict wants something that another party resists doing or giving? Conflict can arise in groups, between individuals in many different settings. The focus of this course will be on the psychological context of negotiation, the personal and social influences on the parties in negotiation, and the impact of these conditions and behaviors on the outcome.

HDDR 6320 Selected Topics in Dispute Resolution

With variable course content, students will explore topics of interest as related to the general application of dispute resolution. 

Topic 1:  Staying with Conflict - Nationally recognized author and speaker, Bernie Mayer, brings his expertise.  Conflict is often regarded as a linear process requiring effective resolution. But the most important conflicts in people's lives do not end--they endure in one form or another, sometimes for many years. This presents both a major challenge and a major opportunity for conflict interveners, including mediators, advocates, coaches, managers, and systems designers.  By restricting our goal to resolution we often fail to address the most serious struggles in people's lives. Yet disputants usually come to conflict specialists because of a concern about an immediate problem. This presents the intervener with a vital challenge. How can they help organizations or clients deal with their immediate concerns but also prepare them in a meaningful way for the long term challenges that they face? 


This course looks at the most significant conflicts we face and considers how to intervene in them when we know that they will not end.  We will look at the specific elements of conflict that disputants bring to interveners and consider how to work on both the transient and enduring elements of these conflicts.  Prof. Mayer works specifically with students on dealing with the powerful tendencies to avoid conflict, how to establish durable communication procedures, how to understand and assist people through the inevitable power struggles that are part of long term conflict, and how to understand agreements as a platform for ongoing conflict.


HDDR 6322 Independent Study/Corporate Internships

Masters students may apply for these 3 credit Practicum positions after they reach a minimum of 18-21 hours of completed coursework. Internships will be coordinated through sponsoring private and public sector organizations in the DFW Metroplex. This program has been specifically designed to support the career goals of those graduate students who are interested in securing valuable organizational contacts, demonstrating their capabilities to potential employers, and applying their skill sets within large organizational settings.

HDDR 6323: Engaging in Conflict

A challenge for conflict specialists is to address people and situations as they are experienced realistically by the people involved, and to subsequently help them deal with each other in a constructive manner. This course prepares students to identify constructive and destructive conflict, how to skillfully engage conflict, and how to use specific methods to work toward conflict resolution. If you find the engagement in conflict to be intriguing and rewarding, this course will offer you techniques to improve your abilities. If you find engagement in conflict frightening, this course will give you insight and strength to challenge yourself and to face conflict when it arises. Numerous case examples will be used to highlight and expand on the readings.

HDDR 6324:  Advanced Engaging in Conflict: Studies Using Current Events

We live in a complex world where conflict in unavoidable as well as an essential part of our existence. This course will use essential models of conflict applied specifically to current events that are timely and coincident with or overlapping our time in the classroom. Skills and techniques will be developed to understand and to learn how we might engage in conflict in a more meaningful manner. We will try to predict what will happen next in the conflicts studied and to learn from whatever occurs as it actually unfolds and is reported in the media.  Prerequisites:  Students must have completed HDDR 6319 Psychology of Conflict, HDDR 6302 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, and HDDR 6303 Mediation and Dispute Resolution. In addition, HDDR 6367Engaging in Conflict is recommended as a prerequisite, but is not required.

HDDR 6325 Neuroscience: The Role of the Brain in Emotion, Collaboration and Conflict

This course will provide insight into the critical role that neuroscience plays in conflict, collaboration and emotion. In addition, the relationship between the brain and decision making, cognition, compassion, empathy, problem solving, behavior and risk will be explored. Learn how instinctual responses can be tempered by connecting these important elements with strategies which can be applied utilizing various conflict resolution processes

HDDR 6331 Family Mediation and Law (Domestic Relations)

With a divorce rate of 50% for first marriages and a higher rate for subsequent marriages, domestic relations (family) issues abound and present interesting and challenging opportunities for third party neutrals. This course will provide the student with the basic skills and knowledge to help families resolve their disputes. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of the fundamental legal concepts governing common domestic relations issues, fundamentals of the Texas Family Code, recognize common family law issues, the fundamentals of mediating domestic relations cases, the understanding and use of terminology relating to domestic relations law and the ethical obligations of a mediator in a domestic relations case. This course will fulfill the requirements of §154.052. (b) of the Texas ADR Act for qualification to mediate parent-child relationship issues

HDDR 6336 Selected Topics in Dispute Resolution

Topic 1:    Elder Mediation

The US has a graying population. By the year 2030, almost one in four Americans will be over the age of 60. The fastest growing demographic in the country is those over 100 years of age. Aging is accompanied by a host of new challenges in interpersonal, health care and financial realms. Older or ill adults, their families and senior care professionals frequently find themselves in conflict over what to do and how to do it. This course will explore the new field of elder mediation. Elder mediators help these overwhelmed older adults, families and professionals listen to each other, identify needs, discover resources and develop real-world plans together. We will discuss the most commonly encountered elder care issues (including physical challenges, dementia, surrogate decision-makers, in-home and residential care options and the costs of long-term care) and will learn about mediation issues, techniques and goals unique to the needs of this aging/ill population and their caregivers.

Topic 2:  Conflict Coaching

Conflict management coaching is a course focused on a teaching a structured model for coaching individuals to effectively prevent or manage specific disputes, and to enhance the coachee's conflict management skills. This process has wide application, in the organizational context and for coaching individuals to participate in mediation, negotiation and relational conflict. This course is based on the CINERGY® Conflict Management Coaching model. This highly experiential course requires individuals to come prepared with their own personal conflict situations in order to coach and be coached. Students who successfully complete this course will receive a basic level CINERGY® Certificate. Those who wish to be accredited as a CINERGY® Conflict Management Coach can do so within 6 months by completing a competency assessment process. Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model by Cinnie Noble is required reading

Topic 3:  Information and Cognitive Processes:  How it Impacts Disputes and Resolutions

All human interaction, including conflict and its resolution, involves the processing of information.  This course examines all elements of information and cognitive processing, from the basic receipt of information, such as through visual, auditory and kinetic channels, to the integration and impact of cognitive impediments, such as attribution and egocentric biases. Many variables work together to influence information processing, as individuals differ in the lenses through which information passes. People also vary in the way they manage information, influenced in part by distinct and idiosyncratic goals of communication.  These differences are then influenced by additional variations such as cultural and generational variances.  This course provides an in-depth assessment of many of these factors, with specific focus on how these factors impact misunderstanding and disputing, as well as their role in creating additional obstacles to resolving conflict. Students will then learn methods to recognize and address such variations, generally, as well as in the context of negotiation and mediation.  

HDDR 6341 Employment Law

The employer/employee relationship drives the economic engine of our society. In this relationship that engages so many significant interests, it is no surprise that serious conflicts occur. Through employment law, legislatures and judges attempt to regulate the complex competing interests of employers and employees. This course will cover the most significant statutes and cases that apply to the employment life cycle from recruitment through termination, with an emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of employers and individual employees. Areas covered will include, among others, at will employment, fair labor standards and pay, discrimination, work conditions, and disability and illness. Collective bargaining will not be included.

HDDR 6342 Human Resource Management

Human beings are complex, yet predictable. When we spend time assessing human resources within an organizational setting, we gain awareness for the importance of proper selection, training, engagement, and management of these resources relative to organizational success. This course will focus on recognizing and understanding how the application of knowledge-based and experiential techniques maximize opportunities for measurable and desirable outcomes. Class discussions and assignments will encompass multi-directional communication, benefits/compensation management, pluralism, training/professional development, succession planning, and multiple factors related to employee relations

HDDR 6344 Organizational Change Management

Students are provided with a model for organizational change, conflict and change, leadership and change management. Students learn the sources of conflict and disruption that accompany organizational transitions. They discover how facilitation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills can be adapted to meet the needs of large-scale organizational change projects, including social, economic and political change. They examine conflict resolution as a change process, the systemic sources of resistance to change and how to overcome them.

HDDR 6345 Integrating Conflict Resolution Theory

This course is designed as a capstone class for Dispute Resolution students. The purpose is to help students learn methods of integrating multiple approaches, stakeholders, and methods into practical conflict analysis and resolution work.

The course will begin with a consideration of the nature of the “third party” in conflict intervention, the basic goals involved in conflict intervention, and the basic framework in which conflict system design occurs. Discussions and work in the course will be structured around Roles interveners can play, Goals interveners have for their work, and Proposals for concrete action based on the perceived roles and goals.

HDDR 6346 Organizational Consulting Skills

Students will apply dispute resolution skills as either external consultants or internal consultants and business partners. The class introduces the basic core elements of organizational consulting, including establishing trust with clients, establishing expectations of the consulting problems, planning a consulting intervention, and managing a consulting intervention.

HDDR 6347 Systems Design in Dispute Resolution

Executives in the new millennium are facing an ever increasing number of organizationaldisputes in the form of customer complaints, employee grievances, charges of discrimination, contractual disagreements, law suits, and unhealthy competition within and between work groups. Organizations are inclined to handle these conflicts on a case by case basis or use adversarial approaches that often escalate the situation and result in expensive solutions later on. An effective dispute resolution system can offer a constructive approach to managing a wide range of organizational conflicts. These systems provide an integrative and comprehensive way to minimize conflict and resolve disputes when they arise.

HDDR 6348 Team Building: Facilitating and Optimizing Teams Within and Across Cultures

Team Building: Within and Across Cultures is a course that is very applicable to students who wish to eventually work as external team building consultants, or within Human Resource departments that make extensive use of team building facilitators. The course introduces students to those factors that have been found to be related to optimal team performance. Students are introduced to skills for identifying opportunities for improving team performance and relationships, and for linking those improvement opportunities to underlying team dynamics. They are also introduced to a variety of skills for helping to address performance challenges within and across work teams. The course also introduces students to both traditional problem-focused approaches to team building, and the use of the innovative, affirmative approach of Appreciative Inquiry in team building. The latter half of the course will show how team building skills can be adapted to help organizations build teams within multi-cultural settings. As part of their learning experience students will have an opportunity to work with a video-based team building simulation involving leaders from Argentina, Japan, and the US.

HDDR 6349 The Role of an Ombudsman in Organizational Conflict

Organizations are increasingly implementing Ombuds programs to assist in addressing workplace conflict and concerns. This course will engage students in an exploration of the efficacy of utilizing an Ombuds program as an essential component of an integrated dispute resolution system. The course will cover history and development of the Ombuds profession, theoretical and practical concepts of the Ombuds function, professional standards of practice, ethical standards, legal and regulatory considerations, the need for an awareness of individual, group, and systemic issues that contribute to conflict and its potential impact on organizations. Students will learn practical skills and strategies that are unique to the Ombuds practice and review conflict management skills that are transferable to the Ombuds profession. Through lecture, discussion, interactive exercises, role plays, and case studies, participants will gain a functional knowledge of the Ombuds practice and profession.

HDDR 6350 International Organizational Consulting - Study Abroad Dublin

This course introduces participants to the processes and approaches that have been successfully used by both consultants and organizations to build and sustain organizational collaboration. The course is unique in providing students with access both to US-based approaches to collaboration and consulting, and approaches that work within international settings. This approach is based on the assumption that while many national cultures share a common interest in building collaborative work environments, the approaches and techniques that are used to build collaboration vary greatly by country and national culture. Simply put, what works for US domestic organizations is not always applicable to international organizations, or those based in other countries. Accordingly, the course is designed to provide students with maximum exposure to international best practices.

HDDR 6351 Workplace Conflict

This course provides an introduction to the sources and causes of conflict within business organizations, and explains some of the implementation issues, such as working with multiple and often polarized senior stakeholders, that must be addressed when implementing mediation and conflict resolution services within business settings. Exercises and case studies are used to help students assess workplace conflicts, and to determine the most effective processes for applying dispute resolution support to business clients.

HDDR 6352 Selected Organizational Topics

With variable course content, students will explore topics of interest as related to the organizational concentration of dispute resolution.

Topic 1:     Women Leaders: Successful Mediators, Negotiators and Conflict Coaches

Women bring special abilities, talents and skills to their work as conflict resolvers, collaborative negotiators and transformational coaches. Participants in this course begin by assessing their leadership competencies, communication skills and thinking styles when responding to conflict. Each woman analyzes her results and develops a strategic plan for her career to become a master mediator capable of handling complex conflicts, an effective collaborative negotiator of agreements that are at impasse, and a transformational coach of those seeking to resolve conflicts.

This approach to leadership development, collaborative negotiation and conflict resolution skill enhancement is based on the theoretical frameworks, analysis and case studies presented in Joan's books: Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader and Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job. Participants develop strategies for addressing practical problems in their personal lives, workplaces and communities. Each woman expands her professional role to include being a transformational conflict coach, a valued organizational resource, a mentor, and an effective developer of leadership skills in others. The process of this course is be highly interactive and offers many opportunities for reflection, self-assessment and personal transformation.

HDDR 6353 Generational Conflict

An extensive study of the concepts of conflict management directly addressing generationally generated conflict. This course will pay particular attention to generational theory and systems theory, applying dispute resolution skills and principles to this common problem. This course introduces the participants to the culture of conflict that has developed between employees of different generations in the workplace. Additionally, the process approaches to managing these difficult moments will be introduced in such a way that a collaborative environment will be established.

HDDR 6354 Managing Conflict Created by Inaccurate or Inflammatory Content in Traditional and Social Media

Inaccurate or inflammatory content and prematurely released or unverified information in today's many media outlets can easily cause internal conflict and reputational harm for any organization. This course examines the role that traditional print and broadcast media as well as new media such as internet sites, blogs, Twitter and email play in creating and amplifying organizational conflict. Through case studies, readings, class discussions, skill-building exercises and damage-control planning, the course will give students hands-on experience and tools to help reduce so-called 'viral' harm set in motion by bad headlines, mistaken or deliberate misinformation, and erroneous media reports.

HDDR 6361 Cross Cultural & Gender Negotiation

Students examine the relationship of identity, gender, culture and ethnicity to conflict dynamics in the negotiation process. Individual and collective oriented cultures will be compared. The use of body language and physical spacing in negotiation will be explored. Students will discuss the use of language, narratives, and metaphors and how the concept of apology and forgiveness is a culture and gender dependent issue. The focus is to increase the student’s sensitivity and awareness to these issues and to practice skills that will make them more effective conflict resolvers.

HDDR 6362 Education & Dispute Resolution

Conflict and potential conflict is present in every school community. Pressure to collaborate with team members, raise test scores, reduce discipline problems, provide more rigorous instruction, get along with parents, do more with less money, embrace diverse populations, resolve disputes with parents of students with disabilities, and have a cohesive school board team are just a few of the challenges that can result in conflict in schools today. Few students, staff, administrators, or Board members have been trained to effectively manage the conflicts that arise in the course of doing business in schools. This course will provide knowledge, skills, techniques, and strategies to manage conflict from Kindergarten to the staff to the Board room. Participants will apply proven conflict management processes such as interests-based problem solving, negotiation, and group process facilitation to real school conflict situations.

HDDR 6363 Health Care & Dispute Resolution

Health care in the United States is undergoing enormous change and transformation into a more universal system. Along with these changes comes a kaleidoscope of conflict which this course is intended to address. Using a classical model of power, rights, and interests, health care is viewed as a more simplistic system. Guest speakers, additional readings, and intriguing and challenging essays will prepare students to engage in conflict in health care in unique and carefully studied ways.

HDDR 6364 International Conflict Management

This course will discuss the provocative topic of international relations and dispute resolution. The world is rapidly changing, and these changes are opening the door for the application of negotiation and mediation as well as other dispute resolution mechanisms. Students will also probe national and international human rights in the coming global and politically re-aligned world.

HDDR 6365 Public Policy & Dispute Resolution: From Chaos to Collaboration: Managing Public Disputes

Think mediating a two-party dispute is challenging and compelling? Try a conflict with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of stakeholders whose relationship will almost certainly outlast the conflict. In this course, you will examine the distinctive art and science behind dispute resolution in the public sector, exploring a myriad of methods, techniques, and strategies to address conflicts that need more than a day to resolve. You will analyze contemporary public conflicts, try your hand at mediating them, and develop the skills needed to manage the plethora of moving pieces at play in a civic dispute. Completion of this class and implementation of its lessons will, in fact, revolutionize civic discourse and help produce more sustainable resolutions to public conflicts.

HDDR 6366 Religion & Dispute Resolution

When the usually peaceful ambiance of a church becomes embroiled in conflict and controversy involving parishioners, constituent groups, employees, governing bodies or even outside organizations, conflict resolution and mediation become the focus. Particular emphasis will be placed on equipping students in skills for mediating interpersonal and group conflict in churches, employing a transformational model of mediation placed within the context of family systems theory. Active and practical in focus, the course emphasizes hands-on skills training and real-life roleplays based on the types of conflict typically found in churches. Although focused primarily on the church setting, the skills learned are directly transferable to other settings. This course also satisfies the Texas State Requirement for basic mediation training.

HDDR 6367 Selected Topics in Social Service Dispute Resolution

Topic 1:     Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is both a social movement and set of practices that proffers an alternative understanding of harm, including crime, that contrast with normative retributive responses. Restorative justice understands crime to be fundamentally a violation of relationship and as such, promotes responses to crime that include those most closely involved with the harm – the victim, the offender and their communities. Accordingly, restorative justice seeks to elevate the role of crime victims and community members; hold offenders directly accountable to the people they have violated; and restore, to the extent possible, the emotional and material losses of victims by providing a range of opportunities for dialogue, negotiation, and problem solving.

This course provides an introduction to the principles of restorative justice and its application to the treatment of human suffering from crimes against individuals to countries at civil war. It explores the needs and roles of key stakeholders (victims, offenders, communities, justice systems), examines the values and assumptions of the movement, including its spiritual and religious roots, and introduces students to current restorative justice applications at community, state and international levels. Besides discussing its policy implications, students will evaluate the potential of restorative justice to address social problems marked by human conflict, oppression, power differentials and harm. Finally, students will examine the empirical evidence for restorative justice, identify critical issues including gaps in theory or practice, and critique its integrity and overall direction.

Topic 2:  Managing Conflict in Traditional and Social Media

This course examines how the media, in all forms, may create, contribute to, magnify, worsen or perhaps even alleviate conflict within communities and organizations.  Topics explored will include how the decline in “traditional” media – newspapers and over-the-air radio and television channels – is changing how individuals and organizations receive new information and/or distribute it to internal and external audiences and stakeholders. Also, the recent rise of “mass self-communication” through new media such as email, blogs, texting, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube has created dangerous risks for conflicts to “go viral” even before they can be fully understood by community or organization leaders.  It is important to understand how this era of new media presents interesting, non-traditional opportunities for conflict resolution.  

Students will learn how the media gather and disseminate information and how standards for what is disseminated publicly have changed dramatically as technology has created avenues of mass communication available to everyone.  During class sessions, students will have structured practice in conflict-resolution techniques and message creation under media deadline pressure.  We will utilize examples of media-driven conflict and misunderstanding drawn from the instructor’s 40-year career as a news editor, corporate communications executive and educator.  The course objective is to prepare students to assist their clients and organizational stakeholders in responding quickly, accurately and effectively to conflict that occurs under the media “microscope.”   

HDDR 6370 Assessment and Interviewing

This course serves as the foundation for the three-course executive coaching series and certification program in executive coaching. Students obtain a basic introduction to coaching, including its purpose, applications, and how coaching differs from counseling or mediation. Students learn how to make certain that all parties (the coachee, coachee’s manager, and sponsoring organization) share the same expectations of the coaching process. Students also learn how to conduct in-depth assessment interviews with their coachees, and with other organizational stakeholders. The course also introduces students to the use of 360° tools, and shows them how to integrate 360° and interview data into a consolidated assessment report. Finally, students learn how to develop a coaching contract and conduct an initial post-contracting interview.

HDDR 6371 Transitional and Developmental Coaching

This is the second course in the executive coaching series and focuses on learning to provide coaching to leaders who are making transitions into new work settings (transitional coaching), or who are preparing to take on broader organizational roles (developmental coaching). Students will learn to identify underlying organizational and leadership factors that could contribute to a transitional leader's success or failure in a new work setting. Assessing the leadership style, experience and communication factors that have been shown to be associated with a leader's potential to succeed within high-level job assignments. Coursework will also involve comparing and contrasting development hurdles leaders must overcome as they prepare for different organizational levels and identifying behaviors and learning approaches that have been demonstrated by leaders who have performed well.

HDDR 6372 Performance Coaching

This is the third course in the executive coaching track, which leads to the Certificate in Executive Coaching. Performance coaching helps managers address significant behavioral problems or leadership style issues that are adversely impacting their work performance. This course introduces students to research on interpersonal and leadership style issues that have been shown to play key roles in leadership success or failure. Students are also introduced to research related to leadership "derailment", or failure patterns observed in managers who have been previously assessed as being high-potential leaders. Within this course, students learn about the most common performance coaching challenges that are likely to be encountered in performance coaching. They learn how to meet and address resistance to coaching and learn the intricacies of client contracting, with particular attention to establishing clear and detailed expectations for performance improvement. Students will also engage in practice conducting performance coaching sessions.

Optional Field & Clinical Experiences

HDDR 6108 Practicum II

Continued exposure to actual court-annexed mediation referrals from area courts. Students will do a minimum of two mediations.