Clarke’s MOL forging new leaders

Dubuque, Iowa – Strong leaders mean nearly double the revenue growth for an organization compared to those with weak leaders, according to a study by the Corporate Executive Board, a leading member-based advisory company.

However, many prospective leaders lack the necessary skills to thrive in today’s work environment. Therefore, organizations must develop leaders who can build and establish powerful networks within the organization to increase productivity.

Clarke University recently established its Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) degree program with that in mind. The MOL is for students either in or preparing for positions of leadership within their organizations. The MOL focuses on: organizational leadership with emphasis on leading self and others in the modern world, effective teams, organizational behavior, executive presence, ethical behavior and systems leadership. The MOL degree will teach students how to initiate change and to lead an organization's most valuable resources, its human capital.

To that end, Clarke has helped its students gain a decided advantage thanks to a partnership with Dardis Communications Inc.

Dardis, a leading consulting and training company with offices in Chicago and Des Moines, will offer three one-credit courses in Clarke’s MOL program that focus on skills that employers desire, and that employees seek to develop in order to gain promotion opportunities.

The courses are:

•    Leadership Presentation Skills
•    Convincing Conversations
•    High Impact Leadership

Each of these courses is offered in a concentrated Friday 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., highly interactive format conducted by Dardis on the Clarke University campus.

These courses help students develop skills that they can put in place starting on their first day back on the job. Students who complete the MOL program at Clarke will not only acquire the necessary academic knowledge, but will acquire real world skills to make them work and life ready.

"A frequently asked question by professionals is why one employee gets promoted over another, when they possess similar qualifications and experience,” said B’Ann Dittmar, Clarke University Director of Graduate Business Studies. “Often the difference comes down to the three areas that these courses cover - how one presents themselves, how one communicates effectively, and how well one can persuade others and develop win-win solutions. These three courses can be the key to potential career advancement opportunities."

The MOL is presented in the traditional classroom setting and in non-traditional formats that are engaging and interactive, including an executive health assessment, service learning projects, a capstone project where students lead a business or community project, and a “ropes course.”

Instructor Joanna Davis’s Assessing and Developing Leadership Styles class took part in a “Ropes Course” at Four Mounds in the fall. Students discovered their personal leadership style and how to effectively work with a team when placed in an unfamiliar, challenging situation. Effective communication skills, team-building and leadership development were all outcomes of utilizing this unique outside-the-classroom experience.

Davis is just one member of the Clarke faculty who has years of real-world experience in leadership, having previously worked as an accounting specialist and a marketing project manager/graphic designer. Other members of the faculty include Dittmar, who was a bank president for nine years in Dubuque and Galena for U.S. Bank; business department chair Dr. Terry McGovern, who spent 20 years in the military in leadership positions including as Chief of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's Executive Briefing Team in the Pentagon; Dr. Bill Gerdes, a two-time Fulbright Scholarship recipient and published author; Alice Griswold, who has served as a marketing consultant; Dr. Jody Wolfe, who has worked in the banking, tax and legal industries; and Teri Zuccaro, a CPA who has worked in both public and private accounting.

MOL joins the MBA and undergraduate traditional and Timesaver business degree as part of the offerings from the Clarke Business Department, which has been producing business leaders for the tri-state area since 1928.

Anyone interested in the Clarke University MOL program may contact Kara Schroeder, academic program coordinator, at 563-588-6595 or by email at More information can also be found at

For more information on Dardis Communications, visit


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