By Kate Wilhite, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

tidal-leadership-logo-200PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University is launching an online certificate to provide training to groups that need an extra edge to advance their careers, especially women and graduate students. The Tidal Leadership Certificate is a 12-week, non-credit course that will help participants develop their unique leadership abilities.

The program is divided into 12 one-week online modules. Registration is open for the three modules to be offered in the spring:

Feb. 9: Tidal Leadership-Women

March 9: Tidal Leadership-Graduate Students/Young Professionals

April 13: Tidal Leadership-Professionals

Versions tailored to audiences

“Women are woefully underrepresented in the leadership arena,” said Kim Kidwell, founding director of the WSU Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership (CTLL). While women make up 52 percent of professional-level jobs, she said, only 14.6 percent of executive officers are women.

So one version of the certificate course consists of discussion topics, activities and real-world examples that “have been chosen specifically to resonate with this essential group,” she said.

Graduate students face different leadership challenges: “Grad students are often accomplished academically, but many lack important leadership skills and experience,” Kidwell said. “The knowledge gained from this course will give these students an advantage when moving into the workforce.”

In addition to course tracks tailored to women and grad students, there is also a version of the program for a broader group of professionals, including educators, nonprofit and corporate managers, entry-level professionals and anyone interested in expanding their leadership abilities.

Activities, discussions, coaching online

Tidal Leadership doesn’t hinge on a title, job description or position, Kidwell said. Instead the focus is on one’s ability to influence others to create positive change.

“Rather than teaching generic leadership techniques,” she said, “this course helps individuals discover and build upon their own leadership styles, empowering them to become authentically effective leaders.”

The module format includes videos, online group discussions and instruction, and activities led by facilitators. Students will also receive one-to-one coaching from instructors.

The program culminates in a customized printed and electronic leadership portfolio and leadership certification.

The program was developed by the CTLL and is offered through WSU’s award-winning Global Campus. For information or to register, visit



Kim Kidwell, WSU CTLL and CAHNRS academic programs, 509-335-4562,

Joshua Paulsen, WSU CAHNRS communications, 509-335-2806,