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Antioch University’s New Women & Leadership Program Aims to Empower

Applied learning and strategic leadership guide the direction of both Antioch University Santa Barbara’s new Masters in Business Administration and Women & Leadership Certificate programs; however, the Women & Leadership Certificate Program has a dual mission of empowering tomorrow’s female leaders today.

Scheduled to launch on Jan. 9, 2014, the program’s director, Judy Bruton, describes this exciting enterprise as “designed to provide women with the skills to become tomorrow’s leaders, and to bring women from varied disciplines (including the public/political, business and nonprofit venues) together so they can learn from and about each other.”

One hallmark of this unique 10-month program is that it is anchored by three 2½-day weekend residencies at the beautiful downtown Santa Barbara campus (Jan. 9-12, May 8-11 and Oct. 9-12, 2014). In between these residency sessions, participants will take advantage of AUSB’s virtual online classroom that links students and faculty for ongoing study and moderated discussion. This flexibility enables students to fit this rich networking and skill enhancement opportunity into their busy lives.

Beyond attendance at the three residencies, there are no minimum time commitments; therefore, it’s an optimal self-paced learning experience. Finally, over the 10 months — working with faculty and a mentor — each participant designs and executes an individual leadership project in their field of interest to enhance their practice of value-based leadership.

NAWBO-California and AUSB have created a full-tuition scholarship that will only be open to individuals who are members of one of NAWBO’s California chapters. The original deadlines have been extended; all applications for the Women & Leadership Certificate Program must be received by Nov. 20 in order to qualify for the NAWBO-AUSB scholarship.

Beyond the simple application, the only thing you must do to qualify for the full tuition scholarship is be a member of any NAWBO-California chapter. The winner of the first-ever NAWBO-CA/ AUSB Women & Leadership Certificate Program Scholarship will be selected in a blind drawing, and announced by Dec. 16.

“My first thought when I learned about the new Antioch Women & Leadership Certificate Program was, ‘This is going to be huge; the impacts of this program will be transformative for current and future women leaders,'" said Judy Pirkowitsch, president of NAWBO-Santa Barbara. "My next thought was, ‘As president of NAWBO-SB, we want to be part of the powerful synergistic energy associated with this program.’ I am so excited about the partnership we have created with Antioch and the National Association of Women Business Owners.”

This excitement is shared by Susan Rose, an AUSB trustee, Advisory Group member and pioneering advocate for the program. Rose feels the missions of the National Association for Women Business Owners and the Women & Leadership Certificate Program are both aligned to create gender equality in the business worlds.

“The benefits of the AUSB program are two-fold," Rose said. "Women who enroll will gain the potential to move up in their professional worlds, grow their businesses or impact public policy. Learning to effect social change is also inherent in the education they will receive.”

Bruton encourages all those who feel inspired by the dynamic potential of this program to become actively engaged.

“If you want to develop your skills as a leader, apply to the program," she said. "If you have an interest in mentoring our students, let us know. If you’d like to help students who need financial aid, please donate resources to the program.”

Admissions-related questions may be directed to Sharisse Estomo, director of admissions, at 805.962.8179 x5113 or [email protected]. Contact Program Director Judy Bruton with all other inquiries at 805.962.8179 x5320 or [email protected]. Click here to access the program online.   

— Judy Bruton is the director of the Women & Leadership Certificate Program at Antioch University Santa Barbara.

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