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Master the competencies of organizational leadership and accelerate your career path through Lean. Meet the demand for effective and focused leadership through the Lean Leadership Graduate Certificate at Oakland University. Obtain workplace credentials through Lean Leadership Certificates and optional Lean belts/certifications. You may also extend your learning and complete a Lean Leadership cognate for an Ed.D. in Leadership.

Whether you know a little or a lot about Lean, and whether you are an emerging or practicing Leader, this program allows you to develop yourself as a Lean Leader. The Lean Leadership Graduate Certificate provides a workplace-related hybrid intensive learning experience for you.

For additional information, check out the Lean Leadership Program video.


The Lean Leadership Graduate Certificate is designed for those practicing or emerging leaders from any sector or any workplace who desire to extend, enrich or establish leadership knowledge, skills and abilities through mastery of Lean tenets, tools and competencies.

Program Features:

  • Learn through professionally sequenced Lean Leadership knowledge useful in any workplace setting or sector
  • Master core Lean Leadership competencies, such as change leadership, critical thinking and communication
  • Benefit from our world-class, experienced, interdisciplinary Lean faculty
  • Accelerate with hands-on, experiential projects, simulations, case studies, site visits, and guest lecturers
  • Participate in the flexibility of hybrid online learning with three on-ground intensive sessions per semester
  • Earn up to three Lean Leadership Certificates and a Graduate Certificate in Lean Leadership from Oakland University, home of the prestigious Pawley Lean Institute. A fourth Lean Leadership Certificate is also possible (pending approval), which also fulfills the cognate requirement for the Ed.D. in Leadership.
  • Exercise the option to complete lean belts/certificates upon program completion

Program Delivery:
This program is delivered in the convenient hybrid format, which includes 24/7 access to online coursework and interactions, as well as in person class meetings, scheduled for three times per semester from Friday afternoon (1-8pm) through Saturday (8am-12pm). In addition, internship credits are earned as a part of the Graduate Certificate degree for workplace menteeships/mentorships and improvement projects. This cohort program is completed in three semesters, beginning Fall, including Winter, and ending in Summer I. For those interested in further doctoral study, a fourth semester of coursework is added for a 20-credit hour complete cognate for the Ed.D. in Leadership.

Plan of Study:
All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

For additional information, contact:

Shannon Flumerfelt, Ph.D., Endowed Professor of Lean, Program Coordinator
[email protected]
(248) 495-4312

Dennis Wade, Director, Pawley Lean Institute
[email protected]
(248) 370-4542

Admission Requirements for Lean Leadership Graduate Certificate:

Admission Requirement for Lean Leadership Cognate for Ed.D. in Leadership:

  • All requirements above, plus admission to the Ed.D. in Leadership program.

Admission Timelines:
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to the department for admission review.

  • February 15 (early)
  • April 15 (regular)
  • July 15 (late) for Fall semester

International Applicants

Graduate Certificate Requirements:

  • Completion of the 16-credit graduate-level program coursework, as described below
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in courses applied toward the certificate
  • Satisfy all requirements regarding academic progress (see good academic standing)

Cognate in Lean Leadership Requirements:

  • Completion of above Graduate Certificate Requirements, plus all Ed.D. in Leadership requirements

Fall Semester:
Introduction and Theories of Lean Leadership I HRD6801-4 credits
Lean Leadership Internship I HRD6950-2 credits

Winter Semester:
Introduction and Theories of Lean Leadership II HRD6802-4 credits
Lean Leadership Internship II HRD6951-2 credits

Summer I Semester:
Methods of Lean Leadership I HRD6803-4 credits

Summer II Semester:
For the Ed.D. Cognate only: Methods of Lean Leadership II HRD 6804-4 credits

Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good Academic Standing:
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:  
The minimum satisfactory grade for graduate work is 3.0. Credit for completion of a course in the Lean Leadership Graduate Certificate program will be given for grades of 2.5 or above but not more than two grades may be in the range of 2.5 to 2.9. Graduate credit will not be awarded for grades below 2.5.

All grades received as a graduate student are used in computing the GPA except that, if a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in the calculation of the GPA. A graduate student is placed on academic probation if the student’s overall GPA drops below 3.0 or if the student receives more than one grade below 3.0, including the original grade(s) of any repeated course(s). A graduate student receiving a grade less than 3.0 while on probation is subject to dismissal. A graduate student receiving more than two grades below 3.0 is subject to dismissal whether or not the student was put on probation previously.

In all programs, the minimum GPA requirement is an average of at least 3.0. If a student’s GPA is less than 3.0 after having attempted 16 credits, the student will be recommended for dismissal from the program.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

What is a cognate?
The Cognate is a minimum of 20 credits that provide an intellectual context for the field placement work of a student enrolled in the Ed.D. Program. The cognate requirement may be met by the successful completion of the Lean Leadership Graduate Certificatge Program. Students may enter the Ed.D. program with the cognate completed, or complete the cognate concomitantly with Ed.D. course work.

Program Plan of Study

Fall Semester:
Introduction and Theories of Lean Leadership I HRD6801-4 credits
Lean Leadership Internship I HRD6950-2 credits

Winter Semester:
Introduction and Theories of Lean Leadership II HRD6802-4 credits
Lean Leadership Internship II HRD6951-2 credits

Summer I Semester:
Methods of Lean Leadership I HRD6803-4 credits

Summer II Semester:
For the Ed.D. Cognate only: Methods of Lean Leadership II HRD 6804-4 credits

Lean Leadership Certificate PACE Program (non-credit)

The Lean Leadership Certificate program is a non-credit program intended for participants who do not currently hold an undergraduate degree. There are many people, particularly in manufacturing and other sectors, who know about lean and have substantial work experience. Oakland University currently offers an Undergraduate Lean Leadership Minor, a Graduate Certificate and Doctoral Cognate in Lean Leadership, but there is no programming for those wanting to emerge as Lean Leaders in the workplace who do not have an undergraduate degree. Employers are asking for this level of programming as a means of workforce development. In addition, some senior employees facing layoffs and/or retirement are often interested in gaining these credentials for future consulting work.

Program Design
This program provides Lean Leadership development to those who do not qualify for the Lean Leadership Undergraduate Minor or Graduate Programs. This PACE program is taught by seasoned and recognized faculty, all with extensive practitioner experience. All Lean Leadership Programs are distinctly and carefully designed, informed by employer needs’ data, scholarly research and faculty expertise.

The program offers two semesters of study, totaling 96 hours. The semester plans include on-ground classroom meeting times (36 hours over 8 class sessions), plus work-embedded improvement projects (12 hours). All learning is focused on the application of Lean Leadership in the workplace. Contact Dr. Shannon Flumerfelt at [email protected] for session details.

Participants will receive a PACE Certificate of Completion and record of completion will be maintained by Oakland University’s PACE office. The option to complete the Green Belt Certificate test is available.

Program Cost
The cost of the Lean Leadership PACE Program is based on the number of participants per sending organization:

Semester Courses Cost/person per Organization
Fall Basic Lean Leadership for the Workplace

$1500 per person/1-4 participants
$1400 per person/5-8 participants
$1300 per person/9- participants

Winter Advanced Lean Leadership for the Profession

$1500 per person/1-4 participants
$1400 per person/5-8 participants
$1300 per person/9- participants

Additional Information
For program information, contact Dr. Shannon Flumerfelt at [email protected] or (248) 495-4312.

For application information, contact Ms. Lori Crose at [email protected] or (248) 370-4861.

Department of Organizational Leadership

Pawley Hall, Room 480B
456 Pioneer Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2730

Educational Leadership
Pawley Hall, Room 480D
(248) 370-3070
fax: (248) 370-4605

Human Resource Development
Pawley Hall, Room 475E
(248) 370-4109
fax: (248) 370-4095