Bachelor of Arts in Union Leadership and Administration
The Union leadership and administration program is designed to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of labor movement leadership and leadership more generally. Courses are designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of bargaining, financial and general management issues. Students who are local union officers or hold union leadership positions are ideal candidates for this course of study.
Students completing this program should be able to:
- Fully understand how unions are structured and governed
- Evaluate various structures and lead organizations within the labor movement
- Identify best leadership practices within unions and the labor movement
- Analyze key challenges and opportunities facing the labor movement
- Evaluate and implement a variety of practical leadership strategies
- Critically examine leadership theories and apply selected theories to specific issues confronting the labor movement
Six courses are required in addition to the SLS core -
|LBUA-4100||  ||Union Administration|
|and one or more of these|
|LBUA-4151||  ||Union Structure and Governance|
|LBUA-4510||  ||Leadership Theory|
|LBUA-4550||  ||Effective Leadership|
|and three or more courses listed below or above (to make a total of 12 courses)|
|COMP-3010||  ||Computer Skills for Trade Unionists Level I|
|LBHU-4170||  ||Ethics in Decision Making|
|LBUA-4180||  ||Organizing and Representing the New Workforce|
|LBUA-4115||  ||Health Care Bargaining: Impact of the New Law|
|LBUA-4400||  ||The Power of Partnerships (formerly Labor Management Partnerships)|
|LBUA-4450||  ||Grassroots Leadership for Working America|
|LBUA-4498||  ||Special Topics in Union Leadership and Administration|
|LBUA-4950||  ||Capstone Writing Seminar (with residency)|
What is a residency?
A residency is an opportunity for students to meet face-to-face with professors, school professionals, and other students during an intensive four-day gathering scheduled over a long weekend. The first required residency is part of the course Living Labor History and must be taken in the first or second semester of study. This residency will include tours, meetings and class sessions during which students will learn how working people use history to build a powerful labor movement. The final residency will take place as students complete their programs as part of the Capstone Writing Seminar.
New students may choose from one of the upcoming Living Labor History residencies:
- Fall 2013: October 11-14 (noon Friday - noon Monday)
- Spring 2014: February 14-17 (noon Friday - noon Monday)
Learn more about SLS residencies.
The NLC offers affordable tuition rates:
- $270.00 per credit hour for AFL-CIO affiliated union members, their family, and members of Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate.
- $325.00 per credit hour for non AFL-CIO affiliated union members and their family.
School of Labor Studies Major
Requires students to complete 36 credits – 12 required courses of 3 credits each.
Required Core Courses for All School of Labor Studies Degrees
All courses earn 3 credit hours.
LBCC-4100 Living Labor History
This course introduces students to the major developments of working people, their organizations, and their communities over the course of American history. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding the formation of the modern labor movement as a transition from 19th century "producers" organizations to the founding of the early American Federation of Labor, the rise of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and the social economic, and political forces shaping labor since 1945. Required for students in SLS majors. (Course has a Residency component)
NLCC-4200 Labor and Work in the United States
This course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of issues related to what unions do (with a specific focus on the rights and responsibilities of union members, organizing, and bargaining), labor-management relations (including conflict resolution, labor law and contract administration), the structure of the contemporary labor movement and labor's contributions to American society. Students will explore issues in political economy, globalization and the lingering economic crisis, and the course will conclude with an overview of comparative labor relations. Students in this course will become familiar with the required writing and analytical standards of the College. [7-week format] Required for all major programs in SLS and SPS
LBCC-4300 Research Methods
Research Methods is an advanced course designed to provide SLS students with the tools necessary to conduct social science research related to their courses and assignments. In this course, students will devise and write a research design for the required Capstone Project in their program. The course examines and compares various strategies for data collection and analysis, and provides an understanding of the appropriate use of various research methods for addressing different research problems. [A student may not receive credit for both this course and LBCR-4700]
LBCC-4400 Labor and Politics
This course provides an overview of the institutions and processes of the American political system as they relate to organized labor and working people. Students will engage in critical analysis of selections from American political thought, important milestones in American political development, and organized labor's role in the political process from the Workingmen's Associations to labor's contemporary engagement in campaigns and elections, lobbying and coalition politics.
NLCC-4500 Labor and Work in the Global Economy
This course offers students an overview of comparative industrial relations systems and practices within the context of a globalized economy. In addition to looking at broader debates surrounding globalization and change, this course will explore the employment relationship from a comparative perspective, including but not limited to Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France, and China. [7-week format] Required for all major programs in SLS and SPS
LBCC-4600 Labor and Employment Law
This course examines the broad range of issues related to the law, workers and unions. Students critically examine the evolution of labor and employment law, different types of law that apply to workers and unions (statutes, common law, administrative law, etc.), the limits of the law and general rules that workers confront on the job (such as the employment-at-will rule and its exceptions). Specific topics also include the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which covers many (but not all) private sector workers, how most public sector bargaining statutes draw upon the NLRA, and how various state and local labor laws vary from the NLRA and how administrative agencies enforcing these state laws sometimes function differently from the National Labor Relations Board.
LBUA-4050 Union Administration
This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of virtually all aspects of the administration of unions. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of situations and challenges encountered by union officials in carrying out their duties. [Formerly LBUA-4900; a student may not receive credit for both]
LBUA-4151 Union Structure and Governance
This course examines union governing and administrative structures and functions at the local union, district or regional, and national levels within the framework of the local central body, the state labor council, and national federations (e.g. the AFL-CIO). [Formerly LBOR-4151; a student may not receive credit for both]
LBUA-4510 Leadership Theory
The course will compare selected leadership styles and strategies, test how they appear to work, observe whether or not they can predict success, and explore how their major components can be learned or acquired. One challenge will be to then decide whether or not such a set of behaviors constitute a "leadership theory." The text will be augmented by selected articles which examine some of the more familiar contemporary leadership strategies or "leadership theory." Students will prepare a major paper which seeks to convert the behavior and/or experiences of a student-identified, actual leader into a model for successful leadership.
LBUA-4550 Effective Leadership: Making It All Work
One key aspect of leadership is being able to translate vision into action. This course will take students through a number of skill sets that will help them lead more effectively. Everything from how to run effective meetings of all kinds to better managing staff and volunteers will be explored. Exercises and case studies will be utilized.
COMP-3010 Computer Skills for Trade Unionists Level I
This course covers how to use word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet applications to prepare labor union proposals, contracts, presentations, and budgets. Participants will learn how to search the Internet and effectively communicate with e-mail and web conferencing tools. Class discussions revolve around how labor unions can best use computer technology.
LBHU-4170 Ethics in Decision Making
This course examines choices through an ethical lens and the study of ethical theories as applied to a series of moral problems. Issues from the workplace will be examined to see which principles of right conduct, if any, clarify, guide, or determine their decisions. Labor case problems will be included.
LBUA-4180 Organizing and Representing the New Workforce
This course explores the challenges and opportunities new immigrants and young workers bring to the labor movement, and look for solutions in both historical and present day campaigns. Questions of race and gender and how the union movement deals with these issues are also explored. [Formerly LBOR-4180; a student may not receive credit for both]
LBUA-4115 Health Care Bargaining: Impact of the New Law
(Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Institute) This class will begin with an overview of the U.S. health care system, emphasizing key features such as hospitals, prescription drugs, testing and medical devices, and cost-drivers such as over-treatment and RX marketing and research schemes. Students will learn bargaining dynamics by participating in a health care collective bargaining scenario. Each student will complete a research project chosen from a list provided by the instructor but customized to his/her own interests, experience and union setting.
LBUA-4400 The Power of Partnerships
This course is designed for union leaders, staff and activists who want to consider alternative relationships with both public and private employers, to understand the concepts of labor management partnerships, and to evaluate their viability within varying and volatile environments and bargaining relationships. [Former title: Labor Management Partnerships]
LBUA-4450 Grassroots Leadership for Working America
This highly interactive course is designed to develop critical leadership skills for union activists at the grassroots level. Students will explore the economic and historical roots of the current challenges to organized labor, with the goal of identifying issues of concern to them and their community. Students will then select one issue upon which to build a mini-campaign. The mini-campaign will be comprised of a series of activities designed to influence the development and outcome of the selected issue. Students will learn about and be exposed to a wide variety of grassroots campaign skills that they can draw upon during the development of their campaign. [This course combines and replaces LBUA-3550 and LBUA-3551; a student taking 4450 may not receive credit for either of these]
LBUA-4498 Special Topics in Union Leadership and Administration
This course will examine a different subject or problem of current interest within the field of Union leadership and administration program. [May be repeated for credit if topic changes]
LBUA-4950 Capstone Writing Seminar
The Capstone Writing Seminar is designed to guide students through the completion of their Capstone Project, the final requirement for all students in the School of Labor Studies. The essential question driving the Capstone Seminar is this: How can labor be a force for social change? Students are encouraged to select a research topic to effect change within their major area of study. They will conduct original research on this topic within a selected methodological framework, critically analyze their results, and present their findings in written and oral form to their peers. The most common format for the Capstone Project is a research paper, although flexibility in methodologies and outcomes is encouraged on the part of the students and faculty. Students will select their topics and design their research in cooperation with the Seminar instructor and Labor Studies faculty in their major area of study. (This course has a Residency component.)