Darden Executive Education Expands Digital Offerings to Advance Lifelong Learning Remotely

08 April 2020

By Jay Hodgkins

Rapid strategic pivots due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital disruption at massive scale and increasingly global, complex organizations — the need for lifelong learning to advance leadership capabilities and technical skills has never been greater.

Darden Executive Education is stepping forward to meet the need by enhancing its online programs portfolio to provide rich, accessible learning opportunities during these challenging times.

“With uncertainty in the global economy and organizations moving at a rapid pace to adjust to the new realities of doing business, now is the time to double-down on advancing career goals and preparing for what might come next,” said Ashley Williams, CEO and chief learning officer of executive education and lifelong learning at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Through Darden Executive Education’s online programs, learners can earn specializations and certificates demonstrating the skills they’ve developed to help organizations thrive.

Upcoming digital offerings include:

Management Essentials for Developing Leaders (3–8 May): Discover your true capabilities and prepare for new or increasing management roles with this interactive immersion into the principles of organizational management. Adapted from the popular in-person program, Management Essentials for Developing Leaders will be run as a synchronous online course, led by the same team of Darden professors as the in-person program. This program counts as one credit toward a Darden Certificate in Management.

Leading Mindfully: Leading Through Crisis (6 May–10 June): Adapted from the foundation of the in-person program, this special live online session of Leading Mindfully features unique content and virtual activities developed by Professors Lili Powell and Jeremy Hunter to provide leaders with mindful leadership tools, skills and new perspectives as they work to lead their organizations through an unprecedented period of crisis. This program counts as one credit toward a Darden Certificate in Leadership.

Virtual Servant Leadership Program (19–21 May and 27–28 May): This unique, two-week program takes a different approach to leadership and features live virtual sessions, diagnostic assessments, one coaching session and leadership reflections. Live virtual classes will meet for three hours per day on 19–21 May and two hours per day on 27–28 May, with project and team work to be done outside of the live sessions. Led by a Darden faculty team. This program counts as one credit toward a Darden Certificate in Leadership.

Strategy Essentials Specialization: Provides tools, frameworks and insights to help create and drive successful strategies for organizations. This three-course specialization features a course project, program mentor, online office hours and peer feedback to ensure that you get the support you need to develop winning strategies. The upcoming course sessions are being offered at a special introductory price and include Strategy Analysis (8 June–19 July), Growth Strategy (27 July–6 September) and Strategy Planning (5 October–15 November).

Design Thinking And Innovation Specialization: Empowers leaders at any level to become creative catalysts with a practical approach for generating new ideas and driving innovation. This series of project-based digital courses has been created to help implement design thinking within any organization. The courses include Design Thinking Workshop (8 June–16 August), Discovery Tools (14 September–18 October) and Creating the Innovative Workplace (14 September–18 October).

Consistent with guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia, University of Virginia and Darden School in response to the novel coronavirus, Darden Executive Education has suspended in-person custom and open enrollment programs through at least 10 June.

To get the latest updates on new online programs that will be unveiled in the weeks ahead and on new dates for in-person programs, subscribe to the Darden Executive Education monthly e-newsletter.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia