Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Awarded the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Jan 08, 2015

Fielding Graduate University Awarded the Carnegie Foundation Advancement of Teaching for Community Engagement Classification

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Fielding Graduate University as one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

Carnegie CEC digital seal resized 600Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification—institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities. “The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

Fielding President Katrina Rogers, PhD, noted, “Our leadership sees community engagement as one of the key values of the institution. It is reflected in our strategic plan and the ways in which Fielding manifests community engagement through its mission and educational enterprise. We define community engagement as the actions that we take as an institution and through our graduates to create positive social change using the best research and practice. Our stated values support community engagement in various ways, emphasizing community building internally and externally, diversity, learner-centered education, social justice, and transformational learning.”

Fielding Graduate University was founded in 1974 as an independent non-profit graduate school, dedicated to learning for experienced, mid-career adults. Fielding’s student population consists of 1,200 with 130 faculty members all across the United States. Long before the internet, Fielding invented a pedagogical model that enabled individuals to participate in high quality graduate learning from a distance and in small groups in their communities. Fielding’s vision then and now is based on the notion that adults deserve access to graduate learning that they can apply in their communities as they study, and not only when they finish. From the beginning, Fielding expected its students to be engaged in their communities, taking from their educational experience the more relevant theories to address local issues.

Fielding’s vision for their students role in community engagement is two-fold: 1) to build a high level of knowledge and skills for their graduates to be effective in collaboration and change work; and 2) to enact through their centers and curricula the multiple ways in which Fielding can make a contribution to society. Fielding’s community engagement-focused efforts are most apparent within Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation (ISI). The ISI’s mission and function is to turn knowledge into action for the workplace and local communities. The programs currently under the ISI include: the Women’s Network for Gender Empowerment, the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate, the World Cafe, and Evidence-Based Coaching certificates. The ISI’s Center for Public Life, is funded by a grant from the Kettering Foundation to support the Center’s services to local non-profits in the central coast region of California.

The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on NERCHE’s website.

Tags: educational leadership, organizational change, evidence based coaching, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education, human development, institue for social innovation, Carnegie Project

Why the Science of Coaching Matters

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Feb 20, 2014

Science of Coaching image

Why the Science of Coaching Matters: A Q&A With Francine Campone, EdD, MCC, of Fielding Graduate University

As posted on

FrancineCampone1 resized 600Francine Campone is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Master Certified Coach with more than 15 years of experience coaching leaders in the corporate, education and nonprofit sectors. She directs Fielding Graduate University’s Evidence-Based Coaching Certificate Program and is a founding faculty member of the coaching certificate program in the University of Texas at Dallas’ Graduate School of Management. She is a past chair of the ICF Research Committee.

Francine will present on “What’s Happening in Coaching Research?” at ICF Advance 2014: Science of Coaching May 29 – 31, 2014, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, GA, for this targeted educational event. ICF Advance branded events are designed for coaches, trainers, researchers and coaching decision-makers who want to take their skills and knowledge to the next level. ICF Advance 2014: Science of Coaching is an intensive, interactive 2½-day educational experience that will bridge the gap between scholarship and practice, delivering in-depth content covering the theories that underpin coaching.

Event information and registration details are available at

Here, Francine answers some frequently asked questions around the science of coaching and its impact on organizations that use coaching to enhance human capital.

Q: Why is it so necessary for external and internal coaches alike to cultivate an awareness of the science of coaching?

A: Science is a part of coaching’s legacy. The founders of this field called coaching were heavily influenced by the social sciences from other disciplines, including psychology and organizational consulting. Science is an integral part of the foundation of coaching. I think it’s important for professional coaches to reconnect with that part of their history, because when you understand the foundational sciences of coaching, you have the basis to make informed decisions.

Organizations spend millions of dollars a year on coaching. If I were spending that kind of money, I would want to know that the person I’m hiring to help develop my leaders and my team has a foundational, fundamental knowledge of the field and has the ability to take a scientific approach to the work he or she does with my people.

As director of Fielding Graduate University’s Evidence-Based Coaching Program, I’ve met a number of students who have been charged with the task of creating their organizations’ internal coaching programs. They’ve found that getting grounded in the foundational theories of coaching enables them to do several things for their organization. When they hire external coaches, they have solid, empirical selection criteria. You really need substantive guidelines for hiring external coaches, and the only way to do that is by understanding foundational theories and principles. Secondly, in internal coaching programs in particular, you are charged with training the people who will do the coaching. If you want them to be responsive in their interactions, to have a broad repertoire of skills and strategies, and to exercise good judgment in their coaching engagements, then you need to have a scientific understanding of coaching and a scientific approach to coaching.

Q: What are some recent trends you’ve observed in coaching research?

A: Coaching really started as a derivative field, borrowing heavily from other sciences. Up until about 10 years ago, coaching research focused on those foundational sciences. In the last decade, however, we’ve seen a growth of peer-reviewed literature on the science of coaching: How do those sciences roll over into coaching? What are the necessary adaptations, for example, to make the shift from applying cognitive behavioral principles in psychotherapy to applying them in coaching? The research now is much more about coaching than about where coaching came from.

We’ve also made a turn to the practical, because research is now being done by coaching practitioners and less often by scholars who are in a field removed from coaching. I try to do studies that I think will somehow be useful, and I think that is an attitude that many coaching researchers take.

A decade ago, I dined at an ICF event with an experienced Executive Coach who told me, point-blank, “I don’t need research. I know what works, and I don’t need to know the data.” I don’t hear that from coaches anymore. I don’t hear people saying that research is irrelevant. As the profession matures, we are seeing an increase in the number of experienced coaches who recognize the need to understand the science behind coaching.

Q: What would you say to an organizational decision-maker who questions the investment in a pool of coaches well-versed in the science of coaching?

A: I would encourage them to look to other professions. Would you hire an attorney who knew all the technicalities of filing briefs but hadn’t bothered to study the history and evolution of the law? My guess is no. So why would you hire a practitioner who has a tool kit of coaching skills but hasn’t sought to understand the principles and theories behind those tools? As you choose a coach for your organization or for yourself, you’re no doubt seeking someone smart, informed, substantive and knowledgeable. More often than not, those are traits of coaches who understand the scientific principles behind what they’re doing with their clients.

In A Guide to Third Generation Coaching, Reinhard Stelter writes about how complex the world has become, how complex organizations are, and how complex the people and relationships within organizations are. These organizations need coaches who are themselves complex. A scientific approach to coaching as a field is what’s going to help us have the knowledge base, the judgment base and the skills to manage and be responsive to the increasing complexity of the world in which we are functioning.

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Tags: evidence based coaching, fielding graduate university, coaching

Connected Histories: Coaching and Fielding

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, May 24, 2013

ConnPhoto of Leni Wildflowerected Histories: Coaching and Fielding

By Leni Wildflower, HOD alumnus

When I began to write the book I had decided to call The Hidden History of Coaching, something fantastic happened.  My research into the origins of coaching led me to a cluster of social, spiritual and intellectual movements that shaped much of what we associate with the progressive developments of the 60s and 70s. I found myself reconsidering personal experiences that had had a profound impact on me during those years.

At the same time, I began to think with new insight about a later stage of my life, my time at Fielding. Common threads began to emerge, linking all three: the values and principles of coaching, my own coming of age, and the institution that became my intellectual home as a student and a teacher for almost 20 years.

As a student in the 1960s I was deeply moved by the political, social, and cultural shifts that were emerging.  I quit College to work for Students for a Democratic Society, living and doing community organizing in poor urban and rural communities.  I became involved in the women’s movement, went to spiritual intensives, and read psychology extensively.

After raising a family while working full time, I entered Fielding as a PhD student. I thought of this as a distinct new phase in my life, though, like so many of my fellow students, I knew I was bringing with me a wealth of accumulated experience and personal knowledge. Coaching, as a professional activity and a subject of academic curiosity, came later still. 

describe the imageBut in writing The Hidden History of Coaching, I began to see how much of what I was calling our “coaching heritage” was the same mix of influences out of which Fielding had grown. I began to sense an unexpected coherence in these different phases of my life and in the heritage I share with other Fielding alumni.

To take just two examples from The Hidden History:  

On February 1, 1960, four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina sat down in the ‘whites only’ section of a Woolworth’s lunch counter and refused to leave. This took extraordinary courage. The next day 24 students returned to join the demonstration. Within a month, there were 70,000 sitting in all across the South. By July of that year, Woolworths had integrated its lunch counters. 

Meanwhile at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, people were gathering to discuss possibilities for human growth. This was a period of intellectual and social ferment when people were thrown together in unprecedented ways. Barriers were broken down.  Gender roles were challenged, settled structural arrangements disrupted, moral lines redrawn. Esalen served as a prism, taking in light and refracting it in many directions. 

Though times have changed, as Fielding alums, students, faculty and staff, it is important to remember how much we owe to this period. For a whole range of reasons, new possibilities for people were emerging. At the heart of these various movements was the idea that human beings could be greater, achieve more freedom, and accomplish more than had been commonly imagined. 

Leni Wildflower has 20 years experience as an executive coach, author and educator, working in the US, UK, Europe, China and Latin America.  Her passion as a coach is to inspire clients to reach new levels of clarity and effectiveness.
As an innovator and thoughtleader on coaching as a profession, a discipline and a craft, she developed the ground-breaking programme of evidence-based coach training at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, and co-edited the definitive The Handbook of Knowledge Based Coaching: From Theory to Practice. She is an expert on blended learning and online education.

To contact Leni Wildflower:

Tags: social justice, evidence based coaching, fielding graduate university

Leading By Supporting: Coaching clients to reinvent roles and rules

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, Apr 03, 2013

ChoiceFielding Graduate University Evidence-Based Coaching program director Francine Campone, EdD, MCC, MAC, publishes article in Choice magazine titled, "Leading By Supporting: Coaching clients to reinvent roles and rules"

In this article, Campone identifies coaching as an effective mechanism for leaders to enhance employee performance "as guides for quality control without an evaluative role...leaders present a different coaching challenge as they learn to help staff improve their performance on specific tasks without direct supervisory authority."

Campone describes the concept of change as “ripples in a pond”: 

Change is a process and, as such, may need to be facilitated in stages. I often conceive of a coaching plan as ripples in a pond...the challenge was where to toss the first pebble and how to ensure that the ripples eventually reached all the way to the shore. The client’s initial measures of success were framed in terms of evidence of more trust: staff seeking out information or asking for her advice or assistance, rather than avoiding her; more staff input and feedback in the team meetings she facilitated. With this as a starting point, the strategy for the coaching engagement emerged as three successive “ripples.”

Click here to view full article in Choice.

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Campone is an executive and personal coach and coach educator. She specializes in coaching professionals to stretch into the requirements and expectations of executive leadership. Since 2001, Campone has coached men and women in corporate, education and nonprofit sectors, with extensive experience in helping women executives find their voice and become strategic leaders. Her coaching focuses on helping leaders to acquire the skills to clearly articulate vision; generate engagement and commitment; facilitate change within organizations and to communicate clearly and effectively. Specific communication coaching has helped leaders change from confrontational to collaborative styles and to learn how to effectively hold difficult conversations and give effective performance feedback. Previous clients include leaders in Xerox Corporation, Rio Tinto, Earth Share, NetAid, CASA and the Calvert and Kellogg Foundations.

Campone has provided academic leadership to the Evidence-Based Coaching Program for four years, ensuring currency of evidence and research in the curriculum and program activities. She has designed and teaches course in evidence-based coaching theory, coaching research methods and the uses of case study.

Tags: educational leadership, evidence based coaching, fielding graduate university