Develop a coaching mindset to equip you with tools and methodologies to support your team in reaching their full potential.

Learn how to develop the mindset, presence, and skills to lead to your organization’s success. 

What Sets Us Apart

  Led by a group of interdisciplinary Penn GSE faculty
  Pathway for career advancement
 Accelerated schedule designed for working professionals

About the Program

The Executive Coaching certificate program is designed to equip leaders with the skills and techniques to inspire positive change in others. Our program is led by faculty experts in adult learning, ensuring you receive evidence-based education to achieve your coaching objectives.

 Application Deadline

  • Priority Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Final Deadline Extended: April 8, 2024

 Program StartApril 16, 2024


  • Priority deadline rate: $7,000
  • Standard rate: $8,000
  • Discounts available:
    • 20%  off for Penn GSE alumni, previous learners of CPL, University of Pennsylvania employees and students
    • 10% off for groups of 5 or more

  Practicum Cost

  • Standard rate: $3,000
  • Discounts are not available

Length & Time Commitment3 months

  • 1.5-2 hours per week time commitment outside of class for supplementary activities and assignments

Designed forProfessionals who want to become executive coaches.

QualificationsProfessionals in leadership positions with a graduate degree / ~10 years of professional experience.   

  • Online
Teacher Programs & Certifications
The Executive Coaching certificate program is designed to introduce coaching concepts and methodologies to leaders across various industries, such as healthcare and education. The primary goal of executive coaching is to help the client identify and achieve specific professional goals. The coach provides guidance, support, feedback, and accountability to facilitate the client's personal and professional growth. Through this program, you will learn to adopt a coaching mindset to enhance the performance, effectiveness, and leadership skills of individuals in executive or leadership positions within organizations.
We’ll also guide you on the process of integrating coaching into your future career as you earn valuable hours toward International Coaching Federation (ICF) certification. Our approach is evidence-based and relies on proven approaches, focusing on the pivotal role of the coaching leader.
Upon successful completion of the certificate, you’ll be able to:
  • Develop and implement coaching strategies as a core leadership practice
  • De-mystify coaching and coaching presence into actionable steps.
  • Identify and deepen key coaching skills, including active listening, powerful questioning, providing useful feedback, working through resistance, creating actionable goals, and empowering others.
  • Integrate adult learning principles into your coaching and leadership practice.
  • Explore how flexing coaching styles to fit different situations will maximize your impact as a coach.
  • Assimilate and apply the foundational theories of evidence-based coaching to elevate coaching, leadership competencies and organizational performance.

International Coaching Federation

Through our partnership  GroupWorks Global, Penn GSE offers an Executive Coaching Certificate that provides 30 of the required 60 credit hours for those seeking an ICF Credential. To fulfill the full 60-credit hour requirement, participants can additionally enroll in the Executive Coaching Practicum. After the successful completion of this practicum and a subsequent evaluation conducted by GroupWorks Global, participants will have completed the ICF Level One certificate and will qualify to apply for the ICF ACC Credential. 

Synchronous Instruction Schedule

The sessions listed below will be held live on Zoom, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (ET). Attendance is required for all live sessions. If you can not attend one of the sessions, you can contact the academic director to schedule a make-up session. 

DatesSession TitleInstructors
April 16, 2024

 Session 1: The Executive Coaching Mindset

Felice Tilin, Ph.D.

Marco Bertola, MCC, MS

May 14, 2024

 Session 2:  Coaching Conversation Dynamics: Active Listening and the Power of Paraphrases and Questions

Felice Tilin, Ph.D.

Marco Bertola, MCC, MS

 June 4, 2024 Session 3: Leadership Competencies for the Coach

Felice Tilin, Ph.D.

Marco Bertola, MCC, MS

 June 25, 2024 Session 4: Coaching Power Tools

Felice Tilin, Ph.D.

Marco Bertola, MCC, MS

 July 16, 2024 Session 5: Integration of Skills

Felice Tilin, Ph.D.

Marco Bertola, MCC, MS


Dates/Times (ET)

This practicum serves as an optional component for learners to complete the remaining 30 to
earn the ICF Level One certificate and will qualify to apply for the ICF ACC Credential. Learners will be assigned a mentor coach as they are guided through synchronous and asynchronous simulation, coaching sessions, and feedback.

Program Structure and Curriculum

While the inaugural cohort and their unique learning needs will inform the final program course of study, the following outline represents the current program scope and sequence. The program will consist of a total of (number of sessions, topics of each session, number of modules, learning format).
  • 15 hours of synchronous teaching
  • 15 hours of asynchronous work
  • 1.5-2 hours per week time commitment outside of class for supplementary activities and assignments
  • Five 3-hour live sessions across 3 months
Each “Session” listed below represents a live session, as well as the topics covered within the session.

Session1: The Executive Coaching Mindset

Topic: Program Overview and Community Building
An essential element of learning the theory and practice of coaching is to create common ground and build a safe learning environment for participants. This module will clarify the rationale behind the program's components, ensuring clarity on operational terms, course anticipations, and familiarity with an experiential learning environment.
  • Foster a robust community of executive coaching learners by establishing a common language and becoming familiar with each other.
  • Discuss the structure and ambitions of the course, establishing achievable expectations.
Topic: Defining the Coaching Mindset
Participants will exchange insights on what sets the executive coaching mindset apart from traditional teaching, psychotherapy, consulting, mentorship, and management. We will collectively draft a definition synthesized from scholarly sources and real-world applications, aligning it with the ICF's depiction of coaching.
  • Define executive coaching and distinguish coaching from other disciplines.
  • Differentiate between coaching skills and the coaching mindset.
  • Introduce the ICF Competencies and Ethical Guidelines.

Session 2: Coaching Conversation Dynamics: Active Listening and the Power of Paraphrases and Questions

Topic: The Listening Lab™
The Listening Lab™ is a dynamic educational platform, designed to immerse participants in the art of active listening. This Lab emphasizes the cultivation of presence and the strategic use of paraphrasing and open-ended questions as coaching conversation alternatives to the common conversational habits of advice-giving and problem-solving. It's a space where executive coaches are equipped with the techniques necessary to amplify a client’s self-awareness, guiding them to discover their own resolutions and paths forward.
  • Experience the transformative impact of active listening by practicing presence in coaching conversations.
  • Practice paraphrasing to ensure understanding and validation of the client's perspective.
  • Experiment with use of open-ended questions to facilitate deeper client insight rather than providing direct advice or solutions.
  • Enhance skills in fostering client self-awareness, enabling them to uncover and articulate their own solutions.

Topic: Transformational Coaching
We are living in a time of extreme turmoil, and clients need coaches to help them navigate through changes. In this session, we will build on typical human patterns when coping with change and ways to help clients set and reset achievable goals, as well as help them reframe perspectives and overcome limiting beliefs.
  • Explore psychological models of change.
  • Practice co-creating achievable goals for coaching conversations.
  • Explore reframing perspectives.

Session 3: Leadership Competencies for the Coach

Topic: Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness
Leadership and coaching competencies are intertwined, and coaching itself is a style of leadership. Emotional intelligence is at the heart of both effective leadership and impactful coaching. In this session, participants will explore how emotional intelligence underpins leadership excellence and is integral to the coaching process. We will focus on enhancing the coach's self-awareness and provide targeted strategies for raising awareness.
  • Incorporate the research on leadership and emotional intelligence into your coaching practice.
  • Cultivate Self-Awareness in coaches and clients.
Topic: The Power of Self-Regulation
This class is designed to equip coaches with a deep understanding of emotional landscapes as a rich source of data for personal development. Participants will learn to recognize and interpret their emotions and triggers and to use this information to assist client development.
  • Recognize emotions as data.
  • Explore the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of self-regulation, including the role of the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system.

Session 4: Coaching Power Tools

Topic: The Art of Contracting
The process of co-creating the coaching relationship and establishing a clear coaching contract is fundamental. The potency of coaching is significantly enhanced by the strength of the relationship between coach and client. While forging this bond may appear to be a natural and intuitive endeavor, the research underscores the necessity of iterative goal-setting and solid contracting from the outset. Such upfront clarity and agreement are paramount, rivaling the trust that forms the bedrock of the coaching partnership.
  • Recognize the power of contracting and goal setting in the coaching relationship.

Session 5: Integration of Skills

Topic: Coaching Practicum
This session is designed to be an interactive session where participants engage in the roles of coach, coachee, and observer. Guided by a seasoned certified executive coach, attendees will have the opportunity to hone their coaching competencies through practical application. This immersive experience is essential for reinforcing coaching skills and ensuring participants are well-prepared to embark on their professional coaching careers with confidence.
  • To apply and refine coaching competencies through practical experience.
  • Receive input on coaching skills.

Sessions 6 & 7: Practicum – Completing Your ICF Level 1 Certification

Optional - Additional Cost

This practicum serves as an optional component for learners to complete the remaining 30 hours needed to earn an ICF level 1 certification. Learners will be assigned a mentor coach as they are guided through synchronous and asynchronous simulation, coaching sessions, and feedback.

Our Faculty

Penn GSE Faculty Felice Tilin
President and CEO at GroupWorksConsulting LLC; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Temple University

Program Contact

If you have questions about the curriculum, practicum, or the ICF credential, contact the Academic Director:

Dr. Felice Tilin

If you have questions about the cost or the application process. contact the Center for Professional Learning: