Alliance of graduate schools seeks to standardize executive coaching profession

While virtually anyone can call him or herself an executive coach‚ until now it’s been hard to know…

Georgia (Mar 29, 2006) — Alliance of graduate schools seeks to standardize executive coaching profession

Terri Thornton


Contact: Terri Thornton‚ 404−932−4347‚

While virtually anyone can call him or herself an executive coach‚ until now it’s been hard to know who is actually qualified to give advice to America’s corporate leaders. But now a group of academic leaders have formed The Graduate School Alliance for Executive Coaching‚ or GSAEC‚ which is taking steps to standardize and grant accreditation to graduate programs in professional executive coaching. GSAEC’s goal is to raise the quality‚ and transform the practice‚ of professional executive coaching by working with academic institutions to establish high standards of education and training.

“Executive coaching is one of the fastest−growing professions‚ yet there is no academic criteria for it‚” says co−founder Stephen Brock‚ D. Min.‚ a professor at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. “The seeds for this group were sown three years ago‚ when I and professors from other institutions began working to address this need.”

Brock is the group’s secretary/treasurer. Another Coles College faculty member‚ Mike Salvador‚ Ph.D.‚ the Acting Chair of the Department of Leadership & Professional Development at the Coles College‚ also serves on the GSAEC board.

“Coaching has been an integral part of our Executive MBA curriculum at Coles for many years‚” says Salvador. “Students nominate personal coaches who are then trained by us to serve in that role. The concept significantly enhances the attainment of overall program learning objectives‚ and also returns the students to their work environments better prepared to coach others‚ something both they and their employers significantly value. Coles College has truly been a thought leader in the development of effective coaches and welcomes its role in the Alliance.”

Both Brock and Salvador have extensive experience in both the business and academic worlds. Brock worked in the mental health field for more than two decades‚ serving at all levels of management‚ including CEO. He has served as adjunct faculty at several colleges and universities‚ created a four year leadership development program‚ and consulted and coached executives of several Fortune 500 companies.

Salvador has been Co−Managing Partner and COO for Tatum CIO Partners‚ LLP; President and CEO of The Atlanta Consulting Group‚ Inc.; Vice President of Dun & Bradstreet Software Services; and a partner with Grant Thornton LLP and Ernst & Young LLP. He taught at the Coles College while serving as the Global Product Manager and Managing Director of Drake Beam Morin’s International Center for Executive Options.

GSAEC’s first steps include setting criteria for graduate academic programs to offer certifications in executive coaching. The long−term goal will be for select graduate schools to establish and offer degree programs in the discipline. The group’s first major conference is planned for the spring of 2007.

Other graduate schools involved in founding GSAEC include Babson College’s Management Division; the School of Human and Organization Development at Fielding Graduate University; Franklin University’s Ross School of Management; the Division of Graduate Programs in Business at New York University; the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers; the School of Management at University of Texas at Dallas; the Coaching Studies Program at the Adler School of Graduate Studies; the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Several international universities have also expressed interest.

For more information about GSAEC‚ contact Acting Executive Director Dr. John Brent‚ at or board member Dr. Stephen Brock at

Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 18‚500 from 132 countries. The third largest state university out of 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit