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What You Need to Know About Wake Forest Executive Education

The most prominent and influential leaders in any organization typically have one thing in common – a desire to keep learning.

In today’s world, trends change, skills evolve, and to be an effective leader or manager, it’s necessary to stay ahead of the curve and continue your own professional development.   

The Executive Education team at Wake Forest University is here to offer an opportunity to do just that.

What is Executive Education? 

Executive Education refers to non-credit and non-degree academic, university-based professional development programs for organizational leaders, executives, and managers – or those who are striving for these positions. The primary purpose of these programs is to increase your business knowledge and skills in a short amount of time. 

“The program gave me the background and practice to better lead situations I face in my current role,” explains David Kaiser, who received a Certificate in Leadership in 2021. “The content is well structured and designed to cover a variety of situations in which leadership is essential, which made the program both enjoyable and practical.”

Who Facilitates Executive Education Programs?

Professionals benefit from engaging with faculty leaders who have extensive research, teaching, and leadership experience, as well as their own specialties within business from finance to marketing. Our faculty bring their real world, on the job expertise into coordinating, planning, and facilitating each program to produce a professionally designed and well-taught educational experience.

Rather than a lecture-based approach, the Executive Education team focuses on experiential learning. To align with this, some common instructional techniques our faculty use include:

  • Simulations
  • Case Study and problem analysis
  • Job-specific projects
  • Team competitions
  • 360-degree feedback sessions
  • Role playing
  • Coaching 
Roger Beahm
Wake Forest Professor of the Practice, Roger Beahm poses for a portrait in Farrell Hall.

Faculty member Roger Beahm, Professor of the Practice, finds peer-to-peer learning to be one of the most beneficial exercises in any course: “This provides participants with a unique opportunity, building both their knowledge of the discipline and their confidence for decision-making.”

How Are Executive Education Programs Structured? 

Every learning opportunity is specifically designed to provide highly personal, educational experiences that address real-world issues. How that information is delivered varies based on the type of program chosen. 

At Wake Forest Executive Education, there are two types of offerings: custom engagements and open enrollment. Choosing the right type depends on one main factor – who is the program for?

Custom Engagements 
Wake Health Physician Leadership Program 2022
Wake Health Physician Leadership Program 2022

Our custom Executive Education programs are designed specifically for your company. These unique, specialized professional development opportunities help organizations increase management and leadership capabilities by developing new knowledge, skills, and competencies.

No two custom engagement programs are the same because each is created with a focus on your organization’s strategic business challenges. We collaborate with you to provide instructional plans that address desired leadership competencies and capabilities to ensure high performance. 

Our custom engagements are based on these guiding themes: 

  • Provide leaders with the education and tools to make immediate and meaningful impact
  • Help leaders achieve optimal personal performance
  • Instill a commitment in leaders to produce broad economic value
  • Prepare talent to lead across diverse global boundaries

With a commitment to transformative results, we thoughtfully create custom programs by tapping into our cache of business experts at Wake Forest and conduct thorough industry research on markets and key management practices that are relevant to your business. 

Programs can vary from half-day topic-based engagements to multi-week immersions. It can also include on-going learning partnerships. For example, Wake’s Executive Education team has collaborated with Syngenta to offer the Syngenta Business Institute for the last 14 years. This innovative professional business development program for golf course superintendents is an annual event which has evolved over time to adapt to the needs of attendees and the industry. 

To learn more about Wake’s custom engagement offerings, request a consultation with our team.

Open Enrollment
Certificate in Leadership Recipients
Certificate in Leadership Recipients

Our open enrollment programs are designed around key topics of interest for individuals looking to build or enhance their professional skills in a particular area.  Course length can be anywhere from one day to a full week with certain short course curriculums resulting in non-degree certificates.  

Executive Education open enrollment programs focus on specific niches within the business world, but some common topics include:  



In these programs, professionals from different organizations and industry sectors are brought together. This diversity allows all participants to gain multiple perspectives and leverage shared experiences to further develop their business/professional insight.

Stacy H. Jones received her Certificate in Digital Marketing in 2023 and found the focus on real world experience of the program to be helpful: “It’s great for students entering the digital marketing career path, as well as executive education for experienced marketers.” 

To sharpen your skills and continue your professional development does not always require the time and monetary commitment of a graduate degree. With Wake Forest Executive Education programs, you’ll find the support, flexibility, and knowledgeable faculty to enhance performance and produce broad, sustainable results for you and your organization.

Start your journey and learn more about current Executive Education programs or join our mailing list today.  

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