Appreciative Administration Online Course

Welcome to the Appreciative Administration Course through Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Appreciative Education! We are so glad you are joining us!

Online Course Offerings

Spring 2024 Summer 2024 Fall 2024
January 29 – March 11
Registration Deadline:
January 10, 2024
May 6 – June 17
Registration Deadline:
April 17, 2024
September 9 – October 21
Registration Deadline:
August 21, 2024
FALL 2024


Course Cost & Registration Instructions:

$495 for one person (10% discount automatically applied to groups of 4 or more from the same institution that register at the same time. Please contact Smita Patel at for group registration instructions.)

IMPORTANT: If you are an institutional contact responsible for registering four (4) or more participants from your institution, please contact Smita Patel at, Katherine McSweeney at and the Office of Appreciative Education ( for group registration instructions.

Who Should Take This Course?

Given today’s challenges with recruiting and retaining talent and building healthy workplace environments, do you desire to help create workplaces in which you and your team(s) truly love to work and thrive? Are you a current administrator in a supervisory role or are you an administrator who aspires to become a supervisor in the future—and who desires to lead in your position - Appreciatively? Then this course is for you!

Course Description

The focus of this course is to introduce administrators to the practical application of the Appreciative Administration Theory-to-Practice Framework.

What is Appreciative Administration?

“Appreciative Administration is fundamentally situated as a human experience and involves the intentional, consistent, and aspirational practice of establishing trusting relationships in which team members’ strengths and skills are identified and leveraged to co-create and achieve organizational and personal goals.”

Elsberry, M. (2022). Appreciative administration: A grounded theory of how the appreciative education theory-to-practice framework is being infused into higher education [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Florida Atlantic University.

Interested to learn more about Dr. Elsberry's work on Appreciative Administration? click here to view her free webinar where she discusses her findings and how Administrators can apply the framework to their practice.

Appreciative Administration is a key framework under the Appreciative Education umbrella that focuses on building trusting relationships, optimizing interactions between team members, and deepening the engagement levels of employees to create a strong psychological sense of community and a healthy workplace culture.


Through this online course, you will learn about the principles of Appreciative Education within which Appreciative Administration is rooted. Furthermore, you will explore the following key topics –through an Appreciative lens– that are essential to the role of administrators: onboarding new team members, facilitating team meetings, supervising team members, assessment, and strategic planning.

The goal of the course is to provide you with the opportunity to learn specific skills, techniques, and practical applications for becoming an effective Appreciative Administrator through development of such deliverables as:

  • Designing an onboarding plan for new hires
  • Leading an Appreciative Staff meeting
  • Crafting an Assessment Plan
  • Designing an Appreciative Administration Action Plan

What Can I Expect in This Course?

You can expect to learn in community with a cohort of your colleagues enrolled in this course from educational institutions across the U.S. and beyond. Each week, you will read assigned readings and engage in rich dialogue with your colleagues through discussion boards. You will be invited to meet in community for three (3) one-hour interactive discussions over Zoom. Participants report devoting approximately 2-3 hours each week to the course.

What Do Past Participants Have to Say About This Course?

"I highly recommend leaders in any capacity participate in the Appreciative Administration course as a form of professional development and meaningful reflection and introspection. Engaging with other educators and the faculty offered me a wealth of information that changed my approach to supervising my team and leading programmatic initiatives. For example, applying a SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, results) rather than SWOT analysis to employee and program evaluations reframes everything in light of genuine positivity, potential, and possibilities, tapping into the heart of issues my team and I care deeply about as we design and deliver on co-created goals to support our students and campus community."

– Tara Connolly, Professional Academic Advisor,
Truckee Meadows Community College

“Florida Atlantic University’s Appreciative Administration online course helped me maintain valuable skills and tools as a new administrator at my University. From learning about appreciative onboarding to developing a strategic plan from an appreciative lens, I felt that the course as a whole prepared me to be a better administrator. What I found most useful from the course is being able to connect and troubleshoot with other administrators across the U.S. [and beyond] on a variety of topics we commonly come across as administrators.”

-Bryce Williams, Director, First-Year Utah,
Office of Undergraduate Studies, The University of Utah

“As an advising professional stepping into more of a leadership role within my office, this course was so helpful in helping me evaluate what we currently are doing in our office and what we should really consider changing to make it more friendly to our staff members and our office. So often we get caught up in the student’s needs (still important) and forget about the staff’s needs/experience. I found a lot of value in our new staff onboarding assignment. As I take on more supervision, that piece of the course was very valuable for me and how I approach supervision moving forward.”

-Layne Crowe, Sr. Academic Advisor I, Exploratory Advising Center,
University College, Kent State University