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Classified Development Program cohort

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Classified Development Program to start new cohort this fall

Next program will include learning contract, orientation and fewer courses

Preparations for a new and improved Classified Development Program (CDP) beginning this fall are underway. 

Based on recommendations from the program's first cohort, the second round will feature a student-focused approach, including a learning contract, orientation and fewer course requirements.

"All the current participants gave us feedback: what they liked best, what worked well for them, what they would change if we could do it again. And that turned out to be a list of items that we are recommending for the new program," said Teri Combs, an organizational learning and development consultant in University Human Resources.

Combs met with the Classified Senate Executive Committee in March to address the possible changes.

One of the changes includes lowering the course requirement from 10 to eight courses so that the program can be successfully completed in two years. The new cohort will be provided with a learning contract that will outline all of the program components and expectations in order to provide clarity for the participants, their supervisors and the program as a whole.

A student orientation will be added to the program, in addition to a program orientation, to better prepare participants who have never taken college classes before. Also, participants will be required to take an English placement test to determine whether a participant needs to include English or writing courses in the program.

These changes will help create a more "student focused" approach to the program, Combs said.

As a component of Vision OHIO, the CDP is a structured professional development certificate program provided for Ohio University classified non-bargaining employees.

To complete the current CDP program, cohort members must take a variety of courses for 10 consecutive quarters. Participants earn college credit and receive a certificate of completion.

"The courses are designed to more fully and wholly develop (classified staff) as professionals within the Ohio University work place," Combs said.

The program is designed to better prepare classified employees to meet the changing needs of technology, higher education and position responsibilities with more knowledge, flexibility and skills. It also enables classified staff to prepare for opportunities for upward mobility.

Cohort member Debby Sillery, administrative coordinator in the Dean of Students Office, said that seeing the participants grow as a group and as individuals has been the most rewarding.

"We have made a two-year commitment to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort level – attending classes, conducting interviews, writing papers and preparing for exams while at the same time balancing family and full-time jobs," Sillery said. "We have tasted success and personal accomplishment, and I believe many of us will continue beyond the completion of the program and receive our diplomas in the end." 

Cohort member Nicole Knapp, administrative coordinator in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, said she benefited from the first few cohort courses that the group took together before enrolling in courses with the undergraduate population.

"After the first cohort classes, I felt more comfortable with the extra work load and the academic process," Knapp said. "Overall, the program has boosted my confidence and now I know I can learn in a college setting. I have also gained more appreciation for what the undergraduate students are going through each quarter and realize how challenging course work can be."

As the first cohort comes closer to completing the program, Combs said she is proud of what each participant has achieved.

"I think you can already see how the skills are being used directly at work and some of them are already applying them in ways we hadn't foreseen," Combs said. "I'm so happy with the progress that they have made."

A complete packet of information on the CDP will be made available for potential applicants beginning April 15 and will reflect all the changes being made for the new cohort.

For more information on the program, click here