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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions regarding Professional Development at Ohio University. Please email if you have a question that is not addressed below.

Click the question to reveal the answer below.

What is Professional Development Pathways?

Professional Development Pathways is a comprehensive professional development program that provides tools, guidance, and learning opportunities for employees and supervisors to invest in talent development and career growth. The program focuses on the following:

  • identifying competencies (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) required for success in current and future positions
  • using training and certificate programs to develop competencies and add excitement to the development journey
  • providing tools and guidelines to encourage “on-the-job” learning opportunities and development discussions
  • leveraging technology to encourage recognition, provide access to training materials and resources, and to help employees keep track of their learning experiences
What are badges?

“Badges” refer to special icons or virtual representations of educational achievements. Badges are earned by completing eligible learning experiences in the Professional Development Pathways program. 

Who can participate?

All full-time and part-time regular employees of Ohio University are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Professional Development Pathways program.

Does my supervisor need to approve my participation?

Although a written sign-off by the supervisor is not required to register for classes, participants must still discuss participation in the program with their supervisors ahead of time to get their support. Participation in the program generally requires time away from work which must be approved by the supervisor. Also, depending on the nature of an employee’s job and the learning experiences, there could be great opportunities to apply new skills and learning to the employee’s current job. Application of new skills is very beneficial for the employee and the department, so ongoing discussion about progress in the program is encouraged.

Can I take courses outside of work, on my own time?

Professional Development Pathways trainings are designed to provide direct benefits for employees, their departments and the University. Since participants are regular employees of the University and are expected to transfer knowledge and skills from the trainings to current or future jobs at the University, all trainings are considered to be “University-sponsored” training, and participation should be worked into an employee’s work schedule. This requires employees to coordinate participation with their supervisors. Although supervisors are encouraged to offer reasonable flexibility to accommodate reasonable participation in University-sponsored training activities, employee performance or department operations should not be negatively impacted as a result of an employee’s participation in these activities.

Can I take just one or two courses in a Pathway, or do I need to complete the entire Pathway program?

Completion of trainings and Pathways are voluntary. As long as prerequisites and other participation requirements are met, employees can participate in one or more courses in a Pathway program without completing the remaining courses.

Should completion of a Pathway be included as a performance goal on my performance evaluation?

Performance goals should represent 3-5 of the most important things you will do during the year to successfully execute the responsibilities of your position. In situations where completion of a Pathway is intended to significantly increase your knowledge and/or skills in a way that has a significant impact on the performance of the primary duties of your job, it might be appropriate to include this as one of your goals. If so, the impact of having the Pathway (i.e. what you will do with the enhanced knowledge and/or skills) should also be stated in your performance goal. If completion of a Pathway is mostly for development purposes and not significantly related to your primary job duties, it may be better to include goals that are more directly related to successful completion of your job.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the Professional Development Pathways Program?

Employees are encouraged to check out the “Professional Development” pages on the HR website to get information about Professional Development Pathways. The website includes the most current information on available certificates and courses, access to our competency model and Learning Management System, links to additional development resources, and a list of frequently asked questions. For non-technical questions that are not answered by visiting the website, please contact the HR Employee Service Center or your HR Liaison. You can also email questions to  For questions about the Blackboard Learning Management System, contact the OIT Help Desk at 740-593-1222 or