By George Mauzy
Classified non-bargaining employees who'd like to improve their skills, boost their professional confidence and prepare for promotional opportunities now have a program to help them accomplish those goals.
Beginning this fall, the new Vision OHIO-inspired Classified Development Program will enroll a 20-member cohort that will take one class for 10 consecutive quarters, including one class each summer. The program takes two and a half years to complete and successful participants will earn college credit and receive a certificate of completion.
"This program will give these employees an opportunity to prove themselves academically and professionally, build confidence and increase networking opportunities within the university," said Teri Combs, organization learning and development consultant in University Human Resources. "I'm excited about it because it is a great investment in our staff members who aspire to improve their skill set."
Combs said participants will critically analyze business problems and develop high quality information designs using personal computer software tools, complete team and individual projects, give oral presentations, and create and present a professional portfolio and executive summary.
Participants will complete about half of the 10 courses at Ohio University as a cohort before finishing up with general course requirements. After completing the cohort courses, each participant will choose business, humanities or technology as a concentration area for their remaining courses. Some of the non-cohort classes will be offered at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. The last requirement, a capstone course, will require participants to apply their learned skills and knowledge to a final project.
Combs said the cost of the program for participants is still being determined, but it will be minimal.
"We are exploring videoconferencing and Web classes in order to offer the program to the regional campuses," Combs said.
The eight-member Classified Development Program Committee will select participants. The committee is made up of Classified Senate executive officers and Combs. Chief Human Resources Officer Luis Lewin will have final approval of the chosen applicants.
Classified Senate Chair Marlene Swartz believes the CDP is a great opportunity for employees who are motivated to take their career to a higher level.
"Many classified staff are at a standstill in their career and often aren't considered for vacant positions within the university," Swartz said. "I strongly encourage these people to pursue this new development program because it will give them tangible proof that they are qualified for a higher-level position. It won't be easy and will take a serious commitment, but the reward potential is tremendous."
The CDP, which is administered by University Human Resources, will take applications through June 10. To apply, employees must submit a written letter of support from their supervisor, a letter of application, a description of both their current position and desired future position and a standard resume.
University Human Resources will host one-hour information sessions about the CDP at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, in Human Resources Training Center 141 and at noon and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, in the Friends of the Libraries Room on Alden Library's third floor.
For more information, employees should contact their Classified Senate representative or UHR.