UPEI is committed to supporting workforce training and education by extending its range of services beyond traditional degree programs. The university offers a wide range of intensive professional development courses and certificate programs designed for working professionals at all stages of their careers.
The Professional Development portfolio within UPEI’s Professional Education and Career Development office develops, delivers, and is involved in a wide range of professional education activities, including professional development certificate programs and short courses.
“With our growing economy and our growing number of businesses on PEI, professional development is becoming more important than ever before to help people achieve their career goals,” says Jurgen Krause, Dean of the UPEI Faculty of Business.
Charlene Miller, Professional Development Program Coordinator, says UPEI offers a broad range of courses which defy simple categorization – a common situation among university continuing education, extension, and lifelong learning departments.
At present, five certificate programs and 25 stand-alone training courses are offered in subject areas that span management, supervisory, and professional education and training, including:
- Social media
- Financial management
- Conflict resolution studies
- Cohort-based leadership and administrative skills programs
- Project management and business analytics
- Workplace bullying
- Writing skills
- Email etiquette
- Online aquaculture programs
- Customized courses tailored to unique needs
Course subjects are determined by demand. “We work to develop the course best suited to employers and employees,” says Koren Glenn, Professional Development team member. “We can customize a program based on their needs, and facilitate the delivery. We continuously review and refresh course material to make sure it is up to date and relevant to today’s workplace.”
“We work with faculty members, professional experts, online learning specialists, and a faculty of business advisory team to develop program content and curriculum,” says Charlene. “The course leaders are experts in their particular field, and they have the experience and knowledge to teach adult learners by adapting to different learning styles and ensuring participants feel comfortable in the classroom.”
Charlene says new courses are being requested and considered all the time. “One example is employers’ concerns about the potential effects that the legalization of cannabis could have in the workplace. In response, the Professional Development team at UPEI is developing a curriculum for a Cannabis Knowledge for Organizations course to educate employers, organizational leaders, employees and others on the history, culture, risks, expectations and responsibilities regarding the use of recreational and medical cannabis and the workplace. The training will include the development of customized workplace policy and guidelines for managing the range of potential effects of cannabis legislation.”
UPEI is also working with the Canadian Payroll Association in the delivery of the Payroll Practitioners Certificate, which will include an HR component. Other courses in the design stage include respectful workplaces and mental health. Others will be considered as need and demand arises.
“Employers and potential students will find us approachable and willing to work with them to meet their unique and evolving training needs.”
Who can take professional development?
“We have an open admissions policy, so individuals of all education backgrounds can take our programs and start learning,” says Koren. “Many of our professional development students have found that taking one or two courses kick-starts a desire for continuous learning, and some have even said that our programs helped them get ahead in the workplace.”
Students can continue working full-time while attending these courses, and tests and assignments are minimal. There is opportunity for individual and group work. The courses are non-credit, and students receive a certificate of completion for participating and completing the course.
Class size is usually limited to 25 students, and courses are offered on campus, work sites, or other local facilities. “We are mobile,” says Charlene. “Our facilitators travel to all areas of the Island to deliver courses.”
Programs are normally offered during the day, and there is flexibility to hold classes in the evenings or weekends.
For more information, contact Charlene Miller at 902-620-5216 or Koren Glenn at 902-628-4394. Visit www.upei.ca/professionaldevelopment/professional-development.
by Heidi Riley