A Questionable Start to Summer

If the recent weather pattern continues we should expect to see summer weather sometime in July. Don’t let that fool you-summer semester starts on 5/19. While our Chicago weather remains unpredictable there are a few, less variable, questions you can answer as we head in to summer.

Have you enrolled in summer courses yet?

Move this to the top of your “to do” list! View the schedule here http://www.roosevelt.edu/Registrar/Schedule.aspx. Please contact me if you need your registration code.

Do you need a review of TRDV 451 Instructional Systems Design?

Dr. Cyboran is conducting an Instructional Design “Jumpstart” on Saturday May 17th from 9:30-12:30.During this three-hour, casual, work session, you will become familiar with a logical and systematic process of designing instructor-led training. We’ll work in teams to design training for a generic case and then link your work to the generic model of instructional systems design, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) and to the Dick and Carey model of instructional systems design.

The session is required for all students enrolled in TRDV 451 this summer but is also open to any students who feel like they could a review of the material. Contact me for more details or to sign up thawkins@roosevelt.edu.

Are you graduating this the summer? 

Be sure to apply through Graduation Services http://www.roosevelt.edu/Registrar/Graduation.aspx

Finally, (no question about it) on behalf of the Training and Development department I want to thank you for a great spring semester.

- Tara, Program Coordinator, Graduate Program in Training and Development thawkins@roosevelt.edu




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Guest post: Training skills and culture can tame the Wolves of Wall Street

By Mike Hilty
Mike Hilty is a student in Roosevelt University's Training & Development Program.

Mike Hilty is a student in Roosevelt University’s Training & Development Program.

Every year, I try to watch all the movies nominated for Best Picture for the Academy Awards. Some movies I have no interest in watching (looking at you, “Captain Phillips”), some are a pleasant surprise (“Her” and “Nebraska”), and some are a little disappointing (ugh, “Gravity”).

For me, the most surprising was “The Wolf of Wall Street.” If you have three hours to spare, I’d recommend checking it out. For those who don’t have time, it’s about a Wall Street stock broker named Jordan Belfort. Jordan created a brokerage firm aimed at recommending shady stocks. Forbes magazine described Jordan as a kind of twisted Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers (Khalaf, 1991).

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street." Paramount Pictures photo.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Paramount Pictures photo.

From a business standpoint, this movie is a good lesson in the importance of organizational culture. Although Jordan trained his employees to do shady business, these practices helped instill a culture of assuring clients and pushing them to purchase recommended stocks. Jordan was charismatic and persistent. These two dominant traits directly translated into the culture he wanted for his company. Similarly, trainers need to be mindful of the culture they’re establishing, especially since many practitioners learn on the job, where the values and assumptions of the dominant culture guide behavior. (Bunch, 2007, pg 155).

A trainer’s job is to not only teach the skills necessary for being successful at a job, but also to establish a relationship with the culture and values of the organization. The more entwined values and culture are with training, the more likely employees will be successful and remain at an organization long-term. Culture can be a force for good (look at non-profits) and a force for bad (Enron, Stratton Oakmont, and any number of companies in legal trouble) but it all starts with how these people are trained.

References: Bunch, K. (2007). Training Failure as a consequence of Organizational Culture. Human Resource Development Review. Vol 6. 142-163. Khalaf, R. (1991). Steaks, Stocks – What’s the Difference? Forbes Magazine.

What do you think?
What does corporate culture mean to you? Is corporate culture taught, acquired, or should recruiters find people who would already fit into the corporate culture in the first place? Do you know of any corporate cultures you’re jealous of?

Posted in Careers, Guest Student Post, Human Performance Improvement, Learning at Roosevelt, Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest post: How women can become even better leaders

Andrea Bundt is a student in Roosevelt's Training and Development graduate program.

Andrea Bundt is a student in Roosevelt’s Training and Development graduate program.

Although Women’s History month ended in March, I’m extending the conversation with ways for women can be better leaders in the workplace. A recent T&D magazine article, ‘Women, Seize Your Leadership Role’ by Lynda McDermott, stressed the importance for women to know their career goals, establish a plan to achieve those goals and then learn and promote their value. It’s not enough to “Lean In” as Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, wrote in her book. Women must proactively assess their development. In the T&D article, Tricia Naddaff, president and CEO of Management Research Group (MRG) offers women ways to better enhance and approach their leadership role based on years of leadership assessment gender:

• Spend more time on building business acumen.
• According to the MRG, bosses only see women less effective in three competency areas (out of 26): Business aptitude, financial understanding and ability to see the big picture.
• Make more time for strategic thinking and planning
• Women tend to focus on the more immediate and time-consuming short-term results and do not make enough time to think long-term. Long-term strategic thinking is critical skill for more senior leadership roles
• Develop the ability to sell yourself and your ideas to others
• If you are uncomfortable in a skill or dimension, you are leaving others to make assumptions about your value and ideas for you. Take time to learn how to persuade others and expand your credibility
• Delegate more. This gives you time for higher-level engagement. Women might avoid assigning work certain tasks because they think they can do them faster and better or they are more empathetic toward direct reports being too busy for more work. Unfortunately, this leads to exhaustion and leaves less time for strategizing and building business acumen.

Overall it is important to take the time to see where there are areas of improvement and take note of the pitfalls that may appear along the way. Create development plans and seek feedback from your peers and management. The only way to get better is focus on actionable items to help achieve the leadership success you desire.

Read on

• For more insight, check out this New York times article:  ‘Four Executives on Succeeding in Business as a Woman’.
• If you’re looking for more job resources and professional connections, join American Society of Training and Development.

What do you think?

• In order to focus on strategic thinking and building business acumen, what is one way you delegate more this week?
• What peers and management will you seek development feedback from?
• When will you take time to create development plan? What resources will you use?

Posted in Careers, Guest Student Post, Human Performance Improvement, Learning at Roosevelt, Mentoring, Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Add Value to your MATD or MAOD with Professional Credentials

briefcaseAs a follow up to my previous article on professional certifications, “Do you need more letters after your name?” I want to make you aware of an easy way to enhance your Roosevelt University MATD or MAOD without added expense or time. As you work toward your degree with us, you may also choose to complete one or more professional credentials along the way, choosing from our recently update offerings:

Each credential includes required courses and electives, many of which are also required for your degree. With careful planning and course choice, you can complete two credentials at the same time that you complete your Master’s Degree. If your career interests are focused on e-learning and technology, then you might choose the Graduate Credentials in E-Learning and Online Teaching or E-Learning and Instructional Design. If your focus is on organization development, you might complete the Credentials in Human Performance Improvement and Executive Coaching.

Add a comment to this post to tell us which credentials you are planning to pursue and how you plan to use the knowledge and skills in your career.

Posted in Careers, E-Learning, Human Performance Improvement, Instructional Design, Learning at Roosevelt, Organizational Development, Technology, Training, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Professional Designations: Do you need more letters after your name?

letters-jumbleBy Kathleen Iverson, B.A., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. *

Once you complete your M.A. in Training & Development (or our new M.A. in Organization Development) it’s time to decide whether to pursue additional training or education. Most agree that it is important to continue learning after graduation to stay current with developments in research and technology. Many graduates seek professional certification to enhance their resumes. Profession certifications are universally recognized designations that communicate the mastery of a specific skill set. Most consist of lengthy knowledge tests and either portfolios or work projects that demonstrate expertise. Professional certifications may include continuing education credit, but typically do not include college credit that can be applied to a degree.

Kathy Iverson is an associate professor in Roosevelt University's Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Kathy Iverson is an associate professor in Roosevelt University’s Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

The most widely recognized certification in the field of training is the CPLP or Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (see a previous post on this topic) from the American Society of Training & Development. To receive the certificate (and a lapel pin) you need to sit for a lengthy knowledge test and submit a work sample.  MATD graduates pursue this certification after locating a job in the field and completing a study session. How beneficial is this CPLP? In a quick search of the ASTD job bank, I located more than 100 jobs with the word “training” in the search, and of those, 25 mentioned the CPLP designation.

Although training is much different from the hiring, firing, benefits and salary administration of HR, many training professionals work within the human resource division. If you plan to branch out beyond training to HR, you might consider a certification from SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) like the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) or SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources).

Depending on your career focus, there are specialized certifications that can be beneficial to you. Project Management is a desirable skill in today’s team based and technical workplace. If you plan to specialize in project leadership or in project management training, you might consider a PMI certification. There are various levels of certification and most require additional training (beyond our Project Management for Trainers course).  If you plan to specialize in training technology, you might consider IT certification in the area that you will train. For example, if you are training Apple products, you might consider the Apple Certified Trainer Program or if you train Adobe products you can become an Adobe Certified Expert. If you have a background in information technology, the MCS, Microsoft Certified Trainer designation is in high demand. Finally, if you plan to focus your career in a particular industry you may consider a designation in hospital administration, real estate, or banking.

When talking about certification, it’s important to include a buyer beware caveat. Not all certifications are equally beneficial and some providers are charlatans. Before choosing a certification program, ensure that it is administered by a widely recognized association or organization (like ASTD, SHRM, or PMI) as opposed to an obscure provider that simply sounds official. For example, here is a coaching certificate that I am not familiar with. It’s from the Center for Coaching Certification and costs a whopping $1495.00. The website looks official, and there is an ICF (International Coach Foundation) logo, but note that this certification is not provided by the more widely recognized ICF.

Once you have the designations, the next issue is how you communicate them to potential employers.  Avoid the “alphabet soup” mentality of adding as many letters to your signature as you possible can (*like my signature at the top of this article). You don’t want to sign every e mail and letter as:

Sincerely, Jane Doe, M.A, CPLP, PHR, CAPM, MCS, etc. etc.  Instead, limit yourself to no more than two (three if you must) designations and include the remainder in your resume. Most signatures include only your highest degree (either M.A. or Ph.D.) but not your baccalaureate degree if you have not completed graduate school.

What are your plans for continuing education after you graduate? Is anyone planning to pursue the CPLP, additional degree programs, or even a doctoral program?

Posted in Careers, Learning at Roosevelt, Technology, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Alumnus profile: 2010 grad begins management position, talks training trends, praises distance learning

Doug Sellers is Training & Leadership Development Manager at Waste Connections, Inc., and a 2010 grad of Roosevelt's Training and Development program.

Doug Sellers is Training & Leadership Development Manager at Waste Connections, Inc., and a 2010 grad of Roosevelt’s Training and Development program.

Meet Doug Sellers, a 2010 graduate of Roosevelt’s Training and Development program. He lives and works in Texas, and completed all of his coursework online — a setup that also allowed him to work and, most importantly, be near his wife and young children.

Congratulations to Doug, who began as Training & Leadership Development Manager for Waste Connections, Inc., in January. Here’s a profile and conversation we recently had with him:

Doug Sellers
Hometown: Originally from Bayou Vista, Louisiana.
Current city: Lives in Spring, Texas, works in The Woodlands, Texas.
Undergrad school & major: Northwestern State University located in Natchitoches, Louisiana | Aviation Science / General Studies.
Job before training and development degree: Spent approximately 9 1/2 years working in operations for three different hotels in the Houston, Tx area before getting involved in Training & Development.
Focus of degree at Roosevelt and grad year: Started out MATD, but switched over to MAHPI before graduating in Spring 2010.
Current company and position: Training & Leadership Development Manager at Waste Connections, Inc. since January.
Position and company previous to job at Waste Connections: Training Specialist with Sysco Business Services, which is the shared services entity of Sysco Corporation, the food distribution company.
Family, hobbies, etc.: Wife (celebrated 10th anniversary in August), 9-year-old daughter, 6-year-old son and two dogs. Takes Taekwondo classes with family (his daughter just received first degree black belt). Also enjoys snow skiing, dining out, drinking wine and exploring vineyards, travelling, watching sports on TV, and attending concerts/live music events.

What attracted you to the Training and Development field?
I’m embarrassed to say what first attracted me was the opportunity to travel to “exotic” places on the company’s dime. During my first training job and realized that the travel wasn’t as “luxurious” or as cracked up to be as people made it appear. I then developed a passion for helping people unlock and release their people. It is very gratifying to help people and organizations get from Here to There, and the opportunity to grow an organization’s most important asset, their people.

How has your previous jobs in operations influenced your work managing training and leadership development?
It provides me with a base / foundation to work with. I think in any industry, the needs of the employees and customers / guests is a driving force or factor. From an operations perspective, we have to think in the mindset of anticipating employees and guests needs. What do the employees need and want to deliver exceptional service to the customer / guest? And, when a guest or customer arrives at our establishment, what are they going to need, and anticipating those needs, ahead of time.

How has your view of workplaces changed since getting involved in training and development?
As a paying customer / guest, there are times when I wonder is training even occurring. Whether they are dealing with me or others, there are times when I feel that the person (employee) helping just does not get it. They are not displaying the soft skills needed to do their job. It amazes me at times when for instance, I worked for Signature and would go into a hotel to conduct training, and the front desk person (or people) that I would encounter when I first arrived, could care less that I was even there. I would have that discussion with the GM or other management personnel and the number one response that I would receive is “good help is hard to find.” I didn’t buy into that, to me that is just plain lazy and a cop out. And I say that because I could go down the street or some times next door, and get the level of service that I would expect. When I would go back and ask if good help is hard to find, then where did your competition find their people?

Waste Connections appears to be a complex company with many people with specific areas of expertise. How do you integrate your knowledge with that of the experts in order to train new and incoming team members?
I draw on the expertise of those individuals to help me understand the culture and responsibilities of the business and the organization. I have conducted interviews with key players within the organization (and will continue to do so) to understand the culture and to solicit feedback as to what they feel are the areas of opportunities with our employees.

I’m sure you’ve learned a lot about waste collection and recycling since you started your position. Is there anything that has really surprised you?
The number of trash collection companies that are out there, specifically in the Houston area. You see the major players trucks on the road all the times. But the first time that I went to a landfill, and saw all the different companies that were out there, I was AMAZED. Now that was in Houston. I’m sure in some of the smaller markets, there are obviously not as many. However, there may be operations out there (what I’ve been told) that may run only 1-2 trucks, and have a handful of people. It’s been truly amazing to see how many different companies do what we do. Where we like to distinguish ourselves, is HOW we do what we do. And that is getting to know our customers and being visible in the communities we serve.

What are your main job duties and roles at Waste Connections?
My objective/focus for 2014 is to develop an on-boarding process for line-level managers, whether new to the company, newly promoted, or new due to an acquisition. The primary focus will be how do we get them “on-board” to our culture and set them up for future success with Waste Connections.

You finished the MAHPI grad program all online. Being several states away, what was the appeal? Was not being in a traditional classroom challenging at first?
I was very nervous and anxious at first before starting class, wondering if I could really do this (having never taken any online courses, let alone a degree program online). Very early on (in my first class), I realized that I had made the right choice. As a matter of fact, I could not have seen completing a program by going to a traditional classroom. In my mind, it would have been like I was travelling all over again and would never see my family (by the time I would leave my job and have to travel to class, then home). We had just had our first child in February of 2005, and I began my first class in August of 2005. It worked out great. We would put our daughter to bed, and then I would start on whatever homework I had. My wife was VERY SUPPORTIVE and UNDERSTANDING, and I could not have done this without her support. The downside of doing my course work online and so far away from Chicago, was I feel I missed out on some of the social time that my classmates were able to experience by being in the Chicago area. I established some WONDERFUL friendships through my Masters program, and have been able to meet some of my classmates on our travels to Chicago. But there were times where my classmates would organize a meeting for drinks or eats at a local restaurant in Chicago, and I obviously could not be there. So that was a bummer. But overall, a GREAT experience. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Has doing the online program made you a more conscientious educator and communicator?
Conducting my coursework online has provided me with an appreciation and understanding of the written word. Before, I really do not know if I had given much of my written communication any thought. I just did it. Taking classes online, and specifically courses around communication in my course work, really opened my eyes to more effective written communication.

What are some of the trends you’ve seen in the training and organization development fields?
Technology still plays a HUGE part in T&D. The integration of tablets and smart phones I think, has helped tremendously. Employees, students, professionals can gather much of their learnings “on the run” versus having to be at a specific place at a specific time to get the same information. The drawback to that is the absence of networking. While technology is great, I would hate for a day to ever come where we take human interaction out of T&D. There are times when I think and feel that human interaction plays a critical part in the learning and development process.

For current students and people looking to enter or advance in the field, what, in your experience, are the most important skills to develop?
Communication is critical. You HAVE to be able to talk with people and be an active listener. Subject matter expertise is good, but I feel where many people miss the boat is their inability to effectively and openly communicate. Being able to use modern technology (smart phones, tablets, PC’s, etc.) I think also plays a key role. Having said that, we can teach people to use technology. And we can teach them to a degree how to be better communicators (to a degree). But people really need to take a look in the mirror and look at their communication skills. How effective or they at coaching / giving feedback? Can they deliver a message in a calm, collective manner; or do they communicate with the “white glove” effect (thinking they know everything there is to know). Does their arrogance come off when they are trying to communicate? Do they talk down to people?

I’ve worked with trainers in my past and that is how they communicated. No personality. They would come in to the conversation with the “white glove” and immediately start telling people what they were doing wrong.

I would go into a similar conversation, but wanted to know if they saw the fantastic ending to the football game last night. I had an employee / management trainee tell me one time…”I’m glad it’s you who came to visit me today. You know how to talk to people.”

Posted in Careers, E-Learning, Human Performance Improvement, Instructional Design, Learning at Roosevelt, Mentoring, Organizational Development, Technology, Training, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Registration Winners!


Congratulations to:

Ruth Black

Amy Lyons

Maureen Yakovac

They each won a $50.00 Amazon gift card for enrolling the first week of registration.

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