If she’s been to a UAB Training and Development class, chances are Debra Craig still has all of the course materials.
|Debra Craig, an administrative associate in Nursing Academic Affairs, has earned three certificates as part of Training and Development’s Office Professionals Certificate Program.|
Improving Business Communication, Managing Effective Meetings, Basic Writing Skills, E-Mail Etiquette — Craig has taken them all. In fact, Craig says she has taken more than 100 Training and Development classes in her time at UAB.
But the thing Craig is most proud of are the three certificates she’s earned in Skill Enhancement Training, Advanced Career Training, and EXcellence CEntered EDucation (EXCEED) — all part of the Office Professionals Certificate Program.
“Every program I’ve taken, it’s been worth it,” says Craig, an administrative associate in Nursing Academic Affairs. “There are so many things you have to be aware of and so many ways to be more effective doing your job.
“All of these classes lead to a positive assertiveness in your position and what you can do here at UAB. You want to be the best you can be, and these classes can help you reach that.”
Training and Development offers three certificate programs in both Office Professionals and Supervisory Training (STAR) to every UAB employee free of charge. The classes, details of which can be found at www.uab.edu/traindev, are a way to learn new skills, gain new perspective or a new approach to your job – and network with fellow workers across campus.
Alyce Hartley, manager of Development and Training, says the certificate programs give employees a focus or plan of attack for improving their job skills.
“The great thing about our certificate programs is that people at all levels of the university can take part, and they really provide a training focus,” Hartley says. “You have a goal you’re working toward.”
Maria Whitmire, a business officer in Electrical and Computer Engineering, has taken many of the courses in the STAR program and has earned all of the certificates offered by Training and Development except for one. Whitmire has been in her current job for almost 13 years. She was recently reclassified as a business officer, and with the title came management responsibilities.
“The management training classes were just invaluable in that regard,” Whitmire says. “I think sometimes people get put into management positions without being taught how to be a manager. The classes taught me the dos and don’ts, how to handle certain situations and the legalities behind those decisions. It’s been a big benefit to me. It’s helped prepare me for doing a better job in my current position.”
Christian Bushnell, a data processing specialist in Alumni Affairs, recently earned his Structured Query Language (SQL) Certificate. This certificate program is designed for employees who work with relational databases and who wish to develop skills using Structured Query Language. Course content includes Relational Database Modeling Concepts, a hands-on modeling workshop, and emphasis is placed on building SQL skills in a practical, hands-on environment.
Bushnell says his department was changing to the SQL system, and he had heard that the class with Training and Development was a good one.
“I had taken a few other classes with Training and Development last year that were beneficial, and some of my co-workers in the Administration Building had taken the SQL classes and said they also benefited, as well,” Bushnell says. “We had a good instructor there that really knew what she was doing and was able to give me some real guidance and instructions.”
Craig, Whitmire and Bushnell are very grateful that their supervisors have been supportive in their efforts to further their education. Elizabeth Stullenbarger, Ph.D., Craig’s supervisor and the associate dean of Nursing, says it was an easy decision to support Craig in her decision to take as many of the courses as she wanted. She says she views the training as a long-term investment — like faculty members taking development training to enhance their skills.
“It really benefits us to have Debra do this because it gives her ideas and improves her skill level, and I think makes her better able to deal with all the different things that come up every day,” Stullenbarger says. “She shares the information from the class with me and other critical support staff in the School of Nursing. She’s a real ambassador. Plus, she loves it.”
To learn more about the certificate programs and other classes available, visit www.uab.edu/traindev.