UND launches improved professional development program


Kate Menzies

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UND launches improved professional development program

Formerly known as "U2-University within the University," the University of North Dakota's professional development learning function has been rebranded, redefined and restructured to better serve the needs of staff.

The new program will be referred to as Learning & Development and will expand on the strong foundation of the U2 program by enhancing the current curriculum and offerings of various sessions. U2 got its start in 1997 and has grown to adapt to the needs of an ever-expanding University. The official start of "Learning & Development" is today (Friday, Aug. 1).

The Learning & Development program provides opportunities for staff to participate in professional and personal development sessions. This supplemental learning program includes courses and mentoring services designed to build and retain talent within the University.

"This new approach is just the tip of the iceberg as to what we can do," said Learning & Development Coordinator Carrie Herrig. "We can only continue to build on the strong foundation and framework for this program."

All sessions are free and materials are provided. Any staff member is eligible to participate, regardless of how long they have been employed at UND.

Sessions are run on a quarterly basis and cover a variety of topics ranging from "Effective Communication in the Workplace" to "Budget Overview" to "Human Resources." Anywhere from 40-60 sessions are offered each quarter.

All sessions are built on four main competency areas. These competencies are human, technical, conceptual and personal growth. In addition to the sessions, the Learning & Development program will feature a mentoring program, in which staff will be provided with an educational, professional and personal support system on campus.

Learning & Development sessions differ from regular academic classes in that courses are all non-credit. Courses also help establish networks across the University and aid in staff awareness of policy and procedural changes occurring within UND.

"This program shows that UND is investing in staff in a way that is meaningful and purposeful," said Herrig. "Our people matter. UND is committed to helping staff to grow within their careers."

Professional development opportunities are becoming more popular among staff. For 2014, more than 2,400 people attended University professional development sessions.

In the future, the program will add more online learning opportunities and expanded leadership programs.

For more information about the Learning & Development program or to enroll in sessions, please the Learning & Development webpage, or call 701.777.0762.

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