Executive Decision: Dr. Stephanie Urchick

  • By Dr. Stephanie Urchick
October 2, 2017

When California University opened the doors at Bailey Center II back in January of 1997, the University became the first institution of higher learning to offer courses and training to the Southpointe and surrounding communities. The much-touted Southpointe tag line was amended to proclaim, “Southpointe, a great place to live, work, and play and study.”

In the two decades since the Cal U Southpointe Center opening, a lot has changed in the way academic institutions view and provide adult education. Programs, classes and personal development sessions were typically organized by faculty with expertise in certain areas, printed in catalogs or appeared online, and marketing to students ensued.

When a course reached minimum enrollment, it was considered a “go.” Those sessions that did not receive a minimum number of enrollees were dropped from the current offerings. Today, most institutions value the process of approaching the business community, or residential community, to ask what skills or training or education is most wanted by employees, employers or others, and then a program that addresses those needs is created by faculty and/or instructors. This is a radical change for colleges and universities, but one that makes sense for today’s business climate. “Workforce Development” is a key phrase that denotes training that supplies necessary, expected, and relevant education and skills for individuals in the workplace or those seeking to enter it.

“On our main campus, online or here at Southpointe, California University offers the education that students want and employers need,” says university president Geraldine M. Jones. “The goal is the same, whether we are designing academic degree programs or workforce development classes. We aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to enter the workforce and advance their careers.”

To that end, Cal U has relaunched its academic offerings and renamed its Southpointe Center the “Cal U Educational Resources Center” to meet the demands of the regional business community. Working with an outstanding advisory board consisting of CEOs, HR professionals, entrepreneurs and community and business leaders, Cal U’s academic leadership requested and received input and suggestions about current business skills needs. As a result of the focused input, the University has announced the first offerings for the Cal U Educational Resources Center at Southpointe.

Beginning in October and running through December, three Microsoft Office workshops will be delivered: Microsoft Word 2016, Microsoft Excel 2016 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. Each workshop will cost $175 for three hours of hands-on class time and includes a step-by-step book by Microsoft. Also included is an online companion component to provide additional resources and practice content. By recommendation of local businesses, the classes will run from noon to 1 p.m. at the Cal U Educational Resources Center, 135 Technology Drive in Southpointe.

“Cal U has had close ties with the Southpointe business community for many years,” says Dr. Bruce Barnhart, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “We appreciate the opportunity to work alongside Southpointe employers to build a more skilled and productive workforce.”

Anyone interested in working more effectively and efficiently with new Microsoft Office skills is encouraged to register at calu.edu/office. Questions on these, or other potential offerings, may be directed to the University Provost, Dr. Bruce Barnhart, at barnhart@calu.edu. You may also contact Dr. Barnhart regarding how to engage the Cal U Educational Resources Center for your business or organizational needs.

Dr. Stephanie Urchick is CEO/Executive Director of the Southpointe CEO Association, and Owner of Doctors At Work LLC, a leadership, communication, and customer delight consulting company. For more information about the Southpointe CEO Association, visit www.southpointe-ceo.org or contact Urchick at execdirector@southpointe-ceo.org or 724-747-5055.

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