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Sandra Krantz

“Boot Camp” Takes on New Meaning as More Schools Launch Programs

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The term “boot camp” traditionally has referred to basic training for new military recruits. Today, however, the concept also applies to short but intensive course offerings in continuing education programs.

Boot camps first arose in the IT sector as a means of filling the void of software development talent in Silicon Valley. A number of companies developed nine- to 12-week courses to teach students how to write code, and the programs proved extremely popular. People of all ages and from all walks of life were eager to gain skills that might net them six-figure salaries, and the companies turned away more than 80 percent of potential enrollees as the class rapidly filled up.

Now many colleges and universities are hoping to tap into the success of boot camps. Schools ranging from the University of Texas at Austin to Baker University (a private Methodist school located in Baldwin City, Kan.) are offering boot camps for aspiring software engineers. And more programs are cropping up all the time. The University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education just announced that it would be launching 24-week Coding Boot Camp in November.

Some schools developing boot camps already have strong IT departments, while others must find instructors who are qualified to teach programming. Many boot camp programs are online only, while others incorporate a classroom component.

And the concept is extending beyond IT-related disciplines. Oregon State University offers a Grammar Boot Camp, and Arizona State has developed a program on strategic planning for nonprofit professionals and volunteers. Ramapo College even offers a Retirement Boot Camp for Boomers — a three-night course on financial management, estate planning and insurance.

Although businesses and professional associations started the boot camp trend, market analysts say colleges and universities are well-positioned to both capitalize on and advance the concept. Schools have well-developed processes for attracting students, as well as infrastructure investments in both online and classroom learning. In addition, continuing education programs in institutions of higher education are often more innovative than traditional degree programs, providing room to experiment with new models.

Boot camps are typically priced in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, and targeted at working professionals seeking to add to their skills or change careers. By building upon the boot camp concept, schools can gain a new revenue stream, provide learners with effective training and develop a skilled workforce to meet the needs of industry.

If you are experimenting with new models of continuing education delivery drop us a line or contact us. We enjoy sharing best practices and meeting industry innovators.

Celebrating Administrative Professionals in Continuing Education

By | Managing | No Comments

Administrative Professional Day

My Aunt served for over 50 years as an Administrative Professional. She was a secretary in a large law firm. They had a nice tradition of taking the staff out to a special restaurant on Administrative Professionals Day. The law firm hired limos and all the lawyers and secretaries would join for a special luncheon at the same place each year. I know my Aunt always looked forward to this day as did the other secretaries in the office.

This might not be the right kind of celebration for your office, so we compiled a list of great ways to say thank you to your staff members that can be used on any day of the year.

  1. Your website pages are a great place to share your appreciation for staff members. Dedicating a portion of the website to celebrate staff is a nice way to share recognition. This is also true for your social media sites. A shout out post recognizing accomplishments that happen in the moment allows the world to recognize your staff’s achievements.
  2. Create a “Gratitude Tree”. This is a tree or object that allows your employees to do peer to peer recognition. Small notes of gratitude for a job well done can be attached to the tree and enjoyed by all. Placement of your gratitude tree can be almost anywhere employees gather. For design ideas on how to make a gratitude tree search Pinterest.
  3. Call a “Thank You Meeting”. Invite an employee into your office just to say thank you! Don’t discuss other issues just focus on their accomplishment and how you feel it was important.
  4.  Standing Ovation. In a previous management role, this was one of my favorites ways to say thank you. I would craft a certificate of appreciation for the employee and gather team members to join me in presenting the certificate with a standing ovation and song at the employee workspace. We all left energized and inspired ready to conquer the next tasks of the day. Back then I had a boom-box that would play an appropriate victory song. Now you could use your cell phone connected to a portable speaker for the occasion.
  5. Projects they love. Taking time to learn about what your employee love best at work can have huge payoffs.  Thank your employee for their accomplishment and ask them to help with a special project. By recognizing their unique strengths, creativity and contributions to the work that they do you can provide a vehicle for enhanced engagement and even greater works for this employee.
  6. Make an Introduction. Introduce your employee to a VIP in your organization. In your introduction explain to the VIP the employee’s contributions and have a suggestion of how the employee can help the institution or VIP with some current issue.
  7. The Gift of Education. What could be better than rewarding the employee with the time and investment for an educational opportunity. You are sending the message that you care and want to invest in their professional development and that they are an asset to your organization.

However, you choose to say thank you do it often. It is always more appreciated then we realize.

“Good manners are cost effective. They not only increase the quality of life in the workplace, they contribute to employee morale, embellish the company image, and play a major role in generating profit.”  Letitia Baldrige

Letitia Baldrige was an American etiquette expert, public relations executive and author who was most famous for serving as Jacqueline Kennedy’s Social Secretary.

10 Tips for Making the Most of Winter Break

By | Career | No Comments

Many of our clients will start winter break on December 17th and will return to the Office January 3rd. That is a nice block of time for life’s little marvels we often are too busy to tackle. Below you will find two lists for making the most of the winter break this year. One list for those with time off and one list for those who will stand their post back at the empty office.

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Recruiting Adult Students for Continuing Education

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Adult learners are sophisticated buyers. Typically, these students have many demands on their time and resources. Often the adult learner is younger than you might think and the investment they make in continuing education is linked directly to career advancement goals. With many alternative education programs now available to students, assisting the student with the right fit is critically important.

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2016 Trends in Corporate and Contract Training

By | Corporate and Contract Training | No Comments

With the economy doing reasonably well employers are more willing to invest in training for their workforce. Leadership and executive training has always been a resilient category for mid-size and large companies. Companies often prefer that continuing education for executives should be accomplished with higher education partners rather than an in-house training department.

In good economic times the outsourcing of training for the entire workforce is more promising for higher education partners. Skill based training with outcomes that can be measured are increasing in popularity. In-house corporate training programs are following higher education with training certification programs that lead to pathways for their employees.

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