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Workplace Professional Skills Certificate

The Workplace Professional Skills Certificate is designed to train Indiana State University students in professional workplace skills that will benefit them in their student employment positions as well as their internships and future professional employment. This model ensures that students who complete the program have received supplemental training applicable to the demands of the job market. Students will be able to address topics such as professional customer service, diversity training, sexual harassment prevention, confidentiality and communication skills. To receive the certificate, students will complete five required modules and and 10 elective modules through Sycamore eLearning powered by SkillSoft.

Completion Benefits

  • Workplace Professional Skills Certificate awarded by the ISU Career Center.
  • Opportunity to list program completion on resume and Co-Curricular Record.
  • Eligible for pay increases for on campus positions (per individual departments’ discretion).
  • Online certificate program to be completed at your own pace.
  • Enhanced professional skills attractive to future employers.
  • Certificate of completion.

Registration

To register for the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate Program, please complete the registration form. You will be enrolled into the course after we receive the registration form.

Required Courses

Developing a Growth Mind-set (16 minutes)

People with a growth mind-set achieve ever-higher levels of performance, and help their organizations thrive. In this course you'll learn what constitutes a growth mind-set and how develop and embrace it.

Diversity on the Job: The Importance of Diversity and the Changing Workplace (1 hour)

Imagine for a minute that you work in a place where everyone is the same. All of your coworkers are of the same ethnicity, gender, educational background, and socioeconomic standing. Would you be able to easily generate new ideas? Would the group have the ability to understand things from a different point of view? Without diversity in the workplace, organizations run the risk of becoming monocultural and only viewing things from a very limited perspective. The organization provides the structure for operation of the business and often defines the culture, but it's the individuals interacting within the organization who carry out the mission of the organization.

Rather than address the legal underpinnings and requirements related to diversity, this course focuses on how to leverage the diversity that exists within the organization. It defines diversity and dispels some common myths that surround the topic of diversity. The importance of diversity within the ever-changing workplace is described, including the impact of globalization. This course also discusses the barriers and challenges that must be overcome in order to create a diversified working environment. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Workplace Harassment Prevention for Employees (30 minutes)

Harassment at work can have a corrosive effect on an organization's culture and can lead to low employee morale, reduced productivity, and even criminal liability. Focusing on the forms of harassment prohibited by federal law, this course will provide an overview of the types of behaviors that can give rise to harassment claims, including those based on gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age, and disability. It will also discuss the benefits of and strategies for promoting a respectful work environment that is free of all forms of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.

If you have questions about harassment either during or after this course, please contact the designated human resources professional at your company who is trained in this area.This course was developed with subject matter support provided by the Labor and Employment Practice Group of the law firm of Burr & Forman LLP. Please note, however, that the course materials and content are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Nothing herein, or in the course materials, shall be construed as professional advice as to any particular situation or constitute a legal opinion with respect to compliance with any federal, state, or local laws. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information contained herein is provided only as general information that may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. This information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

FERPA (5 minutes)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. This module explains to all school faculty, staff, contractors and student employees the rules and regulations they must follow when handing student information.

Safe Computing (40 minutes)

  • Hacked- No matter how effective a security team and their processes are, there will be incidents. This module focuses on how employees can help by identifying and reporting an incident. We cover things to look for, such as suspicious activity or virus alerts and whom to report an incident to.
  • Data Protection- Organizations have a tremendous amount of sensitive information they must take extra steps to protect. This module explains steps, including the use of only authorized systems to store or process sensitive information, restrictions on transferring or sharing such information, and requirements for securely disposing of sensitive data.
  • Passwords- Passwords are the keys to the kingdom and employees must guard them well. We cover what passwords are, why they are important, what makes a strong password and how they can be easily remembered. In addition we cover how to protect and safely use passwords, including the use of different passwords, not sharing passwords with others and the risks of logging in from public computers.
  • Social Networking- Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have exploded in popularity, with employees and managers sharing all sorts of private information, not only about themselves but about their work. Cyber attackers know this and use this information for identity theft, spreading malware, scams and even targeted attacks. We discuss these risks and the steps your employees can take to protect themselves and your organization.
  • Browsers- The browser has become the gateway to the Internet; it is the primary tool that employees use for online activity. As such, browsers (and their plugins) have become a common target for attackers. We teach people about these attacks and how to browse safely, including keeping the browser and plugins updated, avoiding bad neighborhoods, and being careful of and scanning what they download.
  • Email and IM- One of the primary means of attacks and exploitation is through email. Email is used for both simple, large scale attacks and more targeted spear phishing attacks. We explain how these attacks work, including recent examples of phishing, spear phishing, malicious attachments and links, and scams. We then explain how to detect these attacks, how to respond to them, and how to use both email and IM securely.
  • Social Engineering- Many of today’s most common cyber attacks are based on social engineering. As such, we explain what social engineering is, how attackers fool people and what to look out for. We then demonstrate several common social engineering attacks, including a non-technical and technical example. We finish how people can detect these attacks and how to respond to them.
  • You Are The Target- Employees often believe they are not a target, exposing your organization to tremendous risk. This module addresses that misconception by explaining how they are under attack and why. In addition, we explain that that this training will not only protect them at work but at home. This engages people, helping ensure the success of your organization’s security awareness program.

Electives (Students must complete one module in each category and all modules in the Career Management Module. It is recommended each student work with their supervisor in identifying which topics would be most beneficial.)

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

Problem Solving: Determining and Building Your Strengths (1 hour)

Achieving your problem-solving goals typically involves applying problem-solving skills and tools through various steps in an established problem-solving process. Whatever you think of your current problem-solving skills, it is always possible to improve upon them, and even to develop new skills. To improve, you first need to assess your existing problem-solving style, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and develop an ongoing strategy for sharpening and building your skills. You also need to recognize the key barriers that lie in the way of effective problem solving – your biases – and develop techniques for reducing their impact on your ability to solve problems.

This course helps you assess and develop your problem-solving skills, and also aims to help you recognize and overcome several types of bias. The course first takes you through the process of assessing and interpreting your existing problem-solving styles. It then introduces approaches for identifying areas for improvement in your problem-solving skill set and recommends strategies for enhancing key skills. Finally, it explains how to recognize and overcome biases in a problem-solving situation. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Ethical Decision Making Simulation (1 hour)

Ethical distinctions are rarely distinct, which poses a problem for many businesses and their employees. How can decision makers ensure their policies and choices adhere to ethical standards and maintain a positive public image? The answer isn't simple, but by utilizing an ethical framework and weighing decisions against ethical filters, corporate officers, managers, and employees can remain confident that their choices comply with all applicable laws and regulations and adhere to the highest professional standards within their industry. The Ethical Decision Making Simulation is designed to help employees understand and apply the fundamentals of making ethical decisions. Over the course of the simulation, participants will practice ethical decision making skills, encompassing the objectives of applying ethical filters to decision making, making an ethical decision, and utilizing an ethical framework.

Decision Making: Making Touch Decisions (1 hour)

Making decisions in your personal and professional life is not always easy, especially when you're dealing with an uncertain or unknown future. And there are many situations that can make decision making particularly challenging, such as when you have to weigh very similar or very disparate alternatives then make compromises and trade-offs between them. Another situation is when you have to determine whether to trust logic, intuition, or some combination of the two.

This course reviews a number of these decision-making challenges and introduces strategies for dealing effectively with uncertainty, making informed trade-offs using a systematic process, and placing appropriate trust in your intuition when making difficult decisions. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Critical Thinking Essentials: Applying Critical Thinking Skills (1 hour)

Your thinking can have a significant effect on the quality of your life – it determines how well you work through complex problems, make decisions, and accomplish your goals. That's why developing critical thinking skills is so important. To think critically is a practical goal – one you can apply to every question, issue, or problem you face. This course explains how critical thinking promotes creative thinking. It also describes the skills required for critical thinking and how to apply critical thinking to decisions, problems, or issues in the workplace.

Oral Communication

Customer Service over the Phone (1 hour)

Can you hear a smile over the phone? When you're providing customer service over the phone – without the benefits of face-to-face interaction with your customer – it can be challenging to establish the right relationship for excellent service. Just like for face-to-face customer service, there are many techniques for service over the phone that can help you to consistently deliver the best customer service.

This course covers the basic rules for answering a customer call including greeting the customer and offering your assistance. It includes information on how to make a good impression by listening and using questions to probe for more information, using your tone, and being able to empathize and be sincere with the customer. This course also describes ways of reflecting or adapting to your customer's style. In the end, customer service should focus on how to better serve and benefit the customer. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Communicating Successfully in the American Workplace (1 hour)

When you start working in an American workplace, you may be surprised by some of the differences in the communication style there, compared to your own. Culture influences how people send and interpret messages. To work effectively with people from another culture, it is beneficial to understand their communication style. This course describes the typical characteristics of the American communication style. It also explains some nonverbal communication behavior you may encounter in an American work context, and it presents general guidelines for communicating effectively both verbally and nonverbally in a US work environment.

Solution Selling: Mastering the Essentials (1 hour)

Today's sales professionals are trained to be effective purveyors of products and services. However, standalone sales often represent missed opportunities because customers rarely think beyond their immediate need. Solution selling is a consultative process where the sales professional becomes an invaluable resource to the customer. It's a method of addressing all the customer's needs – whether those needs are expressed or unexpressed – for today and into the future. In fact, solution selling is the development of a long-term relationship between the sales professional and the customer, and it represents an ongoing process built on communication, trust, understanding, and mutual respect.

Sales professionals need to be nimble and solution-centric. This course introduces the fundamentals of solution selling, including an explanation of solution selling and why it's important, the core principles of solution selling, and how the process of solution selling works.

Understanding the Risks of Using Internet Media and Electronic Communications (1 hour)

Regular use of the Internet and electronic communications is a way of life for most people, as technology makes it easier to communicate with coworkers, clients, family, and friends. The near constant availability of e-mail, social and professional networking web sites, smart phones, and other tools has blurred the line between work and home to the point where our online activities at home may have an impact on our companies and employment. Most employers encourage employees to use the Internet and other electronic communication tools for business purposes, and some employers also permit a certain level of personal use in the workplace as well. For this reason, it's important to be familiar with your company's policy on Internet use and electronic communications.

Basic Presentation Skills: Delivering a Presentation (1 hour)

Excellence in presentation can be achieved when the standard of your delivery matches the quality of your content. You may have carefully planned and structured what you want to say, but if you deliver your message in a monotone while standing stiffly, you're probably not going to captivate the audience. Having diligently prepared for your presentation, you need to make sure that your delivery is engaging. You need to communicate your enthusiasm to the audience if you want them to be enthusiastic about your ideas. At the same time, you must appear composed and confident. This course describes how to make your delivery successful and memorable. It covers techniques for managing stage fright – the biggest problem most speakers have. It also explains how to set the right environment for your presentation by making the right choices about room layout and by preparing the room, including the equipment, lighting, and temperature. You'll also find out how to use your voice and body language to deliver your message clearly and effectively. Finally, the course outlines guidelines for handling audience questions – an area most speakers are also very concerned about. After all, how credible the audience finds you can be swayed by how effectively you answer the difficult questions that come up.

Teamwork/Collaboration

Essential Skills for Administrative Support Professionals Simulation (30 minutes)

The role of the administrative support professional today reaches far beyond the dated cliche of the secretary answering phones and filing documents. Effective administrative support professionals require an extensive array of skills, including communication, organizational, managerial, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills. Without such skills, the administrative support professional risks both his or her success and the success of his or her boss. The simulation Essential Skills for Administrative Support Professionals is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to practice administrative support skills in a secure, virtual environment before facing the challenge of an actual, real-world scenario. Over the course of the simulation, participants will be tested on the objectives of working effectively to meet your boss's needs, executing common administrative support tasks, maintaining an effective relationship with your boss, and putting your best foot forward. The simulation Essential Skills for Administrative Support Professionals comprises three scenarios and is based on the SkillSoft Series "Administrative Professionals."

Being an Effective Team Member (1 hour)

A truly effective team is equal to more than the sum of its parts. And it takes the dedication of every member of the team. Effective team members go beyond themselves and their personal desires and goals. If you want to be an effective team member, your challenge is to put the team first, which means maximizing your contributions to help the team accomplish its purpose.

This course covers strategies and techniques to help you become an effective and valued member of your team. Specifically, you'll explore ways for adopting a positive approach to being on a team, like recognizing the benefits of working on a team and learning to tolerate team member differences. You'll also learn how to work proactively and collaboratively with members of your team as you achieve your team's goals.

Written Communication

Troublesome Words and Phrases: Common Usage Mistakes in writing (29 minutes)

The many nuances and conventions in the English language make it diverse and interesting but sometimes difficult too. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common errors of usage. This course describes how to use commonly confused words correctly, including word pairs that sound alike and those that have related meanings. It also covers verbs that are often misused – for example, affect and effect or apprise and appraise. In addition, the course reviews some idiomatic combinations of verbs and prepositions that can be confusing.

Creating Well-Constructed Sentences (36 minutes)

Syntax is the grammatical term for arranging words to create logical phrases, clauses, and sentences. Well-constructed sentences express an idea by using the parts of speech in a logical and clear order. A misplaced modifier might get a chuckle out of the reader, but it doesn't help your reputation or that of your company. In this course, you'll review basic sentence construction, including how to develop sentences that are logical, clear, and powerful – the basis of any sound business document. The course examines the parts of a sentence – the subject and predicate, for example – and distinguishes between phrases and clauses. It shows the importance of subject-verb agreement, as well as agreement between pronouns and their antecedents. You'll also find out how to identify and fix some of the most common types of sentence errors.

Using Punctuation Marks (30 minutes)

Punctuation is the collection of marks used to separate sentences and their parts. Appropriate punctuation will make your meaning clear and less likely to be misinterpreted. This course covers the standard rules and guidelines for using punctuation marks, including the correct use of periods, question marks, and exclamation points. It also covers how to correctly use commas, one of the most common punctuation marks. The course includes rules for using different connecting and separating marks, such as colons, semicolons, dashes, and hyphens. In addition, it shows how to properly use apostrophes, parentheses, brackets, and quotation marks.

Abbreviating, Capitalizing, and Using Numbers (33 minutes)

No doubt you've had to use abbreviations, capital letters, and numbers in your business writing. But are you using them correctly? This course presents the basic rules related to capital letters, abbreviations, and numbers. It covers abbreviations of titles, names, locations, and countries, as well as how to capitalize direct quotes, titles, names of organizations, and product names, among other elements. In addition, you will be introduced to the forms and uses of numbers with dates and time, money, fractions, and symbols.

Getting the Details Right: Spelling Basics (29 minutes)

Spelling errors are all too common. A wrong letter here, an extra letter there, and your reader loses faith. Knowing the rules, as well as the exceptions, when it comes to details like spelling can help you write clearly without errors. This course explains how to spell words with prefixes and suffixes, and how to form the plural and possessive forms of words. It also covers general rules on how to spell correctly and presents tips to help you become a better speller.

Writing Effective E-mails and Instant Messages (28 minutes)

E-mail has become an indispensable part of the way organizations communicate, conduct business, and maintain their operations. Knowing e-mail etiquette is key to using this business tool effectively. It can help ensure you get messages across quickly, appropriately, and concisely. This course introduces tried-and-true guidelines for e-mailing effectively, fundamental elements every e-mail should contain, and the importance of keeping e-mails concise. The course also covers the etiquette associated with using instant messaging programs as an extension of e-mail.

Writing and Preparing an Effective Speech (23 minutes)

Not everybody is a natural public speaker. Some people are more eloquent and outgoing than others, but that doesn't automatically mean they can deliver an effective speech. In fact, public speaking requires significant planning and preparation. It's a learnable skill. This course teaches you how to prepare for public speaking, including determining your objective and audience profile, choosing your topic, and defining the theme of your speech. It also describes best practices to follow when planning, researching, and writing your speech.

Global/Intercultural Fluency

Promoting respect in the Global Workplace (employee addition) (30 minutes)

As an employee, it is important for you to act respectfully toward all your coworkers, whether they're located in the next office or on the other side of the globe. This course explains the benefits to everyone of supporting a respectful workplace and illustrates basic principles for promoting professional interaction in the workplace.

This course was developed with subject matter support provided by Mason Hayes+Curran. Please note however that it does not constitute legal or commercial advice, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Neither is it intended to provide a comprehensive or detailed statement of the law. No liability whatsoever is accepted by Mason Hayes+Curran or SkillSoft for any action taken in reliance on the information in this document. This content is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced by you without our prior written consent.

Promoting respect in the Global Workplace (Manager Addition) (30 minutes)

As a manager, you play a vital role in supporting your company's efforts to create a workplace defined by respectful and professional interaction between employees. This includes not only preventing illegal harassment, but also avoiding intimidating, hostile, or otherwise uncivil behavior. You have a responsibility to model appropriate behavior in how you treat your employees and to address any instances of inappropriate conduct swiftly and appropriately. This course explains why it is important for a company to foster a respectful work environment. It also presents strategies for addressing inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

This course was developed with subject matter support provided by Mason Hayes+Curran. Please note however that it does not constitute legal or commercial advice, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Neither is it intended to provide a comprehensive or detailed statement of the law. No liability whatsoever is accepted by Mason Hayes+Curran or SkillSoft for any action taken in reliance on the information in this document. This content is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced by you without our prior written consent.

Global Diversity (30 minutes)

The modern workforce is as diverse as the world in which it exists, with employees representing an extraordinary variety of abilities, cultures, ethnicities, beliefs, and languages. But not all organizations have the strategic foresight to tap in to the wealth of human capital available to them. Even when there is commitment from leadership, inclusion and diversity goals don't always make it through to the workplace. To leverage the full potential of the workforce, it's important for organizations, managers, and employees to evaluate and improve the ways in which they support diversity and inclusion, and help ensure employees are being treated fairly.

In this course, you'll learn about the characteristics of inclusive workplaces and the benefits of supporting diversity. You'll discover the challenges and barriers to inclusion in the workplace, and learn about recognizing discrimination and bullying. You'll also cover workplace inclusion and accommodation practices, including strategies for promoting inclusion, and how inclusion policies and procedures support employees.

How Culture Impacts Communication (30 minutes)

With so much business happening on a global scale, cross-cultural communication is more important than ever before. Communication is always a challenge, and when diverse cultures interact, good communication can be even more challenging. In this course, you'll learn about the importance of achieving a proper mindset for cross-cultural communication. You'll explore aspects of cultures that affect how people communicate across cultural boundaries. You'll learn also considerations for speaking and writing in cross-cultural environments.

Building Innovation Cultures and Leaders (30 minutes)

Innovation is a critical component of just about every organization. Building and supporting an innovative culture is a responsibility for leaders and employees across organizational hierarchies. In this course, you'll learn about business innovation cultures and types of innovation leadership. You'll also learn about the importance of committing to aspects of innovation, including experimentation, risk management, and project execution. Finally, you'll learn how to attract and nurture innovation in your organization.

Information Technology Application

The Internet, Social Media, and Electronic Communication (1 hour)

Regular use of the Internet and electronic communications is a way of life for most people, as technology makes it easier to communicate with coworkers, clients, family, and friends. The near constant availability of e-mail, social and professional networking web sites, smartphones, and other tools has blurred the line between work and home to the point where our online activities at home may have an impact on our companies and employment. Most employers encourage staff to use the Internet and other electronic communication tools for business purposes, and some employers also permit a certain level of personal use in the workplace as well. For this reason, it's important to be familiar with your company's policy on Internet use and electronic communications. This course provides background information to be considered in light of your own company's policies. You will learn about some generally accepted best practices for protecting your own and your company's best interests while using e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, as well as other Internet technologies such as social networking sites and blogs.

This course was developed with subject matter support provided by Davenport Lyons. Please note, however, that the course materials and content are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Nothing herein, or in the course materials, shall be construed as professional advice as to any particular situation or constitute a legal opinion with respect to compliance with legal statutes or statutory instruments. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a solicitor-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking independent legal advice.

Privacy and Information Security (1 hour)

Information about individuals is used by businesses to provide customers with a huge array of targeted goods and personalized services that consumers have come to expect. If it lands in the wrong hands, this same information can result in harm to the very individuals it was meant to serve. The protection of an individual's personal information has business implications that extend beyond the privacy of any one individual. Private information relative to certain businesses and industries is protected by various laws. For example the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws protect private medical information. Many states have enacted their own laws, and the federal government is regulated by the Privacy Act of 1974. Legislatures are increasingly responding to calls for greater protection of private information, and stories of improper disclosures of large volumes of private information receive prominent media attention. At present, there is no broad, general federal law protecting the privacy of customer information; most protections are aimed at particular types of information (such as medical or student records, for example) or particular types of businesses (such as medical providers, banks, and financial services businesses, for example). Customers and consumers expect their information to be protected and businesses that recognize the need to make privacy part of their business strategy, are ahead of the game. Many companies have gone to great lengths to protect information using technological advances. However, the ability of a business to protect private information it collects as part of its business is only as strong as its weakest link – the human factor – something that technology just can't overcome. This course is aimed at helping individuals who work with private information understand the ways that this information can be disclosed inadvertently. It will ensure that private information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Leadership

The Voice of Leadership: Self-assessment and Motivation (1 hour)

It's exciting when you can see your leadership development progress. Understanding how far you've come, and knowing what areas need improvement, increases your motivation to continue to grow as a leader. You can change your behaviors and increase your motivation by learning.

This course covers techniques leaders can use to carry out a self-assessment, such as reflective journaling, using surveys and checklists, and conducting 360-degree feedback. It also provides you with ways to increase your motivation, and manage your own learning, by creating a leadership development plan that enables you to cultivate your own leadership growth.

Leading Teams: Managing Virtual Teams (1 hour)

Virtual teams are emerging as the basic unit for conducting business of all types. Studies show that over 80% of workers today are involved in some way with team members who are not physically located in the same office. Virtual communication networks have made virtual teams possible, while globalization has made them a necessity. Leading virtual teams presents new challenges to leaders and managers. Virtual team leaders must find ways to successfully manage people who are separated by distance, time zones, and cultural differences.

This course offers leaders a framework for successfully leading virtual teams. It outlines the key competencies that members of virtual teams should possess and offers guidelines for specific virtual team activities, such as teleconferencing and decision making. It also highlights a variety of tools and technologies that are commonly used for collaboration on virtual teams and presents guidelines for knowing how to choose the right technologies for specific situations. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Leading Teams: Establishing Goals, Roles, and Guidelines (1 hour)

The way in which a team is built is an important factor in determining team success. Leading a team quickly and smoothly into high performance mode requires the groundwork of setting team goals, identifying project tasks and assigning the right people to them, and defining the standards of team behavior to ensure team members work together so that team objectives are met.

This course covers techniques for laying the foundation for a successful team. These techniques include setting team goals, assigning roles to individual team members, and defining specific guidelines that outline how team members should behave to minimize conflict and optimize team performance. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Professionalism/Work Ethic

Professionalism, Business Etiquette, and Personal Accountability (30 minutes)

Taking responsibility for meeting your objectives, including deadlines and work targets, is an important component of good business etiquette and demonstrates your attitude of professionalism. While it can be difficult at times, being accountable for delivering on your objectives shows you are reliable, organized, and dedicated to your work.

This course introduces the importance of personal accountability and outlines strategies for developing a personal accountability framework. This helps empower you to be your own boss, set your own standards, and carry yourself with professionalism and confidence. It provides you with techniques to set appropriate goals based on your abilities and available resources. And it shows you how to develop an action plan to achieve your goals and use techniques to better manage your energy levels.

Personal Productivity Improvement: Managing Tasks and Maximizing Productivity (1 hour)

Do highly productive people have some innate skill that others do not? Or do people become productive because of their choices and actions? This course teaches that anyone can be productive if they choose to be – and follow it up with action. People tend to become less productive when faced with major projects, often feeling overwhelmed or unable to complete what's required of them.

This course examines task management and 'chunking' and how they can help workloads seem much less overwhelming. It also looks at how to determine which are priority tasks and which are nonessential. And it examines the importance of scheduling and detailing schedule items using a to-do list. Taking time to create a schedule at the start will save you time and energy in the long run. And knowing how to properly use a to-do list can help maximize personal productivity.

Time Management: Analyzing Your Use of Time (1 hour)

Do you have too much time on your hands? With all of the pressures of modern life, so few people today do. In order to preserve your time, you have to know how to manage it. And the first step in learning how to manage time well is to understand how you make use of it now. This will help you determine where can you be more efficient.

This course focuses on ways to analyze your current use of time. It covers how to use a time log to document and then assess your time use. It also describes how your energy levels and personality affect how you manage time, and outlines ways to better manage time in accordance with your personality type and energy cycle. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Campus to Corporate: Developing a Professional Image (1 hour)

Projecting a professional image is vital to career success. Knowing how to dress is part of it, but there's much more. It's about demonstrating your best qualities through the attitude you bring to your work. And it's about respecting yourself, your job, your organization, and your coworkers. This course explains how you can show professionalism by your appearance and by following rules of conduct – for example, rules about using cell phones at work or about what you publish on social networking sites, even on your own time. It also offers guidance on the basics of how to communicate in a professional manner. Finally, it helps you recognize and avoid e-mail blunders that could diminish your professional image.

Developing Your Reputation of Professionalism with Business Etiquette (1 hour)

Your reputation often precedes you in any work environment. It can define your creditability, impact your career opportunities, and shape your relationships with your colleagues. Because your reputation is so important, you must proactively build a positive one if you want to succeed in your career. Developing a professional reputation takes more than simply having the right skills and talents for the job. It's about being self-aware, polite, and essentially treating those you interact with in a respectful way. This course introduces you to the basics of how to act professionally and practice proper business etiquette. It also explains how to present yourself in the work environment, including looking the part of a professional and ensuring your workspace reflects positively on you. And it looks at how to ensure your personal activities don't impact your work reputation, which is especially important in the time of far-reaching social media.

Succeeding in the American Workplace (1 hour)

Efficiency, achievement, and action are important workplace values in the United States. And being successful in an American workplace can depend on how well you adopt practices that reflect these values. For example, do you actively look for ways to make things better in your organization? Do you know how to conduct meetings efficiently? Are you able to make decisions quickly and effectively when working in time-sensitive situations? This course describes effective workplace practices and behaviors related to these and other areas that can help you succeed in the American workplace.

Optimizing Your Work/Life Balance: Maintaining Your Life Balance (1 hour)

You have the knowledge to assess current work/life balance and overcome internal and external obstacles to achieving balance. You know where you are and where you want to be, but now what? How do you achieve and maintain that balance? How will it be affected by external factors and behaviors?

This course will focus on techniques for maintaining work/life balance. It includes recognizing the behaviors of passiveness, aggressiveness, and assertiveness and how those affect a person's ability to find balance in life. Techniques that can be used to achieve and preserve balance are also discussed. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.

Career Management

Building & Managing Upward Relationships

Positive working relationships yield knowledge, cooperation, and influence at all levels of your organization, and managing them should be one of your prime objectives. Nowhere is this more true, however, than with upward relationships, both with your boss and those higher.

Setting Goals

Goals provide a roadmap for your performance and development, but setting goals requires you to consider more than your own objectives. You must keep your company's mission and vision in mind. This Challenge product explores setting appropriate goals. During this exercise, you will play the role of a research analyst for a consumer and market research firm.

Developing Your Career

Career development requires foresight and proactive management. This Challenge explores methods of planning and executing an effective career development path.

Planning Your Career

You have the power to advance your career. So how can you do this? This challenge explores the ways you can be proactive in advancing your career and successful in achieving your career goals. The learner takes the role of an IT professional working in the Information Services group of a pharmaceutical company.

Tracking

Sycamore eLearning will be used to track completion of activities

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions about the ISU Career Center Workplace Professional Skills Certificate. If you have additional questions not addressed in this document or in our overview, please feel free to contact us at (812) 237-5000; isu-career-center@mail.indstate.edu.

Why is completing the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate of benefit to me?

Employers who recruit students consistently tell us they are looking for students who possess professionalism and maturity, as well as a realistic understanding of workplace expectations. This certificate will show employers your commitment to your professional development and will prepare you to be competitive in the job market on campus and after graduation. On campus employers will often tie raises in student wages to the completion of the certificate program.

Can I put this on my résumé and Co-Curricular Record?

Yes! Any student who completes the certificate program should highlight this accomplishment on their résumés and be prepared to talk about the benefits of the program in interviews. The certificate achievement will also be noted on your co-curricular record.

How long does it take to complete the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate?

The certificate program is designed to be self-paced. All items need to be completed before your graduation date.

Is there a penalty for not completing the program?

While there is no penalty for not completing the certificate, please contact us if you decide you no longer wish to be involved.

Can I complete the program during my working hours?

If your supervisor agrees, the certificate modules can be completed during your working hours.

What is Sycamore eLearning?

Sycamore eLearning is the E-Learning Campus website powered by Skillsoft which provides cloud based learning solutions for ISU student, faculty, and staff.

How do I log into Sycamore eLearning?

In the browser, navigate to the Sycamore e-Learning login page. In the Sycamore ID box, enter your portal id and in the Password box enter your portal password.

Where can I find the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate Program in Sycamore eLearning?

After you have registered for the program, you will be enrolled into the course. You can find the program by selecting View Learning Plan on the home page. The modules for the course will be listed in your Assigned Folder.

I am a supervisor on campus and I would like to see the modules my student(s) has completed?

Feel free to contact us at (812) 237-5000; isu-career-center@mail.indstate.edu with the student(s) name and University ID Number and we can provide this information to you.

I started a module but I need to leave, can I pick up where I left off?

Yes. There is a bookmark function that will save your location in the module.

How will I know when a module has been completed?

When you have completed all of the required items for the module a green circle will appear next to the title of the course.

I am a supervisor at ISU and I would like to suggest a module to be included as an elective for the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate Program for the students employed in my area. How can I include it?

We invite supervisors to submit potential modules to the Career Center for consideration. Submit your request to us at (812) 237-5000; isu-career-center@mail.indstate.edu and will evaluate all requests and confirm inclusion.