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Lincoln University offers professional development through online programs

by Ryan Pivoney | June 7, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Karen Vaught, Jessica Prettyman, Candace Moore and Yvonne Johnson work in Lincoln University's bursar office, which is completing professional development training through LinkedIn Learning. The staff complete learning modules monthly and recently finished one on resolving workplace conflicts. Submitted photo

A pair of online training programs is helping Lincoln University offer professional development to staff and students.

Spurred by requests from university employees, Lincoln administration bought access to LinkedIn Learning and Academic Impressions, two online educational platforms focused on professional development skills.

"Our employees said they wanted more professional development, so we enabled them to build and hone their skills through these resources," University President John Moseley said in a news release. "The end result is a multiplier -- we improve our employees' capabilities and career potential, we help our students become more competitive in the job market when they graduate, and we improve how we do business each day on campus."

LinkedIn Learning is an online educational platform with more than 15,000 course videos led by industry experts.

Staff began using the platform during the spring semester before the university recently expanded access to students as well.

Staff within the university's bursar office is taking a LinkedIn Learning module each month. The office recently completed a module centered around resolving workplace confrontations.

Lincoln's bursar staff complete the 30-minute modules independently but set expectations to move through the monthly training as a unit to improve as a team.

Moseley said the program helps staff be more effective by developing professional skills and improving customer service.

To bolster those skills among some of the university's leaders, Lincoln also offered online Academic Impressions training during the spring semester.

The six-week program for academic deans covered how to balance competing faculty and administrative interests, working with limited resources and maintaining scholarship and teaching loads as a leader. The course was also aimed at improving communication and collaboration skills, managing difficult employee issues and resolving conflicts.

Ann McSwain, dean of the college of professional studies, welcomed the program as a life-long learner.

"While I have always sought out professional development opportunities in the past, now Lincoln University has implemented a leadership development plan for all our academic leaders," she said. "We know that better (prepared) leaders will get better results for our students and for Lincoln University."

Soon after the deans took the course, Academic Impressions training was offered to academic department leaders in March.

Stephanie Clark, chair for the school of education, said it provided her a deeper look into her own leadership style and offered ways to create a productive and rewarding work environment for staff in their department.

Moseley said he wants to ensure Lincoln employees have tools that will help them achieve their full career potential.

"We are in the business of improving lives through education, and LinkedIn Learning and Academic Impressions are additional avenues for us to do that," he said. "Our people are our greatest asset, and through these tools, we are investing in professional development for students and employees."

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