Education - Page 6 - Diverse post-baccalaureate business programs

- Page 6
Diverse post-baccalaureate business programs
Advancing your career as a working adult

By Carol Sorgen, Contributing Writer

Lieutenant Nick Collins serves as the investigations commander in the Prince George’s County Police Department Regional Investigation Division. When he’s not on the job, however, he’s pursuing a second master’s degree in the University of Baltimore’s criminal justice program.

“As I’ve progressed in my police career, I have wanted to advance in my leadership skills as well,” says Collins.

Noting that he’s a “big UB fan,” Collins appreciates that this program is geared to working adults and is a foundation that he can use every day at work.

According to Patrick Hughes, program director of the master of professional studies in justice leadership and management, which will be offered pending final approval, the program will be offered online to “meet up with the times.”

“Working adults are better able to schedule their classes in this new format,” he says.

The program consists of 10 courses totaling 30 credits, with a capstone experience, all designed to look at leadership within the criminal justice systemfrom diverse angles.“We’re taking the process of leadership and examining it through the lens of public safety organizations,” says Hughes, who adds that a focus on ethics is a large component of the program.

According to Hughes, the program will prepare students for leadership and/or management positions in law enforcement, correctional organizations, probation and parole, juvenile justice, victim services, corporate security, and other criminal justice-related agencies.

Course content includes ethics in criminal justice, crime and policy development, professional communication, politics, legislation and media, administration, systems and applications, leadership development, and strategic crisis management.

For the capstone project, students will combine their knowledge of justice leadership and management, policy and the law, and practical skills to analyze a real-world problem.

Classes are offered online in 10-week semesters and the program can be completed in a year and a half.

Collins hopes that the program will not only help him achieve as high a rank as possible within the police department, but also to make the agency better.“We’re proud of our work, and we have strong community support,” he says. “I hope to continue that.”

Customized Business Programs at Loyola

Loyola University of Maryland offers customized business programs that help an organization achieve its leadership development needs.

According to Scott Moores, Loyola’s director of executive education, there is a need for a “worldclass” leadership program in Baltimore. “With baby boomers retiring, and millennials entering the workforce, there has been a communications gap,”he says. “What is needed is behavioral expertise. From that, technical expertise can follow.”

The executive education programs, housed in Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business, have been designed to promote professional development and provide participants with key tools that can be put into practice right away.

“The goal of each offering is to improve a specific aspect of job performance and to enhance the participant’s immediate potential and professional network,” says Moores.

Developed in conjunction with the executive education programs is the advanced leadership development program, a series of five daylong modules designed to provide management professionals with the knowledge, tools and confidence to improve their daily leadership effectiveness while preparing them for advanced opportunities, according to Leadership Development Partner Gerri Leder.

“The modules, which are geared to those with 10 to 15 years’ business experience, offer time for both reflection and practical application,” says Leder, adding that participant interaction within the sessions is a vital component.

Leadership essentials, which is designed for those with five to 10 years of workplace experience, is geared to future leaders in the beginning and middle of their careers and is designed to address the critical gap between the skills provided by formal education and the full development of seasoned professionals. Leadership essentials cohorts are offered in collaboration with Leadership Howard County and the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Leadership essentials and the advanced leadership development program, Loyola’s experts can collaborate with organizations to design custom programs and workshops, ranging from specific topical sessions to broader multi-faceted programs that can accommodate the development needs of a wide range of experience levels.

Mini MBA workshops also offer a menu of partial-day seminars on such topics as team leadership, finance, accounting, marketing, cybersecurity, economics, project management, data management and database systems.

“These topics are designed to increase business acumen for both emerging and experienced leaders who want to enhance their professional development,” says Moores.

Courses can be held at the organization’s facility, at Loyola’s campuses, or via an online or hybrid online/in-person setup.

“These programs are all designed to effect transformative change within an organization,” says Moores.

Learning to Navigate the Complexities of Federal Procurement and Regulations

Civilian contract specialist Jonathan Carroll, who works at the Army Contracting Command at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, initially planned to return to school to finish his degree in order to advance his career. As he was already working full time, he looked into schools that offered online courses. He ultimately decided on Mount St. Mary’s adult education program, and today says, “I feel I could not have made a better choice.”

“The Mount,” as the university is affectionately known, offered Carroll the opportunity to continue working full time and take a class or two during each evening session, among them courses in government contracting. He completed his undergraduate degree in 2013, and then began to pursue a master’s degree with a certificate in government contracting.

“I saw how a background in contracting could be looked upon as favorable in numerous businesses,” says Carroll. “The contracting courses

Business, continued on page 9

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Above left: Students in the Mount St. Mary’s University graduate certificate program in government contracting.

The value of post-baccalaureate education

Whether you opt for a graduate degree or a subject-specific certificate, “post-bac” education can give you a leg up when it comes to finding a job and/or advancing in your current position or career.

According to Forbes magazine, a master’s degree or certificate can help fill in some of the gaps you may be missing that can keep you from achieving your career goals.

The growth in certificate programs, in particular, has been noteworthy. Last year, the Institute for College Access and Success reported that the number of people who hold post-baccalaureate certificates has jumped more than 50 percent since 2005.

One of the reasons for this growth is the smaller commitment of time and money, usually requiring four to eight graduate-level courses. Certificates are not replacements for graduate degrees, but they do offer working adults the opportunity to learn new skills in their current field, transition to a new career or meet specific licensing requirements. •