In addition to external professional development opportunities like conferences, professional association meetings, formal or informal visits to other institutions, and electronic discussions like listservs or blogs, the organizations represented below conduct training in the local area (please note that the university does not screen or endorse these providers). Visit their Web sites for more information:
Consolidates course schedules from many top workplace training providers, including SkillPath, Fred Pryor, and Padgett-Thompson. Searchable by topic, date, and location.
Emphasizes professional continuing education. Searchable by topic, state, and credit type.
Consolidates course schedules from multiple providers. Searchable by topic and zip code.
Provides a broad range of workplace training topics. Searchable by topic and zip code.
To select the most effective formal training opportunity, we encourage you to consider these factors:
- What is your own learning style? How does that match with the format of the program you’re considering? Does the program format make sense for the content of the session? (For a quick, free, non-scientific but illuminating learning styles assessment, visit Ageless Learner.)
- Does this company or organization have a history of providing training on this topic? Ask to see references—with both glowing and critical reviews—from previous participants.
- If the provider is an educational institution, is it accredited? Are continuing education units certified by IACET and/or accepted by your professional licensing association?
- What learning goals are identified by the seminar providers? Are these consistent with your own goals? Are you very clear about your own needs and goals for the session? Sometimes facilitators can adapt the material to the needs of the group, but you’ll first need to know what you want to get out of the event.
- Are the training facilitators “subject matter experts” or full-time trainers? Is technical expertise required for facilitators to be credible and the training to be effective?
- How many participants will attend with you? Do other participants come from educational institutions, nonprofits, industry? Which would be more beneficial to you, diversity or similarity of experience among participants?
- Will there be time in the session to practice the concepts learned? As much as we sometimes dread learning games, practice is necessary to ensure we understand and internalize conceptual or technical information.
- What kind of pre-event preparation is required, and, if it’s a multiple-day event, will there be homework between days?
- What is the organization’s satisfaction policy—do they offer refunds for less-than-stellar training events? How about refunds or credits for illness or other last-minute absences?
- What resource materials or tools can you bring back with you from the training? Ask to review a sample of materials prior to registering. Are the facilitators or other experts available for consultations after the training, and at what cost?
- Does the organization offer refresher courses or advanced courses at a reduced fee to prior attendees?
- How do the cost, location, length of training and other logistical issues relate to the anticipated benefit of attending?