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Professional Development Opportunities

This site provides a convenient location for UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff to discover learning and development opportunities at Carolina as well as through other schools and organizations.

Learning & Development Policy Statement

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is strongly committed to a campus environment in which all members of the University community are encouraged to pursue opportunities for learning and professional growth and to draw on the institution’s own intellectual resources as well as external sources in seeking those opportunities. Such an environment is fundamental to staff morale and retention and to the character of a premier education institution. While responsibility lies with the employee to seek appropriate learning activities, it is essential for this to occur within a supportive institutional climate. The leadership of the University places particular importance on the role of supervisors in enabling employees to achieve their educational goals and expects those in supervisory positions to support and encourage the participation of staff members in learning activities as fully as possible within the framework of an effective workplace. Employees are encouraged to seek the assistance of their supervisors and other university employees as they develop a professional development plan.

Manager & Employee Responsibilities in Staff Training & Education

As a University employer, we should be especially committed to the continued training and education of our employees. Through careful attention to training and development of our employees, we can insure that the skills of the University workforce keep pace with the changes in the University environment. In this context, the Employee Forum has approved and recommended to me the attached statement of “Manager/Employee Responsibilities in Staff Training/Education.” (Chancellor William O. McCoy, 2000)

Roles & Responsibilities for Managers

  • Familiarize Yourself about Opportunities: Be knowledgeable about opportunities on this campus, especially those provided by Human Resources (OHR) and Information Technology Services (ITS). Learn what training is available from other sources that support your employees’ specific trade or profession.
  • Publicize Training/Education Activities: Ensure that employees have access to information about training activities. Do this via bulletin boards, staff meetings, and circulation of appropriate Deans/Directors/Department Head memoranda and other internal communications.
  • Strongly Support Job-Specific Training: Job-related training equips the employee to do a better, more productive job. Provide paid time for employees to take classes, cover any fees possible from the departmental budget, and provide adequate release from immediate duties to promote learning.
  • Encourage and Promote Training/Education for Career Growth: Even if opportunities are not directly duty-related but support a career growth plan for the employee, support the activity as much as possible. Investigate compromises including use of paid and personal time for activities.
  • Foster a Learning Environment and Attitude: Expect employees to learn and develop skills, and have a positive attitude towards career improvement and growth. Make learning part of the culture of your organization.

Roles & Responsibilities for Employees

  • Do Early Homework:You are responsible for investigating the course and determining if it is appropriate for you. Make certain you have mastered any prerequisite skills. If you are uncertain about whether to take the class, talk with others who have taken it or contact the instructor for more information if possible.
  • Plan with the Manager:Talk with your manager about your desire to participate in training programs and classes. Go into the meeting with a suggested plan of how you will get your work done during the period that you will attend classes. Ask your manager for opportunities to apply your new skills.
  • Take Responsibility and Use Available Resources: You are in charge of your learning. Take advantage of the class time, practice sessions, and instructor’s knowledge while in class. Use resources such as suggested follow-up reading materials, on-line help, quick reference cards, software manuals, and training manuals.
  • Participate:Learning is an active process! Active learners ask questions, do the work, participate in discussions, and take notes. Get involved and you will better master the new skills and, more importantly, remember them for later use.
  • Take Charge of Career Development:Be responsible for taking the lead in your own career development. If you want to get a better job, take steps to find out what training, experience, and education you need to get a better position.

Opportunities at UNC-Chapel Hill

Academic Credit

  • UNC-Chapel Hill employees are eligible to receive a tuition waiver for three courses per academic year. See the Tuition Waiver Program site for information.
  • If you wish to be admitted to a degree program, you will need to apply through one of the offices listed below. The one you should use will depend on the program of study you are interested in pursuing. Each admissions office has different procedures, forms, fees, and deadlines. Faculty and staff who are not currently pursuing a degree but would like to take some University courses or who wish to enroll part-time while pursuing a degree may enroll by applying for admission through the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.
  • Although each program normally requires an admissions fee in order to apply, UNC-Chapel Hill supports its employees’ participation in academic credit opportunities by providing a fee waiver. Employees can receive an admissions fee waiver when applying to any UNC-Chapel Hill academic program. (See Support for Education for more information about resources for paying for your education.)
Some programs of study require standardized testing, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT tests, as part of the admissions process. The Educational Test Service (ETS) administers most of the standardized tests used by colleges. Also included below are links to organizations that offer test preparation short courses.

Professional Development and Training

UNC-Chapel Hill provides many learning opportunities. The following Web sites have information on training programs available to faculty and staff at UNC-Chapel Hill. Although most programs are available to all faculty and staff, some are designed specifically for certain employee groups, as indicated below.
  • Training & Development Programs (Office of Human Resources)
    Programs in career development, financial planning, HR policies, interpersonal skills, managerial and supervisory skills, and office skills improvement. Open to faculty and staff. Most courses are free.
  • ITS Teaching and Learning
    Programs for faculty and other teaching staff on integrating technology into course instruction.
  • Center for Faculty Excellence
    Resources for faculty and other teaching staff, including curriculum development, faculty development, teaching assistant development, instructional development, and teaching evaluation and review.
  • Research Computing Applications Training
    Hands-On Computer Workshops. The Statistical Support Group offers several workshops in SAS and SAS/ASSIST, a graphical interface that allows the user to perform many SAS operations.
  • Environment, Health & Safety
    Mandatory safety training for all University positions.
  • Office of Sponsored Research
    Programs on grant management and compliance open to faculty and staff.
  • Materials Management and Disbursement Services
    Training on the financial systems used at UNC-Chapel Hill, including FRS, PR-Assist, Check Requests, and Travel. Open to faculty and staff.
  • Finance Division Training
    Classroom and computer-based training on the financial systems used at UNC-Chapel Hill. Open to faculty and staff.
Training programs for specific employee groups:

Enrichment Programs

These units offer educational programs that do not carry academic credit.

Other Local Educational Opportunities

Universities and Colleges

Community Colleges

Office of State Human Resources Courses

The Human Resource Development Group in the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) offers training sessions for state employees throughout the year. These courses are targeted to public sector managers, supervisors, administrative support specialists, Human Resources professionals, and employees who want to increase their knowledge and improve their skills to be more productive and effective. For more information, see the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources Training Calendar.

Recreational Learning Programs

These local agencies offer recreational and enrichment programs throughout the year. Visit their Web sites to find more information about their current offerings.

Financial Support for Education

The following programs are available to UNC-Chapel Hill employees to assist with the costs of their education and ongoing career development and personal growth. Please note that these programs have deadlines for submitting the appropriate paperwork in order to receive the benefit. Deadlines are explained in the policies. Contact Benefits Program Administration in the Office of Human Resources for additional information.
The following are resources on financial aid programs for study at UNC or at other institutions.
In addition to financial assistance, supervisors are encouraged to support work schedules for employees in their work units so that educational opportunities may be pursued.

Updates and Other Information

  • Organization & Professional Development in the Office of Human Resources maintains the listings on this page but does not manage the programs themselves. If you have any problems accessing the pages listed, please call Organization & Professional Development at 962-2550. For questions about these particular programs, contact the program sponsors as listed on the individual websites.
  • The Office of Human Resources provides this information solely as a convenience to UNC-Chapel Hill employees and their families. The Office of Human Resources does not warrant or recommend any product, service, or organization listed.