UCCS executive training program ready to broaden its reach

by  WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com  Published: October 14, 2013 | 3:30  pm

It’s time for a coming-out party.

For two years, an executive training program in the College of Business at  the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has been quietly offering its  services to a limited number of leaders in the health care and financial  services industries.

Now, the Office of Professional and Executive Development is ready to market  its training and development services to a wider audience, and is publicizing  two upcoming events: a four-day workshop on “Managing and Writing Federal  Proposals” and a two-day program on “Financial Reporting and Analysis for  Commercial Lending Professionals.”

The OPED office is helmed by Shawna Rogers, who was promoted in July to  become its full-time director. For two years, Rogers had split her time between  two jobs, working as project manager for OPED and a similar post at the El Pomar  Institute for Innovation and Commercialization.

Before her shared roles at the two programs, Rogers was assistant to the  director of the Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center from August  2009 to December 2011 and interim director in 2012. She supervised the  day-to-day operations of the center, including support services, event planning  and the coordination of training workshops for small business owners.

Rogers also serves as the staff adviser for the UCCS business  school’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

Rogers, 32, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in  management from New Mexico Highlands University in 2006. She began the master’s  degree in business administration program in innovation management and marketing  at UCCS a year ago and hopes to complete her degree in 2015. Before moving to  the Springs in 2009, Rogers spent eight years as office manager for Bonham &  Associates, a Farmington, N.M., drug and alcohol counseling center.


Rogers recently answered a few questions about the program in an email  interview with The Gazette.

Question: What is the Office of Professional and Executive  Development program?

Answer: OPED is an initiative of the UCCS College of Business to  offer noncredit professional development and continuing education programs.  Through this unit, the college can further support local organizations and  develop the regional work force. OPED develops training programs specifically to  meet the needs of the health care, finance-banking and defense-aerospace  industries. We work with industry professionals and local organizations to  research industry needs and to learn what topics would have immediate value and  impact. Equally important, we believe, is that we provide opportunity for  high-level training programs close to home, eliminating the substantial cost of  travel and additional days away from the office.

Q. Why was the office started?

A. The dean of the UCCS College of Business, Venkat Reddy, has long  had the vision for noncredit, executive education program offerings. In  mid-2011, he had a conversation with Debbie Chandler, CEO of Colorado Springs  Health Partners, who was looking for employee leadership training. She wanted  high-level training programs, but did not want to absorb the cost of sending  employees out of state.

In response, the college hosted a health care industry focus group of CEOs  and leaders from area hospitals and health care organizations to discuss the  specific needs of the industry.

A team of college faculty and industry leaders developed a training program  specifically for the industry called “Leadership Development for Emerging  Healthcare Leaders.” The program began in September 2011, and the three-month  training has since been offered six times with participants from Colorado  Springs, Pueblo and Ca?n City.

In late 2011, OPED was formally launched to develop and execute continuing  education and professional development programs.

Q. What types of training programs are offered?

A. Each program is tailored to a specific industry, and each  incorporates project-based learning so participants can immediately apply what  they have learned. OPED offers training for the public and custom programs.

The public training programs are offered on the UCCS campus and developed  with local CEOs, human resource professionals and industry leaders to meet the  needs of multiple organizations in the same industry. For example, OPED worked  with several local banks and financial institutions to develop an  accounting-based financial reporting training program specifically for  commercial lenders and bankers.

Local leaders had input on training topics, timing and desired outcomes. The  program began earlier this year.

For organizations that want an internal-only, customized training program,  OPED helps them design such programs in consultation with an organization’s  leaders and key employees who identify topics, delivery format and program  length.

Custom training programs can be offered in-house, at UCCS, or at another  location. Programs can be offered companywide – with all staff and leadership  involved – or only to a handful of employees or leaders.

Q. How do you see OPED evolving?

A. We envision working with other industries to develop targeted  training, including the manufacturing, information technology-software and  nonprofit sectors.

We are working on partnerships to offer targeted training internationally. We  also plan to offer online training courses. During the next few years, we also  envision becoming a destination for specialized training, where out-of-state  professionals come for continuing education and professional development.

Questions and answers are edited  for clarity and brevity.

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234  Twitter @wayneheilman

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