According to research compiled by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), fifty-percent of managers are regarded as “ineffective” in their roles: a failure that may be attributed to a lack of support early in their leadership careers.
In considering how to better develop emerging leaders, the CCL has identified four competencies where first-time managers often demonstrate deficits: communication; influence; leading team achievement; and coaching and developing others.
With these competencies in mind, we have gathered tips as to how first time managers can improve their performance and avoid common skill-gaps.
When asked to visualize a college student, most adults will likely picture an 18-to-21-year-old; perhaps toting a backpack, walking across the quad on an ivy-laden campus. This idealized college student was once a fairly accurate depiction, and one that the media has helped to embed in our minds. Our collective perception of the standard college experience is heavily weighted with visuals of youth, historic architecture, crowded lecture halls, and - as is often portrayed in film and television - a lifestyle that is seemingly all-consumed by studies - or parties.
The School of Professional Studies is also hosting an Undergraduate Programs Open House, September 29, 2018, from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Prospective students who apply during the Open House will have all application fees waived.
The School of Professional Studies is currently accepting applications for their undergraduate programs for the Fall II (Deadline September 26), Spring I and Spring II sessions.
Adults who have yet to earn an undergraduate degree may not be aware that options exist specifically for degree completion - or if they are aware of such options - may question the authenticity of a non-traditional program.
Yet degree completion programs at non-profit schools can often be the best option for adults who have earned some college credit, providing the same level of difficulty, the same calibre of instruction, and the same access to resources as traditional degree programs. The difference lies in the scheduling of the courses, the cohort demographics - and in some cases - the method of delivery. As with traditional courses of study, degree completion programs can offer a credential in a singular discipline, such as psychology, or can be interdisciplinary, such as a Bachelor of General Studies.
The College of Charleston School of Professional Studies (SPS) offers multiple degree completion options, with curricula designed to help non-traditional students achieve a healthy school/life balance.
Over the course of the first two weeks of classes, the School of Professional Studies was a space of celebration, as the North Campus pulled out all the stops in welcoming new and returning students.
Classes are back in-session at the College of Charleston North Campus, and our faculty and staff would like to extend a hearty welcome - or welcome back - to all students.
We hope that this semester will be a successful one, and would like to remind students that we are here to help in any way that we can - beginning with some tips for developing an effective time management strategy!
According to a study conducted by Georgetown University (2015), 70-80% of college students are engaged in some form of employment, with approximately 25% of students simultaneously working full-time and attending school full-time. Although work experience can have a positive effect both on what one is learning in related coursework, and on career prospects post-graduation, the realities of balancing school and work can present significant challenges. Non-traditional students may be at even greater risk for facing such obstacles, as they often also must attend to family responsiblities.
Whether you are an adult student returning to college after some time away, or have been in school consistently over the past few years, the beginning of a new semester presents a perfect opportunity for developing a time management strategy. This strategy should allow you to clearly assess your priorities, see exactly how much time you have available in a given day (or week, or month), and help you to adjust your schedule to best achieve your goals.
The 6 tips below - along with additional resources from the College of Charleston Center for Student Learning - should assist you in developing an effective time management plan.
With summer winding to a close, students of all ages are busy with back-to-school preparations. While for adult students, the days of excitedly selecting a new lunch box may be long gone, the anticipation that accompanies a new school year remains.
In the hopes that our adult students will begin the school year on the path to success, we suggest the following back-to-school preparation strategies:
For many, project management is a natural inclination: planning parties, coordinating wedding festivities, organizing community events. This inclination has led many to naturally “fall in” to a similar professional role, overseeing initiatives and directing teams. Yet not everyone who claims this innate ability possesses the knowledge and tools to effectively oversee processes, or manage teams within the workplace.
Jodi Davidson is among the many professionals who “fell” into project management; what began as a natural inclination - supported by a strong background in international business - soon became a career path. Now a seasoned professional, Davidson is committed to helping other similarly-inclined individuals hone and apply their project management skills.
Upon completing her MBA, Davidson sought a natural fit within the business world, a position where she could utilize her skills in communication, planning, and leadership. She began working with a technology company, leading a credit card software project. From there, her role as a project manager broadened with consecutively larger projects - focusing on multi-site software installation - eventually leading her to launch project management offices for two different companies, instituting project management practices therein. “I have worked in every phase of project management,” Davidson explains, “driving everything from contracting, to planning, to leading teams of employees.”
Project Management, like some project managers, has evolved over time. What was once viewed as a role that someone took on within an office or company, has since become not only a job title, but a career unto itself. “In the past,” notes Davidson, “people were designated to project management roles, and sometimes chaos ensued; initiatives failed because of lack of clarity.” “Over time,” Davidson continues, “the realization came that project management is a separate skill set; showing you have capabilities to launch, lead, and drive efforts.” With this realization, came the desire for certified project managers, who adhered to industry standard.
Founded in 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI), is a globally-recognized organization and standard-bearer, whose certifications and publications are valued across industry. Increasingly, PMI’s PMP® (Project Management Professional) certification has become a requirement for advancement - or even initial hiring - within the project management field. “Employers and clients often want (the project manager) to be certified,” explains Davidson, “so they will see that this individual has studied the discipline, and has acquired the necessary hours of experience.” Noting that she herself sat for the exam years ago, after obtaining the requisite amount of hours in the field, Davidson adds, “Without certification, you can ‘max out’ professionally; certification garners respect.”
Prior to sitting for the PMP® exam, professionals must earn 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects (all experience must be accrued within the previous eight years), and must complete 35 hours of project management education. For those who have completed a degree or certificate program in the project management field, these hours are a given, but for others, a PMP® exam preparation course typically fills the void. The College of Charleston Center for Continuing and Professional Education recently added such a program to their roster, partnering with Davidson to develop and teach the course. “I know it is very difficult to find the time to obtain 35 hours (of education),” says Davidson. “The structure that we built into this course - evenings and two weekends - offers work-life balance.”
In addition to the condensed format, it was important to Davidson that the course have practical applications. Though the course curriculum - as with all PMP® preparatory courses - is drawn from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), it also utilizes real-life situations to help students envision what to expect, and how solutions might work. Davidson emphasizes the importance of learning from her students; engaging, understanding, listening to their stories, and then asking, ‘how we can think through this together?’ Explaining her instructional techniques, Davidson points out, “Rarely are you a one person show; most projects are driven by team work collaboration.” With 19 years of practical experience, Davidson is well equipped to help students not only remember the material, but understand the applications: “With most prep courses, students are very much prepared to take the exam, but are not ready to use the knowledge in day-to-day life.” She continues, “Project management can be very theoretical, but my goal is to have students apply skills and tools immediately.”
While the benefits of PMP® preparation are clearly defined for those seeking certification, there are also benefits for other professionals. “If within the average work day, an individual is asked to use project management skills, they have something to gain from this course,” notes Davidson. Professionals who are not quite ready for PMP® certification may see where they need to gain more experience, or where they require further study - and can perhaps volunteer in the workplace to acquire additional skills. Employers also stand to benefit from employee participation. Through a preparatory course, project managers gain a common language, and a prescribed method for working as a team. As Davidson enthusiastically shares, “If a project is driven by people with project management skills, it increases the likelihood that the initiative will be successful.” With each successful initiative increasing the likelihood that an employer will achieve their overarching goal, well-trained project managers are an obvious boon in any industry.
As to the future of both the field of project management and PMP® certification, Davidson sees only growth on the horizon: “When we look at how innovation is occurring, how companies are able to grow quickly - there is a limited window for failure. From conception to completion, hitting the mark will become more and more critical in project management roles.” To those who have a natural inclination for project management, or those who acknowledge that it is a serous discipline and desire certification, Davidson is encouraging: “If you have an interest, or want to develop stronger skills, why not get training? Certification is very beneficial, it opens doors within companies, and is a great addition to your resume.” Jodi Davidson’s passion for the discipline is palpable as she enthuses, “as much as I can spread the word, I’m all in; project management is a great career.”
Kathryn Bunn has always been ambitious.
A serious student in high school, Bunn expected to excel in college, alongside her high-achieving peers, yet found that she was lacking the maturity necessary to succeed. After a difficult two years at the University of Florida, Bunn reluctantly decided to withdraw from school.