4 Skill-Gaps Common to First Time Managers

Posted by Allison Leach on Oct 17, 2018 1:00:00 PM


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.

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Topics: Student, Courses

BPS Fall Cohort Reflects Changing Face of College Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Sep 28, 2018 6:00:00 PM


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.  

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Topics: Insider, Courses

How Degree Completion Programs Meet Student Needs

Posted by Allison Leach on Sep 21, 2018 7:00:00 PM


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.

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Topics: Insider, Courses

Project Management: Moving Beyond a Natural Inclination

Posted by Allison Leach on Aug 2, 2018 11:00:00 AM

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.”

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Topics: Courses

Explore the Benefits of Non-Credit Online Courses

Posted by Allison Leach on Jun 22, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Summer has arrived, and along with it, a time when many choose to take a break from their academic or professional lives. Yet opportunities exist to further one’s career, while still maintaining the relaxed pace of the summer months. 

The College of Charleston Center for Continuing and Professional (CCPE) offers over 250 individual non-credit courses, many of which target highly sought-after skills, applicable across a wide range of industries. The instructor-led courses are all held exclusively online,
and allow students to move at their own pace - an ideal scenario for summertime learning!

While all of the offered courses are economically priced, the CCPE is currently offering a discount on select courses with a July start date (sale prices effective June 18 - July 18, 2018).

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Topics: News, Courses

Digital Marketing Bootcamp Helps Business Owners Connect Digitally

Posted by SPS on May 5, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Digital marketing is a rapidly expanding segment of the marketing field; so much so that the term “digital” has become somewhat superfluous.  To successfully market any product or service in our "plugged-in" society, one typically needs to employ internet and social-media driven campaigns.

Read More

Topics: Courses

Project Management: Moving Beyond a Natural Inclination

Posted by SPS on Feb 8, 2018 11:30:00 AM

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.Jodi Davidson .jpg

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 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 a office or company, has since become not only a job title, but a career onto 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 an 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, 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 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.”

Read More

Topics: Courses

Ashley Caldwell: Charleston's Social Media Maven

Posted by Allison Leach on May 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

This post was originally published in March, 2016.

Ashley Caldwell will once again be serving as an instructor for the SPS’ popular Digital Marketing and Social Media workshop. This  program consists of a series of entry-level seminars designed to help small business owners learn about digital marketing strategies, and inspire them to incorporates these practices into their marketing plans.

Register Today!


As a freshman at the University of Colorado, Ashley Caldwell was among a cohort of college students who were embracing new forms of online interaction, such as MySpace and the then newly-released Facebook. These emerging social platforms quickly became part of Caldwell’s everyday life, as would soon become the case for much of mainstream culture, and the Communications major began to see untapped possibilities for this new form of media.

Although it had been largely overlooked in the course content, Caldwell chose social networking as the topic for her capstone project in a senior-year “New Media” course, focusing on Facebook’s potential business applications - a relatively new concept at the time. “It was practically unheard of for a business to be thinking about using social networking,” explains Caldwell, “but seeing the human to human connection really sparked my interest.”  It was this spark that would inspire Caldwell to develop her first social networking campaign, and lead her on the path toward becoming Charleston's go-to social media expert.

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Topics: Courses

Digital Marketing Workshop Teaches 21st Century Practices and Techniques

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Digital marketing is a rapidly expanding segment of the marketing field; so much so that that the term “digital” has become somewhat superfluous.  To successfully market any product or service in our "plugged-in" society, one typically needs to employ internet and social-media driven campaigns.

Consultant LeeAnne Berlinsky was aware of this cultural shift when she was looking to promote her experiential leadership retreats.  As a modern entrepreneur, she was accustomed to promoting her professional endeavors online, but was unsure of the best avenue for each aspect of her business.  Realizing that she needed to learn more about different social media channels, she enrolled in the Digital Marketing and Social Media workshop offered through the College of Charleston JobBridge initiative. 

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Topics: Courses

CCPE Offers Holiday Pricing on Non-Credit Online Courses

Posted by Allison Leach on Nov 29, 2016 5:00:00 PM


The holiday season is upon us, and with it, a desire to select interesting and appropriate gifts for friends and family. This year, the College of Charleston Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) is encouraging SPS blog readers to give the gift of continuing education, offering special holiday pricing on several non-credit courses. 

The CCPE cotinually offers a selection of over 250 individual non-credit courses, including those which target highly sought-after professional skills, as well as courses designed for personal enrichment. The instructor-led courses are all held exclusively online, and allow students to move at their own pace - ideal for students with limited leisure time.

While all of the offered courses are economically priced, the CCPE is currently offering a holiday discount on five popular courses, extending their Black Friday Sale through December 15th.  
Below we have highlighted some of the features and benefits of the non-credit online offerings:

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Topics: News, Courses

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The School of Professional Studies is your partner on the journey toward a more fulfilling future. We are accessible, flexible, creative and tenacious. We work hard to provide access to the education you need to build a brighter future for yourself and in turn, for our community.

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