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Division of Human Resources

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Professional Development

Cultivate additional knowledge and skills through one of the following certificate programs and other resources.

The following resources are offered to all employees through the Division of Human Resources' Organizational and Professional Development Office (HR-OPD) unless otherwise indicated. 

Members of effective teams want to feel like they did a good job at providing their product or service, that they worked well together and that they personally got something out of their time spent together.

In this certificate program, we will explore what is required of teams and team leaders to build high performing teams and satisfy these three criteria.

Much of this content was previously available only in the leadership program curriculum. Employees who do not yet qualify for LEAD should complete this certificate to develop their team leadership skills.

Program Curriculum 

Complete all courses to receive certificate. Team Dynamics should be completed first as a prerequisite to other courses. Other courses may be completed in any order.

  • Team Dynamics (complete first) – 90 minutes (former course equivalent for credit: Team Management, Part I)
  • Building Cohesive Teams– 1 hour (former course equivalent for credit: Team Management, Part I)
  • Creating Positive Group Norms– 1 hour (former course equivalent for credit: Team Management, Part II)
  • Team Decision Making Methods– 1 hour (former course equivalent for credit: Team Management, Part II)
  • Team Problem-Solving– 90 minutes 
  • Lean Process Improvement – 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Lean Basics)
  • Measuring Team Performance– 90 minutes
  • Managing Change– 90 minutes
  • Managing Inclusive Meetings– 90 minutes
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback– 90 minutes
  • Psychological Safety– 1 hour (former course equivalent for credit: Psychological Safety)
  • Setting Team Performance Expectations– 90 minutes

Browse the HR training calendar or class list by subject to register for a course. Both online and in-person training courses will be offered. 

Track your Effective Communication certificate progress through the Certificate Checklist .

The “soft skill” competency most in demand within organizations is the ability to effectively communicate with others.

This certificate program explores the skills individuals need, methods for advocacy and inquiry and many of the obstacles that must be overcome for us to communicate with one another successfully. 

Program Curriculum 

Complete all courses to receive certificate. Courses may be completed in any order.

  • Communicating Effectively– 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Communication Skills for Managers)
  • Difficult Conversations– 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Difficult Conversations)
  • Generational Differences– 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Generational Differences)
  • Conflict Resolution Skills– 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Conflict Resolution Skills)
  • Emotional Intelligence – 2 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Emotional Intelligence)
  • Negotiation Skills– 1 hour

Complete one course below:

  • Presenting for Results, Parts I & II– 8 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Presenting for Results) OR
  • Effective Online Presentations, Parts I & II– 4 hours (former course equivalent for credit: Presenting for Results)

Browse the HR training calendar or class list by subject to register for a course. Both online and in-person training courses will be offered. 

Track your Effective Communication certificate progress through the Certificate Checklist .

 The Office of Contining Education and Conferences (CEC) offers a 10% discount for current UofSC faculty and staff and accepts IIT for employees whose expenses will be paid by their department.

This certificate program is delivered by the Purchasing Office and is currently being revised. Please check back to see when these classes will be offered.

This certificate program is for new business personnel and experienced business managers who need refresher training. Participants who complete all four courses in this program receive a certificate of recognition for mastering the fundamental business processes at UofSC. Courses in this certificate program may be taken in any sequence.

Highlighting the requirements of the S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code, this course  covers the different types of bids and how they are handled by the Purchasing Office. There will be an emphasis on how each method affects work scheduling.

Date/Time: TBD

This course discusses the most commonly used Administration and Finance policies and procedures, including the basis for their inception and how they affect the day-to-day business of the university.

Date/Time: TBD

This course provides generalized information on the UofSC Purchasing Card, including how and when it should be used. This course is not the required purchasing card training for card holders or liaisons.

Date/Time: TBD

Provides an overview of state and university policies employees must follow when purchasing equipment, materials and supplies for the University of South Carolina.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Use UofSC purchasing forms.
  • Locate and apply mandatory procedures associated with S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code laws and regulations.
  • Determine methods of purchasing and procurement thresholds.
  • Document process flows to assure timely processing.
  • Make large expenditures that require bidding or documentation for sole source.
  • Apply tax options accurately when purchasing research equipment.
  • Use UofSC purchasing cards.
  • Interpret South Carolina state contracts.

Date/Time: TBD

The GRANT Certificate Program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, offers research administrators a foundational grant life-cycle education. The program provides an overview of the grant life cycle, from pre-award to post-award, taught by subject matter experts from across campus.

Self-mastery is the ability to take control of your life and begins with developing self-awareness. Learn how to recognize and understand your thought process, habits and behaviors and the way you choose to interact within the world, at work and in your personal life. This interactive, three-part course is available to non-supervisory employees and has a fee to cover the costs for assessments and reading material.

Browse the HR training calendar or class list by subject to register for a course. Both online and in-person training courses will be offered. 

Take charge of your personal and professional development, network with other administrative professionals and learn how to achieve better success in your career.

This annual, half-day conference is designed for UofSC’s administrative professionals each April. The event is announced each Spring and registration is available on the HR Training Calendar.

WLI is offered through the Provost Office and features workshops, interactive presentations and a networking luncheon centered on promoting greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities women face as they seek to achieve a work/life balance.

There is also time for participants to informally network and collaborate with women across disciplines or even across institutions.

Oktoberfest is offered through the Center for Teaching Excellence. All UofSC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to attend this free one-day symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

Assess your current workflow, eliminate inefficiencies in your process and implement a plan for improvement using Lean methods and tools.

Lean Process Improvement can flatten or decrease the increasing costs of higher education through practices and tools that reduce waste and create efficiency.

Lean practices and tools provide a common language and processes that are easily adoptable for individuals to work on their own, or join with others across the university, to tackle departmental and system-wide issues that ultimately improve the customer (student) experience.

Lean Basics Introductory Course: Register Now

Three parts to every project – prep, project and implementation. This roadmap [pdf] provides a snapshot for each phase of a project. 

Use this project charter [pdf] to plan and communicate key elements of your process improvement project.

This project flow overview [pdf] lays out the schedule for a 5 day event. 

Be sure you have plenty of room [pdf] to work in groups, while still being able to move around. Don't forget lots of wall space for butcher-block paper and sticky notes!

This document [pdf] lists the types of process improvements that surface time and again as the biggest drivers of positive change.

Use these measures [pdf] to gauge the effectiveness of your project. 

Enlist TIMUWOOD [pdf] (transportation, information/inventory, motion, underutilization, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing, defects) to pinpoint waste in your processes. 

Methods and concepts [pdf] that may be used to implement Lean-powered improvements.

Use this quick worksheet [pdf] to determine who your customers are and how they feel about your service.  

Looking for other ways to begin Lean process improvement? 10 ways [pdf] to get started. 

"A3" a short-hand name used in Lean-powered organizations to describe structured problem solving and the continuous improvement approach. Sometimes you'll even hear it as a verb: "We need to A3 that problem." It's based on the plan-do-check-act cycle that's at the heart of continuous improvement. Process improvement leverages our "inner Sherlock Holmes" – study the situation, look at data, analyze the problem, identify root cause(s), and only then start thinking about improvement actions. The A3 approach is based on this, building all of the requisite front-end steps into the form. The form is an on-paper facilitator, guiding you along the path to improvement.

A3 Problem Solving Tool (Landscape) [pdf] 
A3 Problem Solving Tool (2 Page Portrait) [pdf]

Why two versions? The landscape version packs everything into one page. The portrait version is two pages, offering more writing space. In terms of content, both versions are identical.

The Lean Community of Practice (COP) recommends two frequently used tools:

  1. The 5 Whys (Root Cause of Analysis) – a simple but powerful technique for uncovering the root cause of a problem when you lack data. 
  2. Hensei (Deep Reflection) – a process of reflecting on ideas or experiences in order to learn from successes or failures to improve oneself in the future. 

Review the Lean COP presentation [pdf] to learn more about the 5 Whys and Hensei, or try the 5 whys exercise [pdf] to help determine the root cause of a problem. 

NOTE: These documents are not copyrighted by Tom Terez Workplace Solutions Inc. 

The copyrighted documents listed above (“the Materials”) are proprietary information of Tom Terez Workplace Solutions Inc. These Materials are provided for the exclusive use of administrators, managers and Lean practitioners at the University of South Carolina.

  • A faster process, fewer salary overrides, and fewer off-cycle paycheck requests to increase customer satisfaction.
  • The new workflow has 54 steps – rather than 104 steps (staff hire) or 119 steps (faculty).
  • Loopbacks are reduced from 9 to 2.
  • Process time compressed from 10 days to 5.
  • Download a fact sheet [pdf] or the team’s presentation visuals [pdf] for an in-depth look at the project.
  • The project created a virtually paperless process, eliminating 2,800 pages per year. 
  • The new approach streamlines the process from 100 to 56 steps.
  • Average time reduced from 32 days to 20.
  • 1,073 staff hours freed up yearly for value-added work.
  • Download a fact sheet [pdf] or the team’s presentation visuals [pdf] for an in-depth look at the project.
  • The leaner process frees 525 staff hours per year for other work.
  • The new process requires 14 steps, compared to the former 43 steps.
  • Loopbacks in the process are reduced from 7 to 2.
  • Eleven downstream decision points eliminated; necessary information is received early in the process.
  • Download a fact sheet [pdf] or the team’s presentation visuals [pdf] for an in-depth look at the project.

Submit a Lean Action Report [pdf] to let us know how you have improved your workplace. 

Resources and strategies to help you learn new ways to interact with your colleagues and maintain your productivity while working remotely.

Training a task using 3 P+E  helps employees learn to succeed with hands-on skills or learn by doing. To train a new skill an employee can use the proven method of 3 P + E approach or present, practice, perform and evaluate.

Offered through

Skills to Advance your Career (career planning, applying for jobs, resume writing, interview skills, workplace skills)

Business Communication Skills (de-escalation, business writing and reports, phone anxiety)


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.