2021 Summer Professional Development Sessions

2021 Summer Professional Development Classes

  • General Information

    Campus Training Programs

    The programs listed below are open to all VSU employees, some courses are also available for University System of Georgia Institution Employees. If you but are unable to attend, please cancel within 24 hours of the class. Classes are subject to cancellation if registration is low. Employees should verify with their supervisors that they can attend a class during work hours.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all training and development sessions will be held virtually until further notice. 

    Class Attendance

    In order to receive credit for a class, participants must attend 90% of the scheduled class time. Students may miss scheduled class activities only in the event of illness, emergencies, or business-related reasons. The course instructor or facilitator should be notified of planned absences or tardiness. For excused absences during multi-day courses contact the instructor to discuss options available to receive full credit.

    Customized Programs

    We provide customized training for departments upon request. Our office will work closely with the requesting department to identify the training needs, develop the course materials, deliver the course, and assess the effectiveness of the program. For additional information about services, program, and resources, contact Ashley Cooper at 229.219.1276 or at aamyers@valdosta.edu

    Training Transcripts

    Official records of attendance are maintained for training sessions offered or coordinated by our office. Employees or their supervisors needing a transcript for promotion or transfer purposes, or for discussion during the performance evaluation process, may request one by calling 229.259.5105 or by emailing training@valdosta.edu. Please allow 3 working days to process the request.


  • Leadership and Management Classes

    Coaching for Success

    In today’s workplace, the terms “coach” or “coaching” are frequently used but many don’t really understand what the art of coaching actually entails. Gain the strategic advantage in your business or workplace by learning what it takes to use coaching to engage and empower your team and maximize their potential.

    As an attendee at this interactive workshop, you will be able to:

    • Define coaching and examine its role in today’s workplace;
    • Discuss coaching approaches, skills and techniques for personal and professional effectiveness; AND
    • Cultivate and promote a culture of high performance and innovation.

    Date & Location:

    June 8, 2021
    Online via Teams
    (Link will be sent to VSU email address 1-2 days prior to the training session)

    Instructor: Cachet Prescott 

    Discovering Your Why: Focusing on Purposeful Leadership

    Great leaders inspire others and ignite action by promoting why they do something versus selling what they do. As a part of the new Leadership Certificate Program, this course will help participants discover their “why?” and introduce them to the concept of “purposeful leadership”. Participants will:

    • Participate in activities and discussions enabling them to discover their “why?”
    • Answer the question: “Why do you do what you do?”
    • Understand the theoretical underpinnings of purposeful leadership
    • Discover methods of utilizing purposeful leadership for immediate use in the workplace

    Date & Time:

    • May 19, 2021 10AM-12PM

    Location: Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Ashley Cooper 

    Establishing Departmental Values, Vision, and Goals

    Using a variety of techniques and exercises, this session will we assist departments with goal setting, visioning and developing value statements. Some of the strategies used include SWOT, nominal group technique, small group discussion, and brainstorming.

    Date & Time:

    • June 22, 2021 10AM-12PM

    Location: Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Ashley Cooper 


  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

    Unlearning in DEI

    When exploring our roles in diversity, equity and inclusion, we often keep the focus on what we need to learn in these areas. We read all the books, take all the courses, watch all the videos and listen to all the podcasts, overloading our brains with frameworks and information galore to usher us on our paths to becoming more inclusive and equitable beings.

    But...how often do you consider what you must unlearn first? What information do you need to remove from your existing knowledge base to make space for substantive learning in your journey toward inclusive living?
    Join us for this self-reflective experience as we explore an often overlooked factor in the personal growth process: unlearning. Workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding of what unlearning is and why it matters and will learn about its role in DEI-focused growth.
    So bring your questions and curiosities, and let’s talk unlearning!
    Learning Outcomes
    Discuss unlearning and its vital role in personal, professional and skill development.
    Explore who you are as a person and relate these details to your experience of the world; and
    Apply the information learned to your respective unlearning journey.

    Date and Time:

    • May 14, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM

    Location: Online via Zoom

    Instructor: Cachet Prescott

    Let's Talk About Intentional Inclusion

    Diversity. Equity. Inclusion

    In today’s workplace, many company policies, plans, initiatives and marketing boast of efforts related to these crucial terms but how many of us have a clear understanding of what they actually mean and how they apply to you and your workplace? Or more importantly, are you clear on what role YOU play in elevating each one as an individual? If you’re seeking to learn more about your role as an individual contributor to a more inclusive and equitable workplace, join us for this vital conversation to help you move beyond the buzzwords to Bigger, Better, BolderTM action. Workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding of intentional inclusion and will learn what it takes to become proactive change agents in their workplaces (and beyond). Learning Outcomes: Differentiate between diversity, equity and inclusion; Discuss the vital role of intention and targeted action in developing and nurturing inclusive workplaces; and Explore opportunities to proactively engage in individual and organizational inclusion efforts.

    Date & Time:

    • May 28, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM

    Location: Online via Zoom

    Instructor: Cachet Prescott


  • Communication and Personal Effectiveness Classes

    Appreciation in the Workplace

    Employees want to feel valued for their work. Employee recognition and engagement are key to retaining good employees. Learn about your own appreciation language as well as how to effectively communicate authentic appreciation to your team members.   

    Date & Time:

    • July 22, 2021 10:00AM-11:30AM

    Location: Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Wendy Byrd

    Improving Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

    Leaders with a strong mixture of emotional awareness, self-management, and social skills navigate relationships more effectively and are more likely to be successful in their personal and professional lives. This training provides you with an understanding of why emotional intelligence abilities are important to you as a leader. It also provides you with practical, positive techniques for promoting and improving emotional intelligence as a leader within your departmental and organizational environment.

    Date & Time:

    • July 20, 2021 2:00PM-3:15PM 

    Location: Online via Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Ashley Cooper

    Mindfulness X

    Developing a mindfulness practice is one of the most impactful things you can do to improve your overall mental, physical, and emotional health. As a part of this 8-week hybrid training series, participants will learn:

    1. Mindfulness as a way of life.

    We explore mindfulness not as a discrete activity or tool to fix specific problems, but first and foremost, as a way of living that can transform our inner states, thoughts, and other experiencesat a fundamental level.

    2. The science of mindfulness.

    We dive into the theory, literature, and science of mindfulness to provide you with a better, more complete understanding of how and why it works. Research shows that once you understand the inner workings of something, you’re more likely to be motivated to pursue it.

    3. Small, community-based learning.

    You’ll be supported every step of the way. Not only will you be able to reach out to the facilitator for help when you need it, but you’ll also have access to an accountability group with other participants to help keep you motivated.

    Date & Time:

    • June 7, 2021- July 30, 2021

    Location: Online via BlazeVIEW

    Instructor: Ashley Cooper

    Flipping the Script on Burnout

    Somewhere along the way, we have allowed our success to be measured by how full our calendars are, how many pages our to-do list run on for, and how, often without even comprehending when or why, we have begun participating in a competition of busyness, where ultimately, no one wins. In most workplaces, the feeling of over-extension is a norm of everyday professional life, especially in higher education where burnout is a known buzzword. Participants will begin their journey of understanding burnout by listening to a 42-minute episode of Adam Grant’s WorkLife Podcast, “Burnout is Everyone’s Problem” (available for free). During our virtual course, we will review the cost, driving dimensions, stages of burnout and dive into how we can "Flip the Script" and use the DCS model, as well as mindfulness techniques, to end our stress cycles and support our teams. 

    Date & Time:

    • July 14, 2021
    • 9:00AM-11:00AM

    Location: Online via Zoom

    Instructor: Katelynn Belliveau

    Re-Ignite Your Energy with Grit and Perseverance

    The rapid, unexpected changes brought on by the pandemic have led to a series of losses: important events, connection to family, friends and community, on campus activities, opportunities, finances, and career. Being mentally and physically exhausted tends to lower resilience and boost feelings of helplessness. However, we have the opportunity to do more than just survive – we have the opportunity to re-ignite our energy and restore our performance and work life.  How do we reimagine and create a new normal? Join this session to discuss ways to further develop grit and perseverance to move forward successfully.

    Date & Time:

    • July 7 2021
    • 1:00PM-3:00PM

    Location: Online via Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Wendy Byrd

  • Service Excellence & Orientation Classes

    Partners for Campus Excellence (Staff)

    This training provides an opportunity to discuss service excellence from a higher education standpoint. Our facilitators use a variety of group dialogue, activities and role play with online components required in Skillport to allow participants to discuss the following topics:

    • Building a Campus Service Culture through Personal Accountability, Empowerment, and Teamwork
    • Improving Face to Face and Telephone Interactions
    • Meeting Service Challenges When it is Our Mistake, The Customer’s Mistake, or a System Created Mistake

    Partners for Campus Excellence (PFCE) is a campus-wide training initiative focusing on student and employee retention, positive communication, and teamwork. It emphasizes the customer service standards and attributes important to the University System of Georgia and reinforces the customer service goals of our state.

    Who should attend?

    If you hold a staff or administrative position and have never attended the Partners for Campus Excellence training, then this session is for you.  New hires should complete this training within their first year of employment.

    Date & Time:

    • July 15, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM

    Location: Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra


    Instructor: Wendy Byrd 

    New Employee Orientation 
    We provide orientation for full-time benefited staff and administrative employees the second Thursday of every month. Veteran employees are always welcome to attend and find out about the latest changes on campus. A virtual tour of the campus is included.
    Dates & Times:
    • May 13, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • June 10, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • July 8, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • September 9, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • October 14, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • November 11, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM
    • December 9, 2021 9:00AM-4:00PM

    Location: Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

    Instructor: Carmen James

  • University Procedures & Applications

    ePro Requester & Procurement Guidelines

    Part I: Procurement Guidelines 
    This overview class covers policies and procedures governing procurement at VSU. It is intended for employees responsible for initiating or approving purchases of goods and/or services for their department, grant or organization. This course will cover topics such as:

    • When are competitive bids necessary?
    • How do I define my requirements?
    • How do you find out about items available on agency and statewide contracts?
    • What is a sole source/sole brand? 
    • How do I document need for sole source/brand?
    • What purchasing procedure should I use? Order through Central Stores, use P-Card or eProcurement?
    Part II: ePro Requester -This module is designed for VSU employees whose job responsibilities include completing processes to order goods and services for their department or grant. Training will cover how to create electronic requisitions in the eProcurement (ePro) module of PeopleSoft Financials and how to route them for approval. Additionally it will cover how to use theGeorgiaFIRST Marketplace as an online shopping site that is accessed from PeopleSoft Financials.

     Objectives Include:

    • Review Requester responsibilities for ePro/GeorgiaFIRST Marketplace
    • Establish Requester profile in GeorgiaFIRST Marketplace
    • Differentiate the two types of requisition in ePro
    • Create a Marketplace Requisition from a Personal Shopping Cart
    • Identify the steps in creating an ePro Requisition
    • Create a Marketplace Requisition from an Assigned Shopping Cart
    • Create a Special Request Requisition
    • Use the Manage Requisitions page to review, edit, and cancel a requisition
    • Receive an item through Desktop Receiving

    Date Options:

    • August 2, 2021 9AM-11AM

    Online via Teams
    (Link will be sent to VSU email address 1-2 days prior to the training session)

     Instructor: Heather Craft

    Introduction to SmartEvals/SOI

    A workshop to introduce instructors to VSU’s new platform to collect Student Opinions of Instruction (SOI). Learn to setup your own end-of-course questions, retrieve QR codes, send reminder emails, and more.

    Date Options Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra:

    • May 26, 2021 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • June 24, 2021 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • July 26, 2021 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

     Instructor: Michael Black

    New Employee Orientation

    We provide orientation for full-time benefited staff and administrative employees the second Thursday of every month. Veteran employees are always welcome to attend and find out about the latest changes on campus.

    Date Options Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra:

    • January 14, 2021 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • February 11, 2021 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • March 11, 2021 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • April 8, 2021 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • May 13, 2021 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

    Instructors: Carmen James 

    Introduction to APL

    A workshop to introduce instructors to VSU’s new platform (APL) to organize and record your faculty activities. Learn to enter activities, enter faculty credentials, post course syllabi, export reports, and more. Note: APL replaces Digital Measures.

    Date Options Online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra:

    • January 21, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • February 17, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • March 23, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • April 26, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • May 26, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • June 24, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    • July 26, 2021 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Instructor: Michael Black

    Best Practices for Graduate Student Advising

    Are you looking for ways to improve the graduate advising experience for students and yourself?  If so, then you can register for the Best Practices in Graduate Advising Training. 

    In the training you will learn about:  best forms of communication with students, programs and software that you and your Graduate Assistant could use to easily track students, and so much more!  

    If you have any questions about this training then please contact cmarshall@valdosta.edu 

    Date & Time:

    • July 15, 2021 10AM-11:30AM


    • COE Lab 1136

    Instuctor: Crystal Marshall

  • Safety & Wellness Classes

    Defensive Driving

    The "AAA Driver Improvement Course" is designed to help you fine-tune your safe-driving skills. Fortunately, there are guidelines to help you assess conditions more accurately, predict actions of other drivers and make decisions with a more realistic concept of consequences. You'll learn how to manage risks by controlling visibility, time and space.

    This program is taught by certified instructors and is six hours in length. You will receive a certificate from AAA once you have attended the course and passed the written test. The program is free to all VSU employees. Customized classes are available for departments.

    Who should attend: This course is required for employees who drive vehicles for University events or job duties. It is however open to all VSU employees. As an added benefit, you may be eligible for a 10% discount on your personal automobile insurance. Check with your agent.

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we're accepting departmental requests for training at this time. These sessions must be held in a face-to-face environment that is socially distant with masks required. Please contact training@valdosta.edu if you have employees needing this training. 

    Instructor: Michael Fontaine


    Yoga Flow for All" with emphasis on correct alignment of the spine and deep stretches. The goal is to improve muscle strength, stamina, balance and flexibility. Also drawing more awareness to deep breathing and awareness of the body mind connection and deep relaxation.

    Please bring a yoga mat for this session.

    Dates & Times:

    • May 3, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • May 10, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • June 2, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • June 9, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • June 16, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • June 23, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • July 7, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • July 14, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM
    • July 21, 2021 6:00PM-7:00PM

    Location: Student Recreation Center

    Instructor: Bharti Patel

    Water Aerobics

    Water aerobics is a low impact workout that can be as easy or as challenging as participants want it to be. It is great for those with joint, mobility, or balance issues, but is appropriate for anyone interested in exercising in water. Each class will consist of a warm up, cardio and resistance training segments, and a cool down, all performed in waist to chest deep water. Please wear appropriate swimwear to class, and don’t forget a towel, drinking water, and dry clothing. You may also be comfortable in a swim cap, water shoes, or goggles.

    Dates & Times:

    • May 18 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • May 20, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • May 25, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • May 27, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 1, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 3, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 8, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 10, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 15, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 17, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 22, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 24 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • June 29, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • July 1, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • July 6, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • July 13, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM
    • July 15, 2021 6:15PM-7:00PM

    Location: Student Recreation Center Pool

    Instructor: Jessica Terry

    Caring for Self While Caring for Others Series

    Sessions will be offered throughout the months of June and July and include the following:

    Dementia Conversations

    If you know someone who is experiencing changes in memory, thinking and behavior, this education program provides tips and strategies for difficult — but important — conversations about changes that may be related to dementia.

    Date & Time:

    • July 21, 2021
    • 10:00AM-10:30AM
    • Location: Online via KEPRO link

    Effective Communication in Stages of Alzheimer's and Dementia

    Explore ways that Alzheimer’s and other dementias affect an individual’s ability to communicate across different stages, and get tips to better communicate with people living with the disease.

    Date & Time:

    • July 29, 2021
    • 10:00AM-10:30AM
    • Location: Online via KEPRO link

    Empowering and Encouraging Parenting to Guide Your Child

    It is important to communicate more effectively and strengthen the relationship with children. Participants will learn about different communication styles and how to communicate effectively, starting in early childhood. The session details parental techniques that encourage children to pay attention and minimize distractions during conversations. This session will also help participants better understand their child’s innate temperament and personality characteristics, and what shapes their behavior and world view.

    Date & Time:

    • June 23, 2021
    • 10:00AM-10:30AM
    • Location: Online via KEPRO link

    The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's

    This education program will help you recognize common signs of the disease in yourself and others and next steps to take, including how to talk to your doctor.

    Date & Time:

    • July 7, 2021
    • 10:00AM-10:30AM
    • Location: Online via KEPRO link

    Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia

    Learn basic information on the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, stages, risk factors, research and FDA-approved treatments.

    Date & Time:

    • June 17, 2021
    • 10:00AM-10:30AM
    • Location: Online via KEPRO link

    Sunrise Yoga

    Wake up and rise with the sun. This vinyasa-style practice starts with a gentle warm-up followed by an energizing flow to get you ready for the day.

    This practice is open to all levels with modifications being offered throughout the class.

    Dates & Times:

    • June 16, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • June 21, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • June 23, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • June 28, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 7, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 14, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 19, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 21, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 26, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM
    • July 28, 2021 6:30AM-7:15AM

    Instructor: Abigail Murphy


  • Technology and Other Computer Skills


    Cascade Part 2 (Cascade Basic required as prerequisite)

    This optional training picks up where Cascade Basic left off and introduces web editing features such as: embedded video, info page, modules, forms, and more. The training is intended for those who already have rights to edit their college or departmental website. Prerequisite: Cascade Basic.

    Online Training Dates:

    • May 19, 2021 9:30AM-11:00AM

    Instructors: Sheila Hall

    Adobe Audition Basics

    Audition, if used well, can do some amazing effects with sound files, such as creating surround sound with stereo channel manipulation, removing wind and other potential background noises, automatic pitch correction for out of tune singers and much more! 

    Learn the basics of audio editing by familiarizing yourself with the two very different modes inside of audition, Waveform and Multi-track editing. Understand how normalization can truly help amplify your sound file and why adding fades can help control the mood of your story. We will also selectively destroy frequencies to remove unwanted noise from say your video clip or audio track. 
    Points that will be covered:

    1. Foundational concepts of sound

    2. Getting acquainted with Adobe Audition

    3. Recording Audio and saving audio out

    4. Selection tools and their benefits

    5. Standard waveform adjustments (Normalization, fades)

    6. Cleaning up audio (Adaptive noise reduction, removing specific noise)

    7. Multi-track editing

    Online Training Dates:

    • July 12, 2021 11:00AM-12:00PM

    Instructors: Jeremy Hardin

    Adobe Photoshop Basics

    Photoshop is by far the most well-known program of the Adobe Suite. Although this program is so well known, there is often a huge barrier placed up by many who fear it. Let’s break that barrier and learn the overall workspace and importance of layers. With this foundation down, we will work towards a few of the many fun and engaging tools of how Photoshop has gone beyond its intended purpose of photo editing.
    Points that will be covered:

    1. Navigating the workspace
    2. Learning about the Mystery of Layers
    3. Simple Photoshop edits to enhance your image
    4. Basic shapes and text manipulations

    Online Training Dates:

    • June 14, 2021 11:00AM-12:00PM

    Instructor: Jeremy Hardin

    Adobe Premiere Basics

    Learn the basics of Adobe Premier video editing software.

    As the creative suite has recently become more widely available for students on campus, this 1 hour workshop will help you become familiar with the Adobe Premiere interface and demonstrate the use of basic editing tools and techniques.

    Points that will be covered:

    • Setting up your project
    • Importing videos
    • How to edit
    • Exporting your project

    Online Training Dates:

    • June 28, 2021 11:00AM-12:00PM

    Instructor: Jeremy Hardin  

    PowerPoint: Poster Creation in a Snap

    The PowerPoint: Poster Creation in a Snap workshop is geared to assist students who have never developed a poster before. The goal of this class is to give a ground-level understanding of what print sizes the Media Center has to offer.

    Online Training Dates:

    • July 26, 2021 11:00AM-12:00PM

    Instructor: Jeremy Hardin 

    WordPress Intro

    WordPress is a WYSIWG web editor offered to VSU employees and official student organizations who wish to create individual, purpose-driven blogs/websites. Training topics include: basic WordPress functionality and features, including how to use the Gutenberg content editor; limitations; and how to request a site.

    Online Training Dates:

    • January 26, 2021 9:30AM-11:00AM
    • February 23, 2021 1:30PM-3:00PM
    • March 16, 2021 9:30AM-11:00AM
    • April 27, 2021 1:30PM-3:00PM
    • May 11, 2021 9:30AM-11:00AM

    Instructor: Sheila Hall