Business Management Certificate: Relaunching a Great Program

from Jean Choy, Associate Dean of Executive Education & International Initiatives

Associate Dean Jean Choy working with students

Associate Dean Jean Choy working with students

How do you improve upon a great program? This was the question that came to my mind when UW Foster Executive Education was asked to take over the management of a long-standing course called Fundamentals of Business Administration (Admin 510) that had been offered through another UW department for many years.

Under normal circumstances, taking over a well-run course would be a welcoming endeavor. The challenge, however, was how to make it work in the midst of a global pandemic.

In the last six months, people’s daily lives and jobs have completely changed. What we’ve heard from prospective students of executive education courses is that people want and need business management skills now more than ever, but time and cost sometimes prevent their access to learning. In order to better serve the needs of our students, we decided to shorten the program to hone the content and keep the tuition affordable, while still providing excellent training for people seeking a competitive edge in today’s changing economic climate.

Professor Leta Beard, Academic Director of the Business Management Certificate Program

Professor Leta Beard, Academic Director of the Business Management Certificate Program

Working closely with Professor Leta Beard, the Academic Director of the program, we focused on including the most applicable content and added new topics that are in high demand in the current market, such as inclusive leadership, impactful communication, and cross-cultural negotiations. We also decided to conclude the program with a case competition project that will allow the participants to take what they learned throughout the course and present recommendations to a panel of faculty judges. In doing so, students will have a hands-on learning opportunity in which they will utilize strategic thinking, problem solving, financial analysis, and teamwork to succeed – all critical skills to grow and advance in their careers. Professor Beard says, “One of the greatest rewards in teaching in this program is the impact it continues to have on the graduates. I keep in contact with many of the alums and their input has been instrumental in how we have modified the program for a re-launch in 2021. Now more than ever it is critical for managers to demonstrate the skills needed to effectively adapt to the changing environment. This course provides the tools that are needed to address some of these challenges as well as identify new opportunities.”

Given that we already had a strong program, we focused on enhancing its relevance rather than making major changes. We are excited to relaunch as the Business Management Certificate Program starting February 2, 2021. It is now a 4-month program that meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm. We hope to meet on UW campus in Seattle, but if it is not yet safe to do so in February, we will begin the program remotely with live online class sessions.

We are also offering a 10% early application discount for applications submitted by November 30, 2020 and we hope people will take advantage of it. The final application deadline is January 8, 2021.

Learn more about the program:

You can also reach out to Academic Director Leta Beard at [email protected] or Associate Dean Jean Choy at [email protected] with any questions about the program or to discuss how it can help you on the next step in your career path.

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