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Dean of the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development on continuing her own lifelong learning journey

Posted by Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development on October 18, 2022 in Community Highlights

As a leader of a lifelong learning organization, I am a lifelong learner myself.  One of the competency gaps that I wanted to fill when I took on the role of Dean, Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development, is in public communications, also known as public relations.  Last fall, I eagerly became a student in our Strategic Public Communications: Building Influence and Impact course, with course designers, instructors, and industry experts Theresa Rath Spicer and Don Spicer.  Together with my fellow learners, I explored the concepts of audiences, key messages and channels, so that I can both be better heard and hear better. 

As my classmate, Caryn McLean, says about our learning experience, “[We] gain[ed] insight into the life of a PR professional and learn transferrable skills that can be applied to both your personal and professional life. This course goes beyond the basics and challenges you to approach your role with a lens that I found to be refreshing and rewarding. Discussions and assignments are current and relevant to today’s world.”

Tammy Rampersaud, also a classmate, says this, “This course highlights the importance and power of strong, strategic communication. The content covered is vast and thorough, yet relatable and retainable. It allows you to put knowledge into practice immediately.”

And finally, Megan Archer says, “This course has been invaluable, building on my current skills and experience. I now take a more strategic and holistic approach when developing communication and engagement plans. This increases the effectiveness of our communication efforts while simultaneously providing increased value to senior leadership.”

I agree with all of them.  It’s a year later, and I’m still applying everything that I learned in the course to my work as the Dean. 

But there is more. Not only did I get to take part in a high-quality, engaging and interactive learning experience with Theresa, Don and my fellow learners, I also earned a microcredential in strategic public communications, our first microcredential in our Professional and Leadership Studies portfolio of courses.

Microcredentials are recognition of smaller chunks of competency-based learning, that are valued by employers and industry, and validated by an assessment that indicates achievement of a competency.  Microcredentials are represented by secure digital badges, that allow earners to include the badges in digital resumes, signature lines and on social media.  At the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development, we now offer a full suite of microcredentials for professionals, who, like me, want to fill in a competency gap they have as they move through their careers.

“We were honoured to be the first course in the Professional and Leadership Studies portfolio to offer a microcredential to learners. The microcredential highlights the legitimacy of the strategic nature of the course and further validates the achievement of the learner,” say Theresa and Don. “We were delighted to provide an enhanced level of recognition for the learner, particularly since the microcredential will be showcased to fellow professionals through LinkedIn.” And yes, I have my microcredential proudly on my LinkedIn profile.

To check out all of the microcredentials we now offer at the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development, check out our Microcredential Catalogue.    Our course Strategic Public Communications: Building Influence and Impact is now open for registration for our Winter 2023 term starting in January.