For two decades, Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) Corporate College has been a leader when it comes to offering professional training and development to individuals in a variety of vocations.
As Greater Cleveland recovers from COVID-19, Suzanne Ortiz, Corporate College’s director of open enrollment programs, has seen a definite uptick in interest on several new fronts at the college’s locations in Warrensville Heights, Westlake and Brunswick. In addition to offering traditional on-site classes, courses are taught online, virtually through Webex or a combination of all three.
“COVID-19 has definitely led to a reality check for many of us,” she says. “Some professionals come to us because the industry they’ve been in for many years isn’t doing well, and they want to shift to another vocation. Others simply want to do something else and are looking to upskill because they can.”
As the workforce continues to dwindle, companies are also signing on for Corporate College teambuilding seminars designed to cross-train their employees for multitasking.
“Employees can no longer be siloed in their own domain,” Ortiz says. “Instead, they’re counted on to master a variety of duties. There’s so much technology out there that many of us don’t understand. The benefit of Tri-C and Corporate College is that you can start from the bottom with caring faculty members and staff who are experts in their respective fields. They’re dedicated to spending extra time with you to teach you what you need to know. Students who opt to take our classes online will not be alone in cyberspace. They’ll always have a mentor to reach out to when they need help.”
Ortiz likens the Corporate College model to a three-legged stool comprising a trio of distinct services: facility rental, open enrollment and customized training and consulting.
From meeting design to selecting a menu, Corporate College’s conference services team guides businesses to ensure board meetings, staff retreats, training sessions, lectures, conventions, trade shows and symposiums run smoothly. Amenities include 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 28 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, interactive technology that’s easy to use, internal and external telepresence capabilities, complimentary Wi-Fi and free parking.
“You tell our staff what you want, and they’ll plan your entire event from catering to design, aesthetics and technology,” Ortiz says. “If you don’t have virtual technology at your location, you can come to us, and we’ll take care of it. Our locations are also in tranquil, wooded settings that make a retreat truly a retreat.”
Corporate College’s open-enrollment professional development programs incorporate personal discovery activities tailor-made to increase self-awareness, real-world business challenges to improve application skills and support tools to keep learners engaged on the job. Other certificate programs that can be taken individually or as a cohort include: front line and project management; Lean Six Sigma; American Society for Quality (ASQ); ISO standards and quality management; accounting, finance, tax and payroll; real estate pre-licensure; digital marketing and design, and health industry solutions.
Certificate programs in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are also key components of the curriculum Corporate College offers. The courses provide a broad overview of cultural intelligence and help participants gain insight into unconscious biases, the impact of micro-messages and how utilizing individual diverse experiences can lead to being a more inclusive employee or leader. Courses in the series include adapting cross-culturally with emotional intelligence; embracing generational diversity; overcoming conflict in a diverse workplace; inclusive leadership; understanding unconscious bias; women in leadership; and valuing differences.
Another popular offering these days is the mindful leadership certification.
“What worked yesterday is no longer working today due to the volatility, complexity and ambiguity of our times,” Ortiz says. “With our new normal, the name of the game has changed, causing a shift to a different style of leadership — that of a mindful leader.”
The program will help participants find increased balance, clarity, focus, compassion and creativity; make better and meaningful decisions; increase productivity and improve time management; cultivate emotional literacy to reduce conflict; understand the power of habits; and lead more mindfully.
“In addition to an employee paying for courses, other options include payment on an installment basis and third-party pay tuition reimbursement by the employer,” Ortiz says. “We also have scholarships available for qualifying students, and businesses that register three or more employees receive a 10% discount.”
As the world shifts to flexible work arrangements, Corporate College is ready to help businesses handle the transition with ease.
“Our expert teams not only customize training to meet a business’ needs, they also help companies determine what they need to succeed,” Ortiz says. “Let’s say your company needs SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats] analysis. Or maybe you need a process map or an auditor. We’ll actually come to your location and offer consultative services in whatever you need, and develop a customized plan for you to follow. Then, we’ll follow up two months later to see how things are progressing.”
The college’s consultants design personalized interactive and virtual classrooms for remote workforces; provide virtual or on-site support for instructional design, ISO; QMS and EMS audits; system implementation; Lean Six Sigma project coaching; manager, executive and sales coaching, and virtual classroom development.
“Corporate College is with you every step of the way to make sure you’re successful,” Ortiz says. “With us, you’re getting the best of the best.”