Emerging Leaders certificate program enrolling now

October 20, 2016

Some Penn State employees are born leaders, some achieve a leadership status, and some have leadership thrust upon them. However the mantle is achieved, a Penn State employee’s ability to effectively lead can help a project, department and even the entire University realize its goals.

The Penn State Emerging Leaders (PSEL) certificate program, offered by the Human Resources’ Center for Workplace Learning and Performance, is designed to increase an employee’s effectiveness as a leader, strengthen her or his ability to contribute to organizational priorities, and prepare them for tomorrow’s leadership challenges.

The application period for the 2017 program ends on Friday, Oct. 28, and interested employees and supervisors are urged to visit the PSEL page on the OHR website soon for application details.

“The PSEL program is free for employees, and is primarily for high-performing faculty and staff who demonstrate above-average leadership potential but do not currently have supervisory or management responsibilities,” Sue Cromwell, workplace learning and performance director, said.  

The program is designed to guide participants in the development of their individual leadership philosophy, and help them unlock their own potential.

Waleska Cedeno, an IT consultant with Penn State’s Information Technology Services, says the program provided her with a major boost of self-confidence.

“When I first started the program, I was struggling with confidence and didn't handle public speaking well at all,” Cedeno said. “I have since seen such an improvement in my confidence which has been allowing me to excel in a leadership role.”

PSEL is about more than building confidence. The program -- described by Christy Helms, interim manager of leadership and management development in the Office of Human Resources -- features a blended-learning experience over the course of a year, with only 44 of the 100-required hours dedicated to the traditional seminar or classroom setting. The remaining hours are spent on self-directed informal workplace learning activities that encourage participants to apply new skills and expertise in their current role while sharing progress with others in the program.

Additionally, participants identify short- and long-term learning goals to develop skills they need to become an effective leader for Penn State.

Catie Grant, the director of CommAgeny and a lecturer in the College of Communications, said one the most valuable elements of the program is the opportunity to network with peers, colleagues and other leaders at Penn State.

“The opportunity to meet and network with people around the university is a huge benefit to being in this program,” Catie said.

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, an instructional designer with the University’s Teaching and Learning with Technology, says the program helped her understand her “work-self” much better, and identify both her flaws and strengths.

“I would recommend this to a lot of people at Penn State, but particularly to someone who wants to take the next career step, but is feeling a bit stuck,” Pyatt said. “I found that program gave me lots of opportunities to reflect on who I really am and it was very valuable.”

Supervisors of PSEL participants play an important role before, during, and after the program, starting with completion of the Supervisor Input Form and continuing through the program in the form of time, support, resources and advice.

Interested candidates should visit the PSEL page on the OHR website for details about the program, including program objectives, the program schedule, and how to apply.  For more information about the PSEL program, contact Christy Helms at cwh19@psu.edu.

Last Updated October 20, 2016