Principal Consultant at Lever Performance Consulting
I applied for the organizational performance and workplace learning (OPWL) program hoping the degree would help me to transition from K-12 public education into the world of organizational performance and learning. The program far exceeded my expectations in helping me to accomplish my goals, and was absolutely crucial to my successful transition to the field.
The OPWL program is very unique because students learn the theory, research, and philosophies of the field, but also apply this learning immediately by working with real organizations with real challenges. I developed training courses for a hotel, did a comprehensive needs assessment for a university, completed a change management project for a resort, and evaluated the effectiveness of a training program at a disability resource center. Through every step of each of these projects, my professors walked beside me providing expert guidance that was invaluable. In many graduate programs, students graduate ready to begin using their new knowledge. Through my OPWL coursework, I had already begun to build real-world experience, and needed only to continue the work I’d already started. When I graduated, I was far beyond where I expected to be in my career transition.
A year and a half after graduation, I moved on from an internal learning and development role and started my own independent consulting practice. I use my knowledge, skills, and experiences from the OPWL program every day in my business, whether it be in designing corporate learning programs with maximum impact, analyzing employees’ performance to determine how they can best support organizational goals, or evaluating programs to see what’s working and what isn’t.
With its top-notch faculty and staff, excellent curriculum, opportunities for real-world application, and flexibility for working students, the OPWL program is without a doubt the best graduate program in the field.
OPWL Leadership: Scholarly Writing
Taylor, E., Callahan, E., Pinta, K., Yeatts, L., & Winiecki, D. (2017). Increasing Academic Performance of Deaf Students at Alpha University: A Case Study. Performance Improvement, 56(8), 16-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pfi.21720
“Rapid eLearning: An introduction for designers specializing in workplace learning and performance”, AECT & OPWL Webinar, June 2017