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Top 10 reasons to choose OPWL for your graduate study

The TOP 10 REASONS why Learning and Development (L&D) professionals should earn our master’s degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) and graduate certificates.

1. You learn from practitioner-oriented courses.

Our OPWL courses are application-oriented rather than just theory-focused, and you will be exposed to a variety of L&D topics (instructional design, human resource development, workforce development, consulting, e-learning, performance improvement, etc.).

See the course descriptions for insight into our curriculum, and samples of student projects.

2. You work with award-winning faculty and staff.

OPWL faculty and staff members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching, research, and service with numerous awards and research grants – for example, Dr. Winiecki’s Excellence in Inclusiveness Award, Dr. Giacumo’s Summer Fellowship at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), and Ms. Fenner’s David S Taylor Service to Students Award.

3. You develop your professional portfolio.

L&D professionals should have their own professional portfolio to demonstrate their competencies. During our program, you produce numerous real-world projects from OPWL courses, which you are asked to present in your portfolio website.

Review samples of OPWL students’ portfolio websites, and envision yourself having your own professional portfolio during your OPWL graduate study!

4. You can participate in a research & development lab.

OPWL classroom is not the only place where you gain your professional knowledge and skills. OPWL Faculty’s R&D labs allow you to work on research or client-based projects one-on-one with faculty or in a small team, often giving you an opportunity to make presentations in conferences or publications in journals.

5. You pay less than others.

With the OPWL course fee of $530 per credit, you will earn your master’s degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning with a total course fee cost of $19,080.

Compare that to the average cost of a Master’s degree that typically ranges between $30,000 and $120,000. In addition, L&D professionals with a master’s degree typically earn more and are better positioned for promotions.

6. You can apply for an assistantship or scholarship.

Each year, we offer paid work opportunities that also provide professional development in areas of student interests. These opportunities include graduate assistantships, teaching or research assistantships as well as scholarships.

Meet our current student assistants and scholarship recipients.

7. You are exposed to job and internship opportunities.

Throughout the year, organizations reach out to us with job and internship opportunities that we share on our Jobs Board and Work Experience webpages. Individuals seeking to do a career pivot or to move up in an organization benefit greatly from these opportunities with many being hired before completing our master’s or certificate programs.

8. You land a job or get promoted due to OPWL study.

We hear success stories from our students all the time. Even after just a couple of OPWL courses, our students landed a job position they were looking for. Some students successfully transitioned from other fields to the instructional design or L&D field.

9. You broaden your professional network.

Providing a community of practice is essential to an online program and that requires additional virtual spaces our students can participate in to stretch and grow. OPWL has an alumni club, a virtual professional organization chapter, and a strong and active presence on LinkedIn, through which you will be able to expand your professional network. Our graduates provide ground-truth on their learning experience in these testimonials.

For insight into how OPWL helped these professionals accomplish their specific goals see the testimonials of recent graduates, Aaron Jacobsen, Jill Warwick, Jacob Connley, and Nicole Imler.

10. You study in the College of Engineering.

OPWL’s program learning goals reflect our embrace and application of engineering principles to workplace learning, teamwork, and organizational development. In addition, being in the College of Engineering we are part of a culture that researches, builds, and innovates in the learning and development space.