Engaging Professionals at Ithaca College (EPIC)

Office Professionals Certificate Program


Engaging Professionals at Ithaca College (EPIC) is a competency-based program designed to provide administrative support professionals with comprehensive skills, resources and other time-saving techniques for meeting job challenges and achieving unit priorities. The curriculum will include sessions on writing, communication, service excellence, interpersonal skills, time management, performance and goal setting. Through open discussions, practical exercises and homework assignments, participants will develop competencies and techniques that will enable them to:

  • Assess and improve listening, writing, and oral communication skills
  • Produce concisely written documents that focus on intended audience, clearly developed ideas, and free of grammatical and punctuation errors
  • Identify essential elements of service excellence and adapt own behavior and style of communication to build rapport with others
  • Apply new techniques and tools for effectively communicating with individuals and groups to resolve conflicts and build relationships
  • Consider professional development opportunities to pursue and design an individual development plan to achieve those goals.

Program Content:

► Service Excellence/MBTI Assessment: Customer service is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. The success of every organization depends on how each individual connects with the organization’s stakeholders – management, supervisors, colleagues, students, and external customers.  You are the link and key player in each of these connections. This hands-on, highly energetic workshop offers skills, tools and practical applications for working effectively with internal and external customers.

► Writing Effectively: Professional writing is a necessity for every job but that doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to write well—or enjoys writing!  When we’re under time pressure to get our work done, we don’t have time to step back and review the rules for grammar and good business writing.  These sessions will give you helpful tips so that you can write your message content quickly, and then edit it into a clear, effective, and professional communication for your reader. You’ll also use interactive and small group exercises to look for the most common grammar and punctuation errors and understand how to correct them.  (Yes, it is possible to have fun talking about grammar!)

► Communication/Difficult Conversations/Emotional Intelligence: With so many interactions during the course of a day, it’s reasonable to expect that some of them are going to be difficult. Yet, our ability to handle these conversations well is one of the most important competencies we need to be effective and to build trust and respect in the workplace.  Whether these are conversations you have in person, over the telephone, or on a team, there are things that you can do to make these conversations go smoothly.  This interactive session will explore tools for developing effective listening skills and managing challenging situations with greater ease.

► Individual Development Planning/StrengthsFinder: Individual development planning helps identify the employee's development goals and the strategies for achieving them by linking them to the organization's mission and goals.  Taking responsibility for your professional development can be challenging. We will help you get started!  An Individual Development Plan is uniquely tailored to the needs of the individual and the needs of the organization.

► Time Management/Managing Change: Getting the most out of every hour in a day is a constant challenge in our busy work world: an overflowing inbox, numerous emails, constant interruptions, meetings and on and on.  Awareness of how we spend our time is a critical component to being able to successfully manage one's time. Although this program will not give you more hours in a day, you will learn to explore your “time traps” through a self-assessment, learn practical ways to structure, prioritize, and minimize interruptions, and utilize time management tips to eliminate time wasters.

Note:  Participants must obtain approval from their supervisor to be considered for this program.

Session Dates for Fall 2016:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Tuesday, October 4, 2016, Tuesday, October 11, 2016, Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Tuesday, October 25, 2016, Tuesday, November 1, 2016, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Tuesday November 15, 2016.

Sessions are held in the HR Conference Room, # GL52 on the ground floor of the Peggy Ryan Williams Center.

Certificate Requirements: Attendance and successful completion of all sessions is required to receive a certificate of completion.

Please fill out the form below to apply for Fall 2016.


Engaging Professionals at Ithaca College Application Form